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Active living in Saskatchewan: A review of official community plans

Oluwasegun B. Hassan, Katya M. Herman, Cathie D. Kryzanowski, Guy E.J. Faulkner

Abstract


OBJECTIVE: Municipal policies may have a significant impact on the development of environments that provide sustainable opportunities for individuals to engage in healthy, active lifestyles. Little is known about how explicitly community planning in Canada integrates strategies to promote physical activity. In the context of Active Saskatchewan 2020 (AS2020), the strategic plan of Saskatchewan in motion, such an analysis would create a basis for identifying policy gaps and ongoing monitoring. The objective of this study was to review the official community plan (OCP) of each city in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada and identify policies supportive of physical activity.

METHODS: A conventional content analysis was completed of the OCPs of the 17 cities in Saskatchewan. Each OCP was reviewed and text extracted that related to supporting physical activity. Extracted text was thematically organized within and across cities, creating a set of indicators for ongoing monitoring.

RESULTS: Overall, 17 indicators were identified. The frequency of inclusion of these indicators within the 17 OCPs varied from 17.6% to 82.4%. The mean frequency of indicators identified per OCP was 7.4. The most commonly included indicators included residential neighbourhood plans associated with active living, downtown cycling and pedestrian plans, and joint-use agreements between communities and schools.

CONCLUSIONS: Most Saskatchewan OCPs make little direct reference to policies supportive of physical activity. Impacting community-level policy is an expected outcome of AS2020/Saskatchewan in motion. This study identifies a range of indicators for monitoring this process and highlights potential areas for policy development within OCPs.


 


Keywords


Physical activity; community planning; policy; built environment; population health

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.108.6068