This research uses four nationally representative samples of time diary data, spanning almost 30 yr, that are fused with energy expenditure information to enumerate the median daily duration of moderate or vigorous effort activity, quantify the prevalence of Canadians age 65 yr and older who are meeting recommended daily levels of physical activity, and explore the factors affecting rates of active living. Results indicate that 41.1% of older Canadians met recommended levels of physical activity in 1992, 40.6% in 1998, 43.5% in 2005, and 39.6% in 2010. Both rates of active living and daily duration of aerobic activity exhibit significant differences among sociodemographic groups, with age, sex, activity limitation, urban-rural, and season exhibiting the most significant influences. This study illustrates the potential for time diary data to provide detailed surveillance of physical activity patterns, active aging research, and program development, as well.
This paper assesses the degree to which "active living" varies along the rural-urban continuum, within the county-sized regional municipality of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Time-diary data from the Halifax Space-Time Activity Research project were used to compute daily participation rates (PRs) and time durations, at various physical effort levels, in the 4 activity domains of leisure, active transportation (AT), chores, and occupation. Geographic zones were based on the rural-urban fringe concept: the 4 zones are the Inner City (IC), Suburbs, Inner Commuter Belt (ICB), and Outer Commuter Belt (OCB). The Compendium of Physical Activities was employed to classify activity episodes into 5 effort levels. Light through maximum effort levels indicate "healthy" activities, while moderate through maximum levels indicate "aerobic" activities. Two threshold levels of "active living" were defined and calculated.
Mann-Whitney tests show that significant interzonal differences in activity-level durations exist for all domains. The IC contrasts strongly with the suburbs (more AT and active leisure, but less occupational activity), and the suburbs with the ICB, but there are fewer significant differences between the ICB and OCB. The percentage of respondents meeting "maintenance" and "enhanced" thresholds of active living is significantly higher in the OCB, and there is also significant urban-rural variation by sociodemographic characteristics.
Position along the rural-urban continuum is significantly related to PRs and mean durations for levels of physical activity, and to the proportion of respondents meeting threshold levels of active living.
Walking is the most common physical activity for adults with important implications for urban planning and public health. Recreational walking has received considerably more attention than walking for transport, and differences between them remain poorly understood.
Using time-use data collected from 1971 randomly-chosen adults in Halifax, Canada, we identified walking for transport and walking for recreation events, and then computed participation rates, occurrences, mean event durations, and total daily durations in order to examine the participants and timing, while the locations were examined using origin-destination matrices. We compared differences using McNemar's test for participation rates, Wilcoxon test for occurrences and durations, and Chi-Square test for locations.
Results illustrate many significant differences between the 2 types of walking, related to participants, timing, and locations. For example, results indicate a daily average of 3.1 walking for transport events, each lasting 8 minutes on average, compared with 1.4 recreational walking events lasting 39 minutes on average. Results also indicate more than two-thirds of recreational walks are home-based, compared with less than one-fifth of transport walks.
This research highlights the importance of both types of walking, while also casting suspicion on the traditional home-based paradigm used to measure "walkability."
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of daily atmospheric weather conditions on daily leisure activity engagement, with a focus on physically active leisure. The methods capitalize on time diary data that were collected in Halifax, Nova Scotia to calculate objective measures of leisure activity engagement. Daily meteorological data from Environment Canada and daily sunrise and sunset times from the National Research Council of Canada are used to develop objective measures of the natural atmospheric environment. The time diary data were merged with the meteorological data in order to quantify the statistical association between daily weather conditions and the type, participation rate, frequency, and duration of leisure activity engagement. The results indicate that inclement and uncomfortable weather conditions, especially relating to thermal comfort and mechanical comfort, pose barriers to physically active leisure engagement, while promoting sedentary and home-based leisure activities. Overall, daily weather conditions exhibit modest, but significant, effects on leisure activity engagement; the strongest associations being for outdoor active sports and outdoor active leisure time budgets. In conclusion, weather conditions influence the type, participation rate, frequency, and duration of leisure activity engagement, which is an important consideration for health-promotion programming.