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SPEX309 Active Living and Environment

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
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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. 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 design of healthy, active cities. Such cities recognize 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 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,213.25

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PHSE 315 or SPEX 205
Schedule C

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


Associate Professor Nancy Rehrer (

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinators and lecturers: Assoc. Prof. Nancy Rehrer and Ms. Margie Lazar

Lecturers: Dr Ihirangi Heke, Prof. Mick Abbott, Ms. Shannon McNatty

Paper Structure

The paper covers 5 main themes:

  1. Physical activity and health: evidence for action
  2. Health and the natural environment
  3. Lessons from and application of Maori traditional knowledge to physical activity in the natural environment
  4. Outdoor Education in Aotearoa
  5. Design, environmental impact and recreation
Teaching Arrangements

The content will be delivered through a combination of classroom sessions, outdoor activities, laboratories and podcasts.


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

Students who successfully complete the paper 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 the latest WHO guidelines on physical activity and health.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of outdoor pursuits in Aotearoa.
  • Demonstrate understanding of a comprehensive approach to active living in various settings, including the natural, built and socio-cultural environments.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and practices related to outdoor activities that are informed by both socio-ecological relationships and environmental sustainability.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


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


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 10, 15, 18, 20
A2 Wednesday 11:00-12:50 10, 15, 18, 20