Research | Queen’s University Canada

Ian Janssen

Ian Janssen

This research involves studying the determinants of physical activity, and the health problems in children associated with a lack of physical activity.

[Dr. Ian Janssen]
Former Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity
Tier 2

Does the type of physical activity matter for children?

Children get their physical activity in different ways – they can play organized sports, they can walk or bike places, they can take a phys-ed class at school, and they can play outdoors. Research has shown that physical activity benefits the physical, mental, and social health of children. However, it is unknown as to whether the way in which children get their physical activity is important. It is also unknown as to whether the activity children get influences their health when they are adults.

Dr. Ian Janssen and his research team will use new technology to measure in an objective how much physical activity children get and what they were doing when they got each minute of activity. They will determine what factors of a child’s home, school, and neighbourhood environment best predict how much activity they get in these different ways. They will determine whether organized sports, active transportation, physical education, and outdoor play influence health in different ways. They will determine whether how much activity a child gets influences their long-term health in adulthood.

This research will help us better understand how to get children more active. It will also help us understand whether we should be promoting and intervening upon some types of physical activity more than others.