Active living incorporates a combination of different forms of physical activity associated with behavior around school, home, work, transport and leisure, to promote a healthier lifestyle. Active living is therefore a preventive paradigm to counteract the trend towards each successive generation spending less time being active, due to structural changes and the constant advances in technology that are shifting the types of work and leisure activities that people engage in. This trend poses not only an increasing threat to population health but also contributes to an unsustainable drain on the public purse.
Thus, the importance of active living in a research context is becoming increasingly evident. Research groups around the world are investigating the requisite elements of a policy framework and range of opportunities to create environments and mobilize resources to support children, adolescents, adults, elderly, families and communities to become more physically active every day.
Our role is to research human behavior in the built, natural and social environments in order to understand the requisite conditions for sustainable active living and to encourage healthier lifestyles in specific target groups. We generate evidence-based knowledge about how to create settings that encourage people to engage in physical activity.
Our particular focus is on:
- investigating the physical environment from an interdisciplinary perspective (sociological, anthropological, psychological, epidemiological and cultural) to determine the fundamental elements underpinning engagement/non-engagement in active living
- creating, refining and further developing theories and analytical models in an effort to get a more nuanced understanding of associations between settings and active living
- further developing methods for collecting data and generating knowledge about associations between settings and active living
- generating practice-oriented knowledge about establishing motivational activating spaces for play, sport, outdoor activities, transportation, physical activity and bodily movement
- sharing and disseminating knowledge, and acting as a sounding board for ideas associated with the prevention of physical inactivity and the promotion of active lifestyles.
- assisting in educating and supervising health professionals working in various human movement domains in the creation of settings or environments conducive to physical activity