About Us

The Centre promotes active living by bridging research, practice and decision-making.

Our Vision

To improve health and quality of life in Alberta by influencing active living policy and practice.


Our Mission

Promoting active living by bridging research, practice, and decision-making.


What does the Alberta Centre for Active Living do?

ACAL’s work is simple, yet complex and is summed up in our mission:

Promoting active living by bridging research, practice and decision-making.

“We support practitioners and decision-makers by providing high quality research, resources, and information about physical activity,” says Nora Johnston, Director at the Alberta Centre for Active Living. “We created an infographic to show some of the ways we support active living.”

This infographic includes our key initiatives:

Our blue sky includes words to identify other work that keeps practitioners and decision-makers up to date with the work of physical activity researchers and practitioners.

“We can’t be all things to all people, but we are an excellent place to connect on physical activity,” concluded Johnston.

Download the ACAL infographic (PDF).


Definition of Active Living

Active Living is a way of life in which physical activity is valued and integrated into daily living.


Population-Health Approach

The Centre uses a population-health approach to promote and support physical activity participation. Using this approach challenges the Centre to move beyond an individual and behavioural view of health, toward creating social and physical environments that support physical activity for Albertans of all ages, abilities, and cultures.

"Personal health practices and coping skills" is one of the twelve key factors (determinants) which influence population health, and it is commonly associated with lifestyle choices. This factor refers to those actions by which individuals can prevent diseases and promote self-care, cope with challenges and develop self-reliance, solve problems and make choices that enhance health. The factor of personal health practices and coping skills is interrelated with the other key factors such as income, social status, social support networks, education, and working conditions.

Definitions of lifestyle include not only individual choices, but also the influence of social economic and environmental factors on the decisions people make about their health (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014).

At the Alberta Centre for Active Living, we believe that supportive environments help people to make healthy lifestyle choices, including the choice to be more physically active and less sedentary.


Strategic Plan: 2015-2018

The Alberta Centre for Active Living's strategic plan is reviewed and advanced annually at a planning meeting involving the Executive Management Group (EMG), Advisory Board, funders, partners and staff. Particular attention is given to how the strategic plan supports the implementation of the Active Alberta policy.

Upon approval of the strategic plan by the EMG, a team action plan is developed by staff, identifying actions to accomplish each strategy.

Download our 2015-2018 Strategic Plan Summary (3 pages, PDF).


Annual Report

The Alberta Centre for Active Living was established in 1989 and focuses on the promotion of physical activity in Alberta. The Centre is unique in Canada and is known nationally and internationally for effective knowledge mobilization and advocacy. The Centre is a research centre in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta and receives operational grant support from Alberta Culture and Tourism.

Our 2017-2018 annual report highlights the Centre's key activities & projects.

Major Projects of 2017-2018

  • 2017 Physical Activity Forum - Don't overthink it! Promoting physical activity in a busy media environment (by Dr Tanya Berry)
  • Co-hosting the 2018 International Active Living Research Conference
  • New infographics: Are Edmonton Toddlers Meeting the New 24-Hour Movement Guidelines; What is Daily Physical Activity; What does the Alberta Centre for Active Living do; & Sport and Recreation Experiences of Indigenous Youth in Canada
  • New fact sheet: Benefits of Active Transportation