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SPEX309 Active Living and Environment

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

A comprehensive approach to active living in urban and natural environments, development of a physical activity plan for a healthy, active city and population-based approach for promoting physical activity.

Active living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines. Increasing physical activity is a compelling investment in people, health, the economy and sustainability. Physical activity contributes to well-being, physical and mental health, disease prevention, improved social connectedness and quality of life. Physical activity also provides economic benefits and contributes to environmental sustainability. With the increasing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in modern society, physical activity is becoming an integral part of health-related initiatives across the lifespan and in multiple settings. Multiple sectors contribute to promotion of physical activity, including health, transport, environment, sport and recreation, education, urban design and planning as well as government and civil society. The current global initiatives and policies focus on a population-based approach to physical activity promotion. Creating healthy, active cities is part of the global efforts to promote physical activity in urban areas.


SPEX 309 Active Living and Environment paper discusses the World Health Organization’s framework for the design of healthy, active cities. Such cities recognise the value of active living and provide opportunities for physical activity and active living for all their citizens. The paper also explores a comprehensive approach to active living in natural environments, a population-based approach to physical activity, global actions and policies for promoting physical activity, and the need for multidisciplinary and multi-sector collaborations.

Paper title Active Living and Environment
Paper code SPEX309
Subject Sport, Physical Education and Exercise
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,061.45

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SPEX 205 or PHSE 315
Schedule C

Suitable for students interested in physical activity, public health and health promotion.


Associate Professor Sandra Mandic (

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Associate Professor Sandra Mandic

Paper Structure

The paper covers five modules:

  • Module 1: Physical activity and health: evidence for action
  • Module 2: The healthy city approach
  • Module 3: Health and the natural environment
  • Module 4: Developing,implementing and evaluating an active living strategy
  • Module 5: Population-based approach to promoting physical activity
Teaching Arrangements

The content will be delivered through a combination of classroom sessions, in-class activities, seminars and laboratories.


No required textbook. A reading list will be provided, which details the book chapters or research articles that complement each lecture. These readings will be available online or through course reserve in the library.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this paper students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the global evidence for action to promote physical activity to contribute to non-communicable disease prevention and sustainable development goals.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the population-level benefits of physical activity and best interventions for promoting physical activity at the population level.
  • Demonstrate understanding of a comprehensive approach to active living in urban settings, including the built and social environment interventions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the process of creating, implementing and evaluating a physical activity plan for a healthy, active city.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and practices related to outdoor activities that are informed by both socio-ecological relationships and environmental sustainability.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the population-based approach to promoting physical activity, the current global and national physical activity plans, and the need for multidisciplinary and multi-sector collaborations.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 14:00-14:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22
Friday 13:00-14:50 9-12, 14, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 18, 20
A2 Wednesday 11:00-12:50 18, 20