Dr. Ross Presents at Trottier Institute of Science and Public Policy Symposium

This Monday, the Geo-SDH Group was in attendance at the annual Trottier Institute of Science and Public Policy Symposium, where Dr. Nancy Ross spoke about the Geo-SDH Group’s policy-relevant research of active living environments. Dr. Ross addressed the question “Does the neighbourhood you live in get under your skin?” touched on the group’s recent findings that residents of neighbourhoods that support active living show more optimal markers of lab-assessed cardiometabolic health, including lower BMI, blood pressure & total cholesterol.

Dr. Ross also covered the importance of developing, understanding, and disseminating health environment measures and presented new findings from our Can-ALE dataset. These findings show exposure to active living environments raise physical activity levels in target populations vulnerable to chronic disease or sedentary behaviour, such as older adults or adults with a less physically active occupation. This finding complements Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer’s call to policy communities to identify practices to build and modify communities to support active transportation and physical activity.

Dr. Ross also addressed the group’s ongoing research of negative environmental conditions associated with active living environments, including exposure to air pollution and higher ambient air temperatures. These adverse environmental exposures, which are patterned geographically, may work to reduce walking in populations and should also be addressed through policy (e.g., investments in municipal tree canopies).

Many to the Trottier Institute for their support of our group’s research; we anticipate many more policy insights to come from the group’s several ongoing projects.