Frequently Asked Questions

+ Why is this study being done?

Being physically active benefits children in a number of ways. Active kids often do better in school, have better relationships and are healthier. We know that active kids are all-around healthy kids and we want to know why and how, so we can help all kids benefit.

+ Why is this study recruiting children?

Children who learn early that running, kicking, throwing, and tumbling are fun have the greatest chances to become adults who want to hike, dance, play a sport, and walk or cycle to work. This research group is interested in other influences that early physical activity can have on a child's health, well being, growth and development.

+ What are OMICS?

Please visit the Background tab, to learn more about the details behind the meaning of OMICS.

While the relationships between OMICS and health in adults have been a topic of research for several years, research on OMICS in children is a new field of study.

+ What is physical literacy?

Physical literacy is when kids develop the physical skills, confidence and motivation to become active for life.

Your reaction might be to question the need to develop something that seems so basic. But in todays world, one where children are often sedentary, over-scheduled, and less likely to play outside, developing physical literacy is a critical pathway to health and well-being.

+ Who will participate in this study?

Healthy boys and girls in grades 4 & 5

+ Who is conducting this study?

This study is being conducted by researchers in UBC’s School of Kinesiology (see personnel tab for more details). This study is being funded by Active for Life, the UBC Provost Office and Vice President Academic.

+ How do my child and I use the accelerometers?

At the first visit, you and your child will be given an accelerometer. The accelerometer is approximately the size of a bottle cap and it will be worn on the thigh, with a bandage. The accelerometer should be worn for seven consecutive days and nights.

+ How do I collect the stool sample?

You will be given a sterile stool-sample collection kit for your child to use. Detailed instructions will be included with the kit. We require a swab of the fecal sample, to be returned in a sealed, biohazard bag.

+ What are we assessing with the questionnaires and surveys?

The purpose of the questionnaires and surveys is to assess your child's current level of physical literacy, the amount of time they are sedentary and physically active, as well as some basic demographic information and a family health history. Some questionnaires also ask your child questions about how they feel about themselves and their relationships with their peers.

+ Why does this study require a blood sample from my child?

The technology currently available to analyze the proteome, metabolome and telomere length, requires a sample of blood. Our nurses, who are very experienced with children, will make the experience as comfortable as possible.

+ Why do you need a small sample of my child's hair?

A small sample of your child's hair allows us to analyze your childs cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that plays a role in stress and other body functions, such as control of blood sugar levels, inflammatory responces, etc. Our researchers will only cut 30-50 hairs from a hidden location on your child's head.

+ How long will this take?

The time commitment of your child is roughly 11 hours, which includes two visits to the FAST laboratory, on UBC’s campus and one science camp day, at UBC’s Osborne Centre. Your commitment as the parent/guardian is roughly 8 hours, including two visits to the FAST laboratory, as well as pick-up and drop-off at the science camp. These estimates also include the time that you and your child will spend completing questionnaires. See the info tab, for further breakdown of this entire process.

+ What are the benefits of participating in this study?

You have the opportunity to learn more information about your child's health and your health. You will be given a report at the completion of this study, which summarizes some of the findings from our study.

+ What are the possible harms of participating in this study?

There is the possibility that your child may find the blood draw uncomfortable or painful. The researchers and nurses will do their best to minimize any discomfort. There may be some bumps or bruises while your child plays at science camp, but the staff is trained to ensure the safety of your child. Any other potential side effects will be discussed when you decide to take part in this study.

+ Do I have to do all parts of this study?

It is important that you and your child are able to participate in all study visits, to ensure that we collect all necessary information. This study will be using innovative scientific technology to analyze your child’s OMICS. Each study visit will provide us with some pieces of the puzzle, and it is imperative that we collect all pieces in order to create a full picture.

For more information on this study, contact us at: