MPARC is a unique research facility integrating the study of physical activity and mental health. The researchers involved with MPARC are dedicated to developing and evaluating interventions to promote physical activity and mental health among people at risk of inactivity and mental health problems. Examples of populations we work with include: mental health service users, cancer survivors, youth sport participants and people with spinal cord injuries.
MPARC is committed to developing and testing intervention programs that will not only work in the lab, but also translate to the real world. Through promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour, the MPARC research team hopes to reduce mental health challenges and incorporate sustainable long-term physical activity into the lives of people from diverse populations. MPARC features accessible cardiovascular and strength training, psychological assessment and data collection tools (on-site and field-based), and advanced software for mixed methods analyses.
Main Research Foci:
- Psychosocial predictors of physical activity and sedentary behaviour
- Development, evaluation, and dissemination of physical activity interventions across the lifespan
- Mental and physical health outcomes associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviours
There are two research labs housed within MPARC.
MPARC Infrastructure Funding - Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
MPARC's research infrastructure has been funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
Main projects using the MPARC infrastructure.
ActiveMatch is both a free online service and a research project that helps women diagnosed with cancer find their close-to-perfect exercise partner or small exercise group. ActiveMatch was designed to help women diagnosed with cancer connect with similar women who are looking for support and guidance to help start, continue or change their exercise routines. Currently, ActiveMatch has members in the Greater Toronto Area with a few members who reside on the East and West coasts of Canada.
As a research project, ActiveMatch is funded by a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Innovation Grant. The purpose of the research project is to evaluate ActiveMatch as a service. Currently, two groups and one longitudinal pilot study have been conducted and analyzed publications are forthcoming. For more information, please visit www.activematch.ca. To get involved, e-mail Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org
IFP is an inclusive community-based physical literacy program that aims to foster a passion for physical activity among children and youth across grades 1-12. The goal of IFP is to help children and youth with diverse abilities gain a positive attitude towards physical activity and its benefits, develop the confidence to try new community-wide physical activities and form new friendships, and be motivated to continue future physical activity and set goals to stay active. IFP's community partners
IFP also involves a research component that has been funded through National Bank, Milos
MoveU.HappyU is an individualized six-week program that offers physical activity
The purpose of this research project is to evaluate 24-hour movement
The trajectory of youth sport and physical activity involvement peaks at around the age of 13 before drastically declining through adolescence and into young adulthood. Contributors to physical activity participation include self-conscious emotions.
• Social physique anxiety, and body-related shame
• Body-related pride
• Guilt, embarrassment, and envy
If you would like to learn more about the role of self-conscious emotions in
Founded by Jack Scholz in 1982, S.M.I.L.E. is an innovative 12-week academic-based program that is intended to provide children and youth with varying ability levels a unique opportunity to participate in group-based physical activity programming. Each child is paired one-to-one with a Master of Professional Kinesiology (MPK) student to receive adapted programming for fundamental movement skill development. The evaluation of the S.M.I.L.E. program entails examining changes in fundamental movement skills of the child and youth participants enrolled in the program, as well as exploring the program experiences of the children and their parents/caregivers.
Dr. Catherine Sabiston is the executive director of MPARC. She is a full professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health.
Dr. Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos is a director of MPARC. She is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and an adjunct scientist at Bloorview Research Institute.