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Research at the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a comprehensive academic and research institution, with a mission to discover new knowledge and translate our discoveries into applications that provide benefits to our society and global communities. It is the creation of new knowledge in all forms that distinguishes us as a research university.

University of Calgary Summer Camps 2015

Lab

Summer camps are an important experience in a child’s life to discover, create, explore, and play. Specifically, the spirit of play is seen throughout University of Calgary summer camp programming, allowing kids to be kids, while exploring their passions and making new friends. The University of Calgary has 11 different camps encompassing more than 70 diverse programs tailored towards the kids. Generally, summer camps are increasingly popular for children and youth, and have the potential to contribute to and meet the recommended daily physical activity guidelines (60 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity). According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, children (aged 8-10) should reach 12,000-16,000 and youth 11,000-12,000 steps to meet the recommended daily physical activity guidelines.

Considering the latter, research was conducted in the summer of 2015 at the University of Calgary Summer Camps to investigate whether children were meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines through step counts while participating in a diverse group of camp types as measured objectively by Garmin Vivofit TM wrist tracking devices (Kids Summer Steps in University Camps –KISS UC).

Summer Camps 2015 Steps Chart

Robot Results showed that the average total steps (24hr) in camps with four days of data were 16,793±5,407; in-camp 10,377±3,282 steps, which resulted in 6.95±2.58km walked, for out-of-camp hours, steps totaled 6,694±3,084. Average total steps (24hr) in camps with three days of data were 15,176±4,721; in-camp 11,442±4.090 steps, resulted in 7.06±2.68km walked, for out-of-camp steps totaled 4,738±2,138. Overall, the Active Living camps at the University of Calgary provided a positive environment for physical activity while building useful skills for the future. The campers met the daily Heart and Stroke Foundation guidelines over a 24hr period, yet they were not quite meeting the guidelines during in-camp hours. However, the in-camp results could be affected by the underrepresentation of some activities at the camps, including paddling, swimming, and cycling. An interesting outcome was although the non-sport camps had less steps in-camp, they had more out-of-camp steps.

University of Calgary Summer Camps 2016

Computer Camps Furthermore, research was completed in the summer of 2016 with a parallel objective to further observe whether children are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines while participating in the summer camps at the University of Calgary.  Results show that the average 24 hour steps for all 16 camps with three days of data were 16651.83±773.41; in-camp steps 10920.83±635.16; and out-of-camp steps were 5946.52±262.45.  Overall the Active Living summer camps have been found to meet the Heart and Stroke Foundation Guidelines for step counts over a 24hour period based on the average steps of 16 camps.  However, kids were not meeting the guidelines during in-camp hours, in which steps could be underrepresented due to engaging in certain activities such as cycling, paddling, and/or swimming.

Kiss 2016

Research is planned to be conducted summer 2017 with a parallel objective to the summer 2015/16 study to further observe whether children are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines while participating in summer Camps at the University of Calgary.

Kayla Kashluba and Eshleen Grewal

Smith L, Smith B, Christie M, Jones L, Doyle-Baker PK. (2016, Mar. 11) How many steps do kids walk when in enrolled in a summer camp? Crossroads Interdisciplinary Health Research Conference, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS

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