The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute -

As far back as the 1980s, the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) was internationally recognized as one of the first national organizations to conduct a large-scale study of the fitness levels of the country’s population. Forty years later, it continues to be recognized as having one of the longest standing and most comprehensive monitoring systems in the world to inform public policy on physical activity and sport.

The CFLRI is a registered not-for-profit applied research institution, governed by a Board of Directors comprised of academics and professionals in the areas of policy, public health, physical activity, sport, or recreation. Depending on the year, the CFLRI has been funded by federal, provincial, and territorial governments responsible for physical activity, recreation, health, and sport, as well as through additional grants and contracts. Contact us to discuss how we can assist you with your research needs. Click here for CFLRI’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

Informing policy and programs

The CFLRI examines physical activity and sport levels of Canadians, the factors that increase and decrease participation and the capacity of various systems and environments to support participation.

The fundamental objective of the CFLRI is to provide credible data for policy- and decision-makers, practitioners and researchers through knowledge creation, translation, and exchange to inform and affect evidence-based policy and practice across Canada. The CFLRI’s Knowledge Framework is described in Figure 1 below. The CFLRI shares knowledge about the importance of leading healthy, active lifestyles through its publications and contributions to the work of strategic partners. The CFLRI is a key leader in bringing this knowledge to those promoting physical activity, recreation, and sport.

Figure 1. CFLRI Knowledge Framework



Quantitative Data

Qualitative Research

Longitudinal studies

Population studies (objective)

Population studies (self-report)

Setting-based studies

Organizational studies

Government studies

Areas of focus

Physical activity

Steps, Adherence to guidelines

Physical activity, Sport participation, Sedentary

Community, Schools, Workplace

Recreation, Sport

Local (see setting), Provincial/
Territorial, Federal

Focus groups

Examples of factors collected

Health behaviours, factors associated with physical activity

Factors associated with physical activity

Individual, social, physical environment factors

Policy, programming, awareness of strategies, information, barriers

Policy, programming, awareness of strategies, information, barriers

Policy, programming, awareness of strategies, information, barriers

Formative work to identify experiences and barriers related to sport

Level of estimate produced

National, regional estimates

National, regional, biannual provincial/
territorial estimates

National, regional, provincial/
territorial estimates

National, regional estimates

National estimates

National estimates



Information dissemination

Research evidence

Journal publications




Email and newsletters

Social media



Tools and Resources


Expertise, knowledge sharing

Networking or research forums (e.g., conferences, meetings)

Scientific consultation, expertise advisory role for physical activity (e.g., IPAQ, WHO Diet and PA Strategy, Senate or Ministers briefings)

Partnerships and Collaboration

Co-produce knowledge or survey tools


Knowledge content providers (e.g., report cards)