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SPEX309 Active Living and Environment

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.

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) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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: 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 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 9-14, 16-22
Friday 13:00-14:50 9-13, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 12, 16-17, 21
A2 Wednesday 11:00-12:50 12, 16-18, 21