…and we hope to inspire other women and girls to join us.

The world has made both science and gender equality a priority. According to the United Nations, both are “vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” While there have been important advancements to include women in science, at the moment less than 30 percent of researchers globally are women.

We celebrate that our team, the Active Aging Research Team at the University of British Columbia, is female-led and driven.

This year, the UN declared that the theme for Women and Girls in Science Day 2021 is “Women Scientists at the forefront…


An older adult woman sees older adult’s physical and social health through her own lens
An older adult woman sees older adult’s physical and social health through her own lens

Images have been used throughout history as a way for people to express themselves and their needs. Humans have been drawn to this form of expression, from prehistoric cave paintings that feature big game animals to the explosion of photo-driven social media. Images captured through the photovoice research method reflect the realities that influence participants’ lives, making this method a unique way to better understand people and their experiences.

What is Photovoice?


Two seniors pondering what physical activities they could do. There is a thought bubble. One senior has a ball, the other has weights. There are question marks. There is an Active Aging Research Team logo.
Two seniors pondering what physical activities they could do. There is a thought bubble. One senior has a ball, the other has weights. There are question marks. There is an Active Aging Research Team logo.

But do older adults have easy access to programs that keep them active?

By Samantha Gray

Public health messages are clear — we all need to add more physical activity into our lives. As we age, this message focuses on physical activity to keep us healthy, and hopefully prevent catastrophic health events. I am a PhD student focused on the promotion of healthy aging at the population level. I know of many (many) studies of physical activity programs designed specifically to help older people prevent falls, stay mobile and independent, prevent chronic disease, and a host of other stuff that ostensibly improves health.¹,²,³ What I am learning now is that most of these…


By: Johanna Dingle

As life expectancy gradually increases, a question to ask is, “whether the added time comprises years of healthy life and promotes a high health-related quality of life into old age” (Langhammer et al., 2018, p. 1). Throughout my undergrad as a health sciences student, my professors and the curriculum often emphasized the topic of older adult health and the societal implications of this growing demographic in Canada. This subject resonated with me and piqued my interest in geriatric health. I believe that everyone should be able to access healthcare to help them lead healthy lives. …


By Thea Franke, PhD, with Rebecca Collett

Loneliness: the silent killer. It is not something many of us like to discuss openly. On a societal level, we have not addressed it, even as we begin to recognize loneliness as a growing concern within our communities. We often view it as reserved for a select few individuals in our population, however this couldn’t be further from the truth.

We can all think of a story. I think about my friends’ grandma who is 99 and lives alone in a senior’s residence. Her grandma has been absolutely miserable since the pandemic began…


By Callista Ottoni

As we are well aware, the Canadian Government has requested everyone limit social contact, or as we prefer, physical proximity, to stop the spread of COVID-19. How then, can we stay active, and not feel too isolated? Here are 6 simple tips from the Active Aging Research Team.

1. Call someone to be your activity buddy:

Research shows that being accountable helps us stay active. Recruit a friend (on the phone), with whom you will share your physical activity goals for the week. You could even arrange to go for a walk at the same time and chat on the phone as you walk. …


By: Douglas Race

Why Vancouver Youth Use the Arbutus Greenway

In March 2016, the City of Vancouver purchased an expired railway corridor from the Canadian Pacific Railway to develop the Arbutus Greenway (the greenway). The railway was converted into a paved, multi-modal transportation and recreation pathway, which extends 9-km north to south from False Creek to the Fraser River [https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/arbutus-greenway]. The greenway passes through six diverse neighbourhoods, seven commercial districts and has 14 schools located within 1-km, thus connecting a large number of Vancouver youth to their schools and surrounding communities.

Greenways have the potential to facilitate active travel and…


By: Erica Lau

Knowledge to Practice: The Struggle is Real

We see thousands of health research articles published every month. However, there is a gap between research-to-practice. It takes 17 years to turn only 14% of research into day-to-day clinical practice (1). To benefit the health of the population, we need to make use of research findings in a timelier manner. Therefore, it is important to find a solution to reduce this gap. A growing area of study, Implementation Science, could be the key (2).

Implementation science is, “the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into…


By: Venessa Wong

At the time of arrival, immigrants have better health than their Canadian-born peers. However, the health of immigrants diminishes over time until it matches Canadian-born (Ng, 2011; Gee, Kobayashi & Prus, 2004). Is there a way to support immigrants so they can maintain or slow the decline in health as they age?

Physical Activity, Health and Immigrant Older Adults

In recent years, physical activity is increasingly recognized as a way to prevent and treat chronic conditions. While medicine treats specific conditions, physical activity has been shown to prevent and treat many common conditions such as diabetes, cancer…


By: Renmart Buhay | Biomedical Physiology Co-op Student

Did you know it takes on average 17 years for research to become general practice in the healthcare system? (Green, 2008). When I first heard this I wasn’t too surprised.

During my studies, I often found it difficult to picture how what I was learning could impact people in real-world settings. Now, as I finish my 8-month co-op placement with UBC’s Active Aging Research Team, I can see just how research affects our day-to-day lives. I saw this impact as part of the evaluation team for the province-wide Choose to Move (CTM)…

Active Aging Research Team @ UBC

Empowering people to live independent, active and connected lives as they age. Community-based research and evaluation team at University of British Columbia.

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