Stakeholders' perspectives in the design of an innovative technology to improve physical activity in youth with physical disabilities

Health and Wellness


This study explores youth’s experiences and innovative ideas around physical activity, social participation, and technology. Specifically the aims are:

  • To investigate adolescents’ perspectives on the role of social support networks in physical activity promotion and the potential of technologies to facilitate these networks.
  • To identify, formulate, and explore potential technology-based strategies to foster a supportive social environment for physical activity promotion using a participatory design approach.

Participate in this study

Are you interested in being more physically active? Do you use computers, video games, cell phones, etc.? Participate in our study looking at how social technology can help young people be more physically active.

Who can participate

Youth, age 12 to 18, and their parents. Youth must have a diagnosis of a physical disability or chronic health condition, must be able to walk with or without the use of a handheld mobility device (i.e. walker, cane, etc.), and must be able to use a computer mouse or video game controller without assistance. Youth should have a self-identified goal related to physical activity or have some interest in increasing personal physical activity.

What's Involved

If you wish to participate, we will meet with you at a location and time that is convenient for you. We will have a discussion that will take approximately 60 minutes, depending on the flow of conversation and how much you have to say. We want to hear about your perspective on how your social relationships affect your participation in physical activity. We also want to hear your opinion about using technology to help promote social networks and physical activity.

There is also a second part of the research study that you are invited to participate in. It is a design workshop with several other youth your age to try out different technologies like active video games and interactive websites. We want to hear your opinion about these technologies. You will have time to brainstorm as a group some new ideas and technologies that you think would be both interesting and motivating to be more physically active.

Interested in participating

If you or your child fit the criteria to participate and are interested in participating, please contact the graduate student, Tara Joy Knibbe at or 416-425-6220 ext. 6491 and they will get back to you shortly. Contacting us does not obligate you or your child to participate in this study.

Funding Agency


Learn more about this study