Collective Action for COVID‑19 Recovery: Co-designing physical activity interventions with adolescents and caregivers in Peel Region
Peel region has been a hotspot during the COVID‑19 pandemic, resulting in strict lockdowns for long periods of time. In response to the devastating impacts of the pandemic on families, 26 community organizations came together, as the Peel Family Support Network (PFSN), to provide collective resources and support. Our research team is currently leading a community needs assessment alongside the PFSN to understand the nature and impacts of COVID‑19 restrictions on children, youth, and families in Peel and to identify resources and services required to support and sustain health and well-being during pandemic recovery. Based on responses from over 1,860 caregivers and youth, engaging in physical activity has been identified as a priority area for adolescents (aged 12-18) and caregivers of adolescents. To meet the needs of Peel’s diverse communities, this project engages a Community Advisory Board of adolescents, caregivers, service providers, and researchers to guide all project activities. Photo-based methods, a community prioritization activity, and a “hackathon-style” event, will be used to explore the physical activity experiences of adolescents and their caregivers throughout the pandemic and co-create physical activity interventions to move knowledge to action to promote and sustain physical activity during pandemic recovery. As many communities lack adequate resources for physical activity, COVID‑19 recovery presents an opportunity for collective innovation, where adolescents and caregivers can co-create meaningful and accessible physical activity interventions with service providers. By conducting this work in partnership with the PFSN and community members, we expect these physical activity interventions can be adapted for use with other age groups, will be relevant to diverse communities across different geographical settings, and can be tested and evaluated in other regions of Ontario and Canada.