Family Access to Municipal Infrastructure for Leisure: Young children (FAMILY)

In childhood, increasing opportunities for participation in physical activity is critical given that active play behaviours are associated with a range of positive mental, social, and physical benefits. Physical activity in young children is primarily achieved through unstructured and structured active play; therefore, community recreation spaces (e.g., indoor mini-gyms and local playgrounds) play an important role in facilitating increased physical activity levels. Strathcona County, Recreation, Parks and Culture department has identified an interest in understanding what factors affect use and access to community recreation facilities and outdoor spaces among families with children aged 3-5 years.

This research aims to understand facilitators and barriers that families enrolled in the Recreation Access Program with children aged 3-5 years experience when using (or attempting to use) public indoor recreation facilities and outdoor spaces in their community. Photovoice will be used to create a visual and narrative understanding of these facilitators and barriers that speak to decision-makers in the community. The results will help decision-makers and community planners understand what supports or prevents families from using recreation spaces in the community, to better meet families’ needs.

For more information about this project contact: Dr. Ana Paula Belon, Research Associate at ana.belon@ualberta.ca

  • Dr. Candace Nykiforuk, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Dr. Ana Paula Belon, Research Associate, School of Public Health, University of Alberta (Co-Investigator)
  • Dr. Helen Vallianatos, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta (Co-investigator)
  • Sue Hutton, Manager, Marketing, Programs and Partnerships, Strathcona County, Recreation, Parks and Culture (Collaborator)
  • Jennifer Ann McGetrick, Doctoral Student, School of Public Health, University of Alberta
  • Lisa Jensen, Doctoral Student, School of Public Health, University of Alberta
  • Gabrielle Donoff, Coordinator Assistant, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

2016-2017 PolicyWise for Children & Families