Population studies (self-report)

Purpose

The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute’s self-report population studies represents cross-sectional, nationally representative data. Cross-sectional data studies examine population at a single point in time.  The data is based on questions responded to directly by participants. Population studies represent a key component of the CFLRI’s Physical Activity and Sport Monitoring Program (PASMP). These surveys are primarily collected using telephone interviewing. Two instruments represent these studies in the PASMP; these include the Physical Activity Monitor and the Sport Monitor.

The research goals of self-report population studies are to understand: 1) physical activity and sport participation rates; 2) how individual characteristics, social factors, and factors related to the physical environment influences participation; and 3) secular trends over time by comparing cross-sectional data at multiple periods over time.

Physical Activity Monitor

 

What is it?

The Physical Activity Monitor (PAM) is an annual, cross-sectional, nationally representative, population survey. The PAM covers a number of indicators related to determinants of physical activity and sport.

How was it developed?

The PAM was first established in 1995 as a tool to assist governments in evaluating the impact or effectiveness of publicly funded policies and programs related to physical activity. Indicators were developed in consultation with senior government officials of Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments, academics, and national physical activity and sport organizations through a needs assessment. Given the large quantity of indicators identified, these were collected by themes across multiple years. Indicators are reviewed at the commencement of each survey by a Workgroup of government, academics, and non-government organizations, which oversees significant changes to the program and are involved in knowledge transfer and exchange related to the evidence.

How is data collected?

The nationally representative sample is determined using random-digit dialling. This random sample of households is selected roughly proportional to the population in each province and territory, ensuring a minimum sample size in smaller jurisdictions. Data collection involves the use of a CATI (computer-assisted telephone interview) system. Sample sizes range from approximately 4,000 to 11,000, depending on the year.

Information collected

The PAM Survey collects information on physical activity and sport participation rates of children, youth, and adults. The PAM survey explores a variety of factors association with participation rates according to themes and topics varying by collection year. For example, the PAM looks at correlates associated with:

  • individual-level factors associated with physical activity and sport of adults, and factors that may be influenced by communications and  factors to considered in building a communications strategy such as knowledge of physical activity, guideline amounts, or benefits of physical activity (PAM 2014-2015).
  • social-level factors related to physical activity and sport among adults, including the influence of family and peers (PAM 2018-2020).
  • factors related to the physical environment and opportunities in the communities for adults, such as perceptions about the amount of physical activity and sport facilities in the community, satisfaction, usage of these facilities, and barriers (PAM 2016-2018).
  • factors related to the work environment that support or hinder participation rates (PAM 2006).
  • factors related to physical activity opportunities for children and youth, including those in the school environment, in the community, and support at home (PAM 2010-2011).

Benefits

  • Ability to monitor trends over time
  • Representative of various groups (example sex, age, geographic, and socio-economic)
  • Use of standardized measures and methodology
  • Consistent methods producing irreplaceable trend data, allowing for assessment of impact of strategies/policies
  • Cost effective national and jurisdictional level data
  • Utilizes an ecological framework to understand relationships between various factors and physical activity or sport
  • Informing the national knowledge base
  • Credibility
  • Flexibility.

Survey partners can purchase customized questions and add sample either nationally or for a particular province or region.

 

Sport Monitor

 

What is it?

The Sport Monitor (SM) is an annual, cross-sectional, nationally representative, population survey. The SM tracks changes in sport participation and factors associated with participation.

How was it developed?

The first wave of SM was conducted in 2006-2007. The second cycle was completed in 2011-2012 with a third planned in 2019-2020. Indicators were developed in 2004 based on a needs assessment with government officials. Indicators are reviewed at the commencement of each survey by a Workgroup of government, academics, and non-government organizations, which oversees significant changes to the program and are involved in knowledge transfer and exchange related to the evidence. The findings from the survey are used to help evaluate national, provincial, and territorial policy related to sport.

How is data collected?

Data collection is harmonized where possible to be conducted in concert with the theme years of the PAM. As there are additional high priority indicators for sport participation identified beyond the PAM content, a separate stand-alone sport survey, called the Sport Monitor has be included in the PASMP to gather information on these indicators.

The nationally representative sample is determined using random-digit dialling. This random sample of households is selected roughly proportional to the population in each province and territory, ensuring a minimum sample size in smaller jurisdictions. Data collection involves the use of a CATI (computer-assisted telephone interview) system. Sample sizes range from approximately 4,000 to 5,000, depending on the year.

Information collected

The SM Survey collects information on sport participation rates of adults. The SM explores factors association with participation rates and themes and topics vary by collection year. Correlates examined in the Sport Monitor include:

  • the nature of participation (e.g., frequency, type of sport, training)
  • barriers
  • valuing sport, beliefs about benefits
  • volunteering
  • expenditures
  • experiences related to sport.

Benefits

  • Ability to monitor trends over time
  • Representative of various groups (example sex, age, geographic, and socio-economic)
  • Use of standardized measures and methodology
  • Consistent methods producing irreplaceable trend data, allowing for assessment of impact of strategies/policies
  • Cost effective national and jurisdictional level data
  • Utilizes an ecological framework to understand relationships between various factors and physical activity or sport
  • Informing the national knowledge base
  • Credibility
  • Flexibility.