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The Awareness and Use of Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living

Abstract

Background: With the recent release of Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living (CPAG), there is a need to identify the extent to which the population is aware of and using the guide. The purpose of this study was to report on population awareness and use of the CPAG, and secondarily to determine if demographic variables (i.e., age, sex, ethnicity, household income, educational level) moderate the awareness and use of the CPAG.

Methods: In a large recreation survey, questionnaires were mailed to 10,000 randomly selected households in Alberta. A respondent from each household was self-selected based on which member, 18 years or older, would celebrate the next birthday. Two questions pertaining to the awareness and use of the CPAG were included.

Results: Responses were received from 2,719 Albertans. Of those responding, 20.7% (95% CI, 19.2–22.2) stated they were aware of the CPAG and 5.5% (95% CI, 4.7–6.3) had actually followed the recommendations in the guide. Gender and educational level were significant moderators of awareness and use of the CPAG.

Conclusions: The implications of these findings are that the majority of the Canadian population is not aware of the CPAG. Furthermore, certain segments of the population are less aware of the guide than others.

Résumé

Contexte: La publication récente du Guide canadien d’activité physique pour une vie active saine nous a incité à déterminer dans quelle mesure la population connaît et utilise ce guide. Notre étude rend compte de ces deux aspects, puis tente de découvrir si certaines variables démographiques (âge, sexe, appartenance ethnique, revenu du ménage, niveau de scolarité) influent sur la connaissance et l’utilisation du Guide.

Méthode: Dans le cadre d’une vaste enquête sur les loisirs, des questionnaires ont été postés à 10 000 ménages albertains sélectionnés au hasard. Chaque ménage a choisi par lui-même un répondant: le membre du ménage de 18 ans et plus dont l’anniversaire de naissance était le plus proche. Le questionnaire comportait deux questions sur la connaissance et l’utilisation du Guide.

Résultats: Nous avons reçu les réponses de 2 719 Albertains. De ce chiffre, 20,7 % (IC de 95 % = 19,2–22,2) ont dit connaître l’existence du Guide, et 5,5 % (IC de 95 % = 4,7–6,3) en avaient suivi les recommandations. Le sexe et le niveau de scolarité étaient des variables modératrices significatives de la connaissance et de l’utilisation du Guide.

Conclusion: Ces résultats portent à croire que la majorité de la population canadienne ignore l’existence du Guide, et que certains segments de la population en ont encore moins connaissance.

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Correspondence to John C. Spence PhD.

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Spence, J.C., Plotnikoff, R.C. & Mummery, W.K. The Awareness and Use of Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living. Can J Public Health 93, 394–396 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03404576

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03404576