Smart Cities, Healthy Kids study on YouTube

September 30, 2011

Does neighbourhood design affect how active children are?

That’s the question researchers from the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) are asking in their three-year, multi-phase Smart Cities, Healthy Kids study in Saskatoon.

The province’s early childhood development network, kidSKAN, has produced a video about Smart Cities, Healthy Kids. The network is one of the many projects that fall under SPHERU Healthy Children’s research theme.

The video can be seen on kidSKAN’s YouTube channel and provides a good introduction to the project.

The SPHERU “Smart Cities” team has been looking at how Saskatoon’s neighbourhoods have developed over time and what design elements they include – the built environment – that encourage or discourage physical activity among children.

They’ve surveyed school children about their activity levels and measured actual activity levels, they’ve interviewed some of the kids and their parents about how they feel their neighbourhoods influence their activities, and had the kids take pictures – a process called photovoice – to document what helps or hinders active lifestyles.

There is more information on the Smart Cities Healthy Kids project on the kidSKAN site: an op-ed series that ran in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix; fact sheets; reports on the active living potential for each of the city’s neighbourhoods; and an introductory video on the Smart Cities, Healthy Kids sister study looking at Saskatoon’s food environment.


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