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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.

    Health and wellbeing are intricately linked with that of our environment. Physical activity can mediate this relationship. SPEX 309 discusses the design and impact of healthy, active environments. A comprehensive approach is taken on health, physical activity and the importance of the environment. Creating healthy, active environments is an important way to promote physical activity. Our natural environment and ecosystem health have direct and indirect effects on our health.

    About this paper

    Paper title Active Living and Environment
    Subject Sport, Physical Education and Exercise
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    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: Associate Professor 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 Māori 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


    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, 15-16, 18-22
    Friday 13:00-14:50 9-12, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 10, 16, 18, 21
    A2 Wednesday 11:00-12:50 10, 16, 18, 21
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