Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Piotr Wilk


Background: In Canada, only 15% of adults meet physical activity guidelines for optimal health. Previous research has suggested that social cohesion may promote physical activity.

Objective: To assess the association between social cohesion and physical activity among adults aged 18 to 64 years in Canada.

Methods: Data from the 2009-2010, 2011-2012, and 2013-2014 cycles (N=245,150) of the Canadian Community Health Survey were used. Physical activity level was operationalized using average daily energy expenditure, social cohesion was determined by self-rated sense of belonging to the local community, and communities were represented by Canada’s Forward Sortation Areas. Multilevel regression models were used to assess the association between social cohesion and physical activity.

Results: Both individual- and community-level social cohesion were positively associated with physical activity. Weight status modified the association between community-level social cohesion and physical activity.

Conclusion: Social cohesion may contribute to promoting physical activity among adults in Canada.

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