GeoSDH Group Returns from Active Living Research Conference

Several members of the McGill Geo-SDH Research Group recently returned from Banff, AB, where they participated in and presented research at the Active Living Research conference.

Prof. Nancy Ross presented on a body of work on “Active Living Environments, Health-Related Behaviour, and Cardiometabolic Health of Canadians.” This presentation detailed several recent studies, including findings that Active Living Environments (ALEs) may support more optimal BMI trajectories for men who moved to more favourable ALEs, and that residents of more favourable ALEs have more optimal markers cardiometabloic health. PhD Candidate Madeleine Steinmetz-Wood presented on the “Virtual Systematic Tool for Evaluating Pedestrian Streetscapes (Virtual-STEPS)” that our group developed over the summer. Thomas Herrmann presented on “Creating a Pan-Canadian Active Living Environment Measure Using Open Data”: Can-ALE. The Can-ALE dataset will be available for download in March 2018, but you can sign up to receive it by email here.

The research we presented in Banff is funded by the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Trottier Fellowship in Science and Public Policy and Public Health Agency of Canada.

Group member Dr. Rania Wasfi was also in Banff, where she presented research on “Variations in Daily Activity Among a Cohort of Older Adults Over Time” as well as an oral presentation on “The influence of city size, age and exposure to walkable environments on walking behaviour. A longitudinal analysis in Canada“. This work was done in Dr. Wasfi’s capacity as a member of SPHERE Lab at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM)”.

In addition to the work we presented, we all left feeling re-energized to do research based on the many new discoveries and connections made, and also, of course, by the gorgeous scenery of the Rocky Mountains. Special thanks to Dr. Rania Wasfi and to Dr. Samantha Hajna, whose manuscripts were included in the body of work presented by Prof. Ross. Special thanks to William Gleckner for his pivotal contributions to the Can-ALE measure and to Kabisha Velauthapillai and Grace O’Brien for their hard work contributing to the Virtual-STEPS tool.