Effects of age, season, gender and urban-rural status on time-activity: CanadianHuman Activity Pattern Survey 2 (CHAPS 2)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb 19;11(2):2108-24. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110202108.


Estimation of population exposure is a main component of human health risk assessment for environmental contaminants. Population-level exposure assessments require time-activity pattern distributions in relation to microenvironments where people spend their time. Societal trends may have influenced time-activity patterns since previous Canadian data were collected 15 years ago. The Canadian Human Activity Pattern Survey 2 (CHAPS 2) was a national survey conducted in 2010-2011 to collect time-activity information from Canadians of all ages. Five urban and two rural locations were sampled using telephone surveys. Infants and children, key groups in risk assessment activities, were over-sampled. Survey participants (n = 5,011) provided time-activity information in 24-hour recall diaries and responded to supplemental questionnaires concerning potential exposures to specific pollutants, dwelling characteristics, and socio-economic factors. Results indicated that a majority of the time was spent indoors (88.9%), most of which was indoors at home, with limited time spent outdoors (5.8%) or in a vehicle (5.3%). Season, age, gender and rurality were significant predictors of time activity patterns. Compared to earlier data, adults reported spending more time indoors at home and adolescents reported spending less time outdoors, which could be indicative of broader societal trends. These findings have potentially important implications for assessment of exposure and risk. The CHAPS 2 data also provide much larger sample sizes to allow for improved precision and are more representative of infants, children and rural residents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Human Activities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rural Population
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult