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Dr. Ian Janssen PhD
Dr. Ian Janssen
Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences and School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity
Contact Info
613-533-6000 ext. 78631


Ian Janssen is cross-appointed as a Professor to both the Department of Public Health Sciences and the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. He is currently Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity. Over the last four years he has undertaken three projects with the support of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, each with the aim of pinning down just how active Canadian children are, what factors affect their activity, and how their activity influences their health. The most recent of these undertakings is the most ambitious: outfitting hundreds of Kingston-area elementary school kids with GPS-enabled smart-watch monitors they wear on their wrists and movement monitors attached at the hip. This technology takes readings every 20 seconds over 7 days, creating a huge database of recorded physical motion for Janssen and his colleagues to study. The findings add empirical weight to many of the concerns linking a child’s environment with their activity behaviour. Dr. Janssen's innovative measures and common sense analysis have resulted in publications that have collectively been cited over 35,000 times.

Dr. Janssen's PhD and MSc are both from Queen's University.

Research and Supervision

Dr. Janssen's population-based research program examines the role that physical inactivity and obesity play in the development of poor health in both child and adult populations.  Ongoing research projects within his laboratory examines the following issues:

  • Surveillance of the physical inactivity and obesity levels of the population.
  • Examining the role of physical activity on health in preschool children, school-aged children and youth, and adults including research on:
    • The dose-response relation between physical activity and health
    • Whether different domains of physical activity influence health in a different manner (active play, active transportation, physical education, etc.)
    • To what extent the intensity of physical activity is important for health
    • The influence of sedentary behaviour on health
    • To examine the influence of the built environment on the physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and eating behaviours of children and youth


Opportunities exist for undergraduate students, MSc students, PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows to develop expertise in epidemiological aspects of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and obesity.  This includes studying: 1) the measurement of these behaviours, 2) the surveillance of these behaviours, 3) the determinants of these behaviours (e.g., built and social environments), and 4) the physical, mental, and social health outcomes of these behaviours.  Internal funding is available to support highly qualified applicants.

Dr. Janssen's current funding is from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Public Health Agency of Canada


Dr. Janssen's publications are available on Google Scholar