Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Geography

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Jason Gilliland & Dr. Jeff Hopkins

Abstract

Only a small proportion of Canadian children achieve the recommend daily minimum amount of moderate-vigorous physical activity (PA). The Grade 5 ACT-i-Pass (G5AP) program in London, Ontario offers fifth-grade children a free access pass to multiple PA opportunities at recreation facilities for an entire school year. This thesis used a mixed-methods approach to examine barriers and enablers to children’s use of those PA opportunities. In-depth interviews with recreation service providers afforded an understanding of potential factors influencing pass use. Surveys of child participants and their parents provided data on participant demographics, parental and peer support, and pass usage. Spatial analysis generated environmental variables such as neighbourhood socioeconomic status and distance between home and participating facilities. Statistical analysis examined individual, intrapersonal, and environmental determinants on pass use using logistic regression. Findings from service provider interviews revealed potential barriers to pass use related to participant knowledge, economic means, and geographic access. Spatial analysis found both hot and cold spot clusters of pass use, and logistic regression modelling found sex, recruitment method, and parental support significantly influenced use of the G5AP. Findings support development of PA interventions focused on spatial distribution of activities and promotion of PA opportunities.


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