Title:Understanding reported rates of physical activity: comparing the results of the Alberta survey on physical activity and Canadian community health survey.
Author(s):Berry, Tanya R.|split|Spence, John C.
Corporate Author: Alberta Centre for Active Living
Subject:Leisure, recreation - general|split|Health issues - public participation
Publisher:Alberta Centre for Active Living
Place of Publication:Edmonton
Date of Publication:2006
Two major surveys recently examined physical activity levels in Alberta: the Alberta Survey on Physical Activity (García Bengoechea, & Spence, 2002) and Canadian Community Health Survey (Statistics Canada, 2006). The Alberta Centre for Active Living (formerly the Alberta Centre for Well-Being) has collected data on Albertans for the Alberta Survey on Physical Activity every two years since 1995. The same data collection methods have been used since 2000, allowing for a longitudinal comparison from 2000 to the present. The Canadian Community Health Survey is a national Statistics Canada survey that includes provincial data. This survey went through its second cycle in 2002/03. The 2002 Alberta Survey on Physical Activity (García Bengoechea & Spence, 2002) found that 57% of Albertans were active. (The figure in the most recent Alberta Survey on Physical Activity (García Bengoechea, Spence, & Fraser, 2005) has increased to 60.4%.) The latest data available from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2002–2003) showed that 52% of Albertans were at least moderately active (Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, 2005). This result is based on combining the 27% who are considered active according to Canadian Community Health Survey criteria with the 25% who are considered moderately active. Therefore, when comparing the 2002–2003 data, there is potentially a 5 percentage point difference in results between the two surveys. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the possible reasons for the discrepancy to try to better understand the physical activity of Albertans.