Janae Vlaar

The relationship between built environment and children's physical activity
CIHR Graduate Scholarships

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Pursuing a graduate degree became an academic goal after working in a kinesiology lab during my undergrad. The atmosphere of challenge and curiosity was appealing to me. I see this degree as an opportunity for me to learn from experts in my field, invest in research I am passionate about, and gain critical thinking and analytical skills.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC was my university of choice for my MSc because of institution's academic calibre, the amount and diversity of research in the School of Population and Public Health, and the opportunity to work with my supervisors, Louise Masse and Mariana Brussoni.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

For me, fun is spending time on the road on my bike, on the trails running, or in the water swimming training for triathlons. I am most relaxed when I'm outside, whether that be hiking, camping, or just going for a walk.


Learn more about Janae's research

My research will focus on the relationship between the built environment and children's physical activity, specifically active transportation. Active transportation is a valuable source of physical activity, but research has shown that the amount of children engaging in active transportation is very low, partially because of parental safety concerns. By identifying features of the environment that are correlated with higher rates of childhood active transportation and better perceptions of safety among parents, it may be possible to advocate for their implementation in order to increase rates of childhood active transportation as a source of daily physical activity.