Promotion of Physical Activity in Rural, Remote and Northern Settings in Canada

The health benefits of physical activity are well-known. Our physical, built, and natural environments play a large role in supporting physical activity as a component of daily life. While there is growing evidence on how to promote physical activity in urban environments, opportunities and challenges for rural, remote, and northern communities are unique and infrequently examined.

To understand what is currently known about promoting physical activity in rural, remote, northern, and natural settings, an evidence synthesis was conducted in 2015. Findings indicated that within these settings there is a need to ensure evidence is synthesized and shared to inform the important work of practitioners and policymakers working in physical activity promotion.  In addition, there is a need for more setting relevant research across geographies.

Following this, in November 2015, a priority setting conference involving a diverse set of experts, representing research, practice and policy, from across Canada.  At the conference priorities were identified for practice and policy action and an applied research direction in rural, remote, and northern settings.  Please see below for the full report including a summary of the evidence synthesis and the priority setting conference.

For more information on this initiative please contact Laura Nieuwendyk, PLACE Project Coordinator at

2014-2019 Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (Dr. Candace Nykiforuk’s Applied Public Health Chair)

2013-2016 Coalitions Linking Actions and Science for Prevention Grant, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer