Laboratoire d’Investigations sur les Mécanismes et Prédicteurs de liens entre Activités physiques, autres Comportements et Trajectoires de Santé

The role of physical activity on the cognitive health of older people with chronic diseases



In northwestern New Brunswick, the health and well-being of the elderly is a major concern, particularly for francophones who often live in rural areas and suffer from multiple chronic illnesses. This region has a significantly older population than the rest of the province, with nearly 28% of residents over the age of 65. Francophones in this region tend to have lower levels of education, limited access to mental health services and lower socio-economic status than anglophones. What’s more, only 44% of adults and seniors in this region get the recommended amount of physical activity, the lowest proportion in the province.

To address these disparities, sustainable prevention and management strategies are needed, with a particular focus on physical activity among rural francophone seniors. Building on experience gained in implementing effective physical activity interventions, a 13-week community-based program will be implemented. This program aims to promote physical activity as a protective factor against physical and cognitive decline among francophones in northwestern New Brunswick, in collaboration with community partners, population representatives and qualified exercise professionals. The goal is to create an environment conducive to large-scale behavior change, and to develop innovative, sustainable physical activity programs for generations of francophones.


This pilot study serves as a validation basis for a larger study. The current pilot project comprises a pre-implementation phase, an implementation evaluation phase and a post-intervention phase. Each phase addresses specific research objectives. Overall, the main objective is to create an environment conducive to large-scale behavior change, and to develop innovative and sustainable physical activity programs for generations of Francophones.


Principal investigator: Saïd Mekari et Anik Lang

Co-investigators: Vicky Bouffard-Levasseur, Anne Sophie Champod, Shirko Ahmadi et Tina Emond.


This project is supported by the DUO Health Research Fund of the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick.