Natural Experiment: Investigating Manitoba's New Policy for Physical Education for Secondary Students


Principal Investigator: Jonathan McGavock (University of Manitoba)

Several provinces have responded to the rising prevalence of childhood obesity en enacting school-based policies aimed at increasing physical activity levels in youth. Remarkably, these school-based policies are being adopted without any evidence suggesting that they work or how they should be implemented. 
Our proposal is designed to address this need by evaluating the province-wide policy mandating physical education for all secondary school students in Manitoba which started in the fall of 2008. This policy mandates physical education from grade 9 through to 12 for the first time in Canada.
We believe that the policy will result in reduced prevalence of sedentary and increased physical activity levels in adolescents in Manitoba. We will measure activity in several ways at various time points, before and after policy implementation, and compare these values. 
The data that we collect will be the first ever describing how effective a province-wide policy can be for increasing physical activity in adolescents.