Physical Activity Monitor (PAM)

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: health, recreation, sports, physical activity

Principal Investigator: Cameron, Christine (5)
Licence Number: 15638
Organization: Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI)
Licenced Year(s): 2018 2017 2015 2014
Issued: Feb 24, 2015
Project Team: Cora Lynn Craig (Co-Principal Investigator, Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute), Tammy Chi (Manager, Data Collection, Institute for Social Research, York University), Greg Hanson (Technical Consultant, Institute for Social Research, York University)

Objective(s): To examine factors or correlates of physical activity that may enhance or detract from participation in physical activity or sport among Canadian adults 18 years and older.

Project Description: The Physical Activity Monitor (PAM) will collect data to examine factors or correlates of physical activity that may enhance or detract from participation in physical activity or sport among Canadian adults 18 years and older, determine current activity levels of Canadians, as well as time spent in sedentary behaviors, and participation in sport. Data collected will provide trend data related to activity levels and sport participation and numerous correlate variables.

The PAMs are telephone-based surveys based on random-digit dialing, using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software. The PAM procedures apply a multi-stage probability selection process to select a survey respondent. The first stage involved the selection of households by randomly selecting telephone numbers, using a method of random digit dialing (RDD). The second stage of sample selection involved the random selection of a respondent (18 years of age or older) in the household. The 2014-15 PAM also adds a third-stage selection process whereby respondents will be asked whether or not there are children aged 5 to 17 living in the household and if they are parents or guardians of the child. If so, an eligible child aged 5 to 17 will also be selected at random.

Since 1995, the PAM procedures have applied a multi-stage probability selection process to select a survey respondent. The first stage involved the selection of households by randomly selecting telephone numbers (i.e., constructed from electronic version of telephone books or other available sampling lists), using a method of RDD. A random sample of telephone numbers was selected to be called, however, these RDD samples may have included telephone numbers that may not be in service, business numbers, or other unlisted numbers. The second stage of sample selection involved the random selection of a respondent (18 years of age or older) in the household. Information on the age, the number of adults in the household was obtained, and when there was more than one adult living in the household, a respondent was selected based on the nearest birthday, as this method yields a representative sample.

The above procedures also apply to the 2014-15 and, in addition for the 2015 PAM specifically, a third-stage selection process will be applied whereby respondents will be asked whether or not there are children aged 5 to 17 living in the household and if they are parents or guardians of said child. If so, an eligible child aged 5 to 17 will also be selected at random. The interview about this child will be completed with the selected parent/guardian.

At the beginning of the interview, the interviewer provides a brief introduction to the survey and the respondent is informed that participation in the study is voluntary and that they are able to refuse individual questions and to stop the interview at any time if they so choose. They are also told that the interview takes an average of 25 minutes; however, an additional 2 minutes may be required for the sub-sample of the parental questions related to children’s activity. They then ask for verbal permission to proceed with the interview. Questionnaires are pre-tested in the first 100 interviews.

The PAM takes a comprehensive population health approach to understanding and changing physical activity levels for the population as a whole in the context of their everyday lives, rather than focusing on people at risk for specific diseases. It synthesizes information on the current situation in relation to the scientific literature to provide a solid foundation for informed decision-making in terms of building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, development of personal skills and a reorientation of health services. This forms part of the reporting of progress to Ministers.

Telephone interviewing for the PAMs has been conducted by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University, Toronto, Canada on behalf of the CFLRI since 1995. This has ensured standard procedures over that period, with no changes in methods that might inadvertently impact secular trends.

Reports on the findings of this research are freely available on the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute's website www.cflri.ca. Reports on the findings of the surveys are made to the funding agencies, Health Canada, Sport Canada, and various Federal, Provincial and Territorial departments responsible for fitness and healthy living. Research papers are presented at conferences on physical fitness, Sports and health.


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from February 24, 2015 to May 31, 2015.