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TIME (Tools, Information, Motivation, Environment) for health: A multi-level intervention to promote healthy eating in children and their families (Co-Principal Investigator)

The objective of this project is to design and evaluate a multi-level intervention aimed at, a)improving family nutrition habits and, b) incorporating a change in the built environment to increase healthy food availability. The food environment change will take place in recreational facilities where children regularly go to undertake physical activities, such as swimming. The family-level intervention will be targeted at parents of young children. We have called this project TIME, to describe the key features of the intervention – this represents Tools, Information, Motivation and the Environment.

UrbanSense: Infrastructure for an Urban-Scale Environmental Sensor Network (Principal Investigator)

UrbanSense is a city-wide, wireless laboratory that investigates the physical environment from an innovative perspective, with an explicit intent to make the apparatus and data available to other researchers, ultimately to the benefit of anyone with internet access. Three key features of UrbanSense are its city-wide deployment, the flexibility to reconfigure sensor requirements, and its ability to monitor in real time urban physical environment.

Measures of Environmental Deprivation in Health Inequalities Research (Principal Investigator)

Green spaces and natural areas offer benefits to health and help to maintain a healthy environment. Little is known about the development of health inequalities from unequal exposures to environmental factors. This study will synthesize knowledge about the health relevant dimensions of environmental deprivation.

Development of a Health Geo-Informatics Service (Principal Investigator)

A recent interest among health researchers and health service providers is the concept of spatial accessibility. This project will develop a secure analysis ‘service’ that will be available to health researchers and service providers to explore questions about spatial accessibility and utilization for the province of Nova Scotia.

Measurement and Analysis of Air Quality and Noise in Halifax Regional Municipality (Co-Principal Investigator)

This project will involve the deployment of air quality and sound level sensors at fifty sites around the urban core of Halifax. The data will be used to develop land-use regression models as an approach to modeling exposure to concentrations of air pollutants and noise levels where sampling did not occur, and to model statistically the variation in several respiratory and cardiopulmonary health outcomes.

Environmental Physical Activity Correlates after Cardiac Hospitalization (Co-Investigator)

Increased moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is significantly associated with cardio-respiratory fitness. This project will use global positioning system (GPS) and actimetry to measure the location and level of physical activity among patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation.

Environmental Correlates of Cardiac Rehabilitation (Co-Investigator)

Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will perform a 3-year retrospective chart review. Patients’ addresses will be geocoded and merged with Canadian census data and a built environment database to generate a PA opportunities score for each patient’s community. The data will be used to determine their influence on drop-out and adherence to CR in each province.

Environment, Nutrition and Activity Study (Co-Investigator)

The objective of this research is to understand the role of the built environment (e.g., land mix, walkability, recreation facilities), and the policies that affect its use, in contributing to youth obesity.

Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behavior in Breast Cancer Patients (Co-Investigator)

This pilot study uses actimetry and global positioning system technologies to identify the characteristics of environments that act to facilitate or hinder physical activity in women receiving breast cancer treatment

An Objective Evaluation Tool to Measure Impact of Learning Wheelchair Skills (Co-Investigator)

The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate a device that incorporates global positioning system, accelerometry, heart rate, reed switch, echo sounder, and pressure sensor technologies to measure and log wheelchair use and performance in different activity contexts.