Overview

Approximately 1 in 100 children are born with congenital heart disease (CHD), which ranges from simple lesions that require minimal intervention, to complex forms that require multiple surgeries during childhood. Physical activity is a cornerstone of healthy growth, development and well-being in children, and participation is recommended for the majority of individuals with CHD, with very few exceptions. Yet, low levels of physical activity are relatively common in this patient group. The overall goals of my research are to better understand and improve physical activity behaviours in children and teens with CHD, and study how this important health behaviour is related to their current and long-term health. For my research, I use a combination of different methods to measure physical activity in children and teens with CHD, ranging from questionnaires and interviews to state-of-the-art objective methods such as global positioning systems (GPS) trackers and commercial physical activity wristbands.

Publications

Physical activity evaluation in children with congenital heart disease
Heart
DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-311340
2017

Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Children With Congenital Heart Disease
Journal of the American Heart Association
DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.116.004665
2017

Validity and reliability of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) and Adolescents (PAQ-A) in individuals with congenital heart disease
Plos One
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175806
2017

Validity of Commercial Activity Trackers in Children With Congenital Heart Disease
Canadian Journal of Cardiology
DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2016.11.024
2017

School-travel by public transit: Rethinking active transportation.
Preventive medicine reports
2015

Public transit use and physical activity in community-dwelling older adults: Combining GPS and accelerometry to assess transportation-related physical activity
Journal of Transport & Health
DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2016.02.011
2016

They go straight home - dont they? Using global positioning systems to assess adolescent school-travel patterns
Journal of Transport & Health
2014

Aerobic Fitness and Mode of Travel to School in English Schoolchildren
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181b11bdc
2010

Physical activity measurement in people with spinal cord injury: comparison of accelerometry and self-report (the Physical Activity Recall Assessment for People with Spinal Cord Injury)
Disability and Rehabilitation
Jasmin K. Ma and Laura A. McCracken and Christine Voss and Franco H. N. Chan and Christopher R. West and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2018.1494213
10/2018

Cardiac consequences of spinal cord injury: systematic review and meta-analysis
Heart
Alexandra Mackenzie Williams and Cameron Marshall Gee and Christine Voss and Christopher Roy West
DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2018-313585
09/2018

Coronary artery intimal thickening and ventricular dynamics in pediatric heart transplant recipients
Congenital Heart Disease
Anita T. Cote and Martin Hosking and Christine Voss and Derek G Human and George G. S. Sandor and Kevin C. Harris
DOI: 10.1111/chd.12629
09/2018

Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease
Congenital Heart Disease
Kevin C. Harris and Christine Voss and Kathryn Rankin and Basmina Aminzadah and Ross Gardner and Andrew S. Mackie
DOI: 10.1111/chd.12612
07/2018

Optical Coherence Tomography for the Early Detection of Coronary Vascular Changes in Children and Adolescents After Cardiac Transplantation
JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Eimear McGovern and Martin C.K. Hosking and Enrique Balbacid and Christine Voss and Felix Berger and Stephan Schubert and Kevin C. Harris
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2018.04.025
07/2018

Public Health Benefits of Active Transportation
Children's Active Transportation
Christine Voss
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-12-811931-0.00001-6
2018

Reply
Journal of Hypertension
Stephanie L. Duncombe and Christine Voss and Kevin C. Harris
DOI: 10.1097/hjh.0000000000001282
04/2017

Does parental support influence children's active school travel?
Preventive medicine reports
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2017.04.008
2017

Wrist Accelerometry for Physical Activity Measurement in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury-A Need for Individually Calibrated Cut-Points.
Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.10.024
2017

Reply
Journal of Hypertension
DOI: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001282
2017

'Oscillometric': a type of device, not a type of measurement. Oh when will they ever learn? Reply
Journal of Hypertension
DOI: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001393
2017

Urban and suburban children's experiences with school travel - A case study
Journal of Transport & Health
DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2017.01.011
2017

Intimal thickening at coronary bifurcations in pediatric heart transplant recipients.
Pediatric transplantation
DOI: 10.1111/petr.13100
2017

Oscillometric and auscultatory blood pressure measurement methods in children
Journal of Hypertension
Stephanie L. Duncombe and Christine Voss and Kevin C. Harris
DOI: 10.1097/hjh.0000000000001178
11/2016

Associations between showering behaviours following physical education, physical activity and fitness in English schoolchildren.
European journal of sport science
DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2014.987321
2016

Oscillometric and auscultatory blood pressure measurement methods in children
Journal of Hypertension
DOI: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001178
2016

Environmental and psychosocial correlates of objectively measured physical activity among older adults.
Health Psychology
DOI: 10.1037/hea0000403
2016

Does Activity Space Size Influence Physical Activity Levels of Adolescents? - A GPS study of an urban environment.
Preventive medicine reports
2016

Cardiovascular control, autonomic function, and elite endurance performance in spinal cord injury
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
DOI: 10.1111/sms.12308
2015

Differences in adolescents' physical activity from school-travel between urban and suburban neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver, Canada.
Preventive medicine reports
DOI: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.02.008
2015

Delayed bedtime due to screen time in schoolchildren: Importance of area deprivation
Pediatrics International
DOI: 10.1111/ped.12447
2015

Fitness Testing for Children: Let's Mount the Zebra!
Journal of Physical Activity & Health
DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0345
2015

Six-year changes in body mass index and cardiorespiratory fitness of English schoolchildren from an affluent area
International Journal of Obesity
DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2015.105
2015

The good, the bad and the ugly of catheterization practices among elite athletes with spinal cord injury: a global perspective
Spinal Cord
DOI: 10.1038/sc.2014.208
2015

Where do they go and how do they get there? Older adults' travel behaviour in a highly walkable environment.
Social science & medicine (1982)
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.006
2015

A cross-cultural comparison of body composition, physical fitness and physical activity between regional samples of Canadian and English children and adolescents
Canadian Journal of Public Health-Revue Canadienne De Sante Publique
2014

Athletic Performance and Birth Month: Is the Relative Age Effect More than just Selection Bias?
International Journal of Sports Medicine
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1368725
2014

Journal of Transport & Health
Journal of Transport & Health
2014

Associations Between Perceived Parental Physical Activity and Aerobic Fitness in Schoolchildren
Journal of Physical Activity & Health
2013

Health Promoting Secondary Schools: Community-Based Research Examining Voice, Choice and the School Setting
Journal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour
Joan Wharf Higgins
DOI: 10.4172/jcalb.1000118
2013

Physical Activity Questionnaire for children and adolescents: English norms and cut-off points
Pediatrics International
DOI: 10.1111/ped.12092
2013

Prevalence of elevated mean arterial pressure and how fitness moderates its association with BMI in youth
Public Health Nutrition
DOI: 10.1017/S1368980012004466
2013

QUANTIFICATION OF THE RELATIVE AGE EFFECT IN THREE INDICES OF PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
2013

Recreational Cycling and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in English Youth
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
MARK S. MAHER and CHRISTINE VOSS and AYODELE A. OGUNLEYE and DOMINIC MICKLEWRIGHT and GAVIN R. H. SANDERCOCK
DOI: 10.1249/mss.0b013e318235158a
03/2012

Centile curves and normative values for the twenty metre shuttle-run test in English schoolchildren
Journal of Sports Sciences
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2012.660185
2012

Prevalence of high screen time in English youth: association with deprivation and physical activity
Journal of Public Health
DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdr074
2012

Recreational Cycling and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in English Youth
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318235158a
2012

Screen Time and Physical Activity in Youth: Thief of Time or Lifestyle Choice?
Journal of Physical Activity & Health
2012

Temporal relationships between screen-time and physical activity with cardiorespiratory fitness in English Schoolchildren: A 2-year longitudinal study
Preventive Medicine
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.04.012
2012

Comparison of cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index between rural and urban youth: Findings from the East of England Healthy Hearts Study
Pediatrics International
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2011.03354.x
2011

Contrasting physical activity patterns in children and adolescents living in differing environments in the UK
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
DOI: 10.1177/1403494811406315
2011

Ten-year secular changes in muscular fitness in English children
Acta Paediatrica
DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02318.x
2011

Aerobic Fitness and Mode of Travel to School in English Schoolchildren
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
CHRISTINE VOSS and GAVIN SANDERCOCK
DOI: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3181b11bdc
02/2010

Associations between habitual school-day breakfast consumption, body mass index, physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness in English schoolchildren
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.145
2010

Handgrip strength in English schoolchildren
Acta Paediatrica
DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01723.x
2010

Ten year secular declines in the cardiorespiratory fitness of affluent English children are largely independent of changes in body mass index
Archives of Disease in Childhood
DOI: 10.1136/adc.2009.162107
2010

Vertical jumping and leg power normative data for English school children aged 10-15 years
Journal of Sports Sciences
DOI: 10.1080/02640411003770212
2010

Does the Twenty Meter Shuttle-Run Test Elicit Maximal Effort in 11- to 16-Year-Olds?
Pediatric Exercise Science
Christine Voss and Gavin Sandercock
DOI: 10.1123/pes.21.1.55
02/2009

Twenty-metre shuttle run test performance of English children aged 11-15 years in 2007: Comparisons with international standards
Journal of Sports Sciences
DOI: 10.1080/02640410801910301
2008

Research

Physical activity in children and teens with congenital heart disease
Reports on physical activity patterns in children with CHD are conflicting, and the interplay of medical-, environmental-, parental- and intra-personal factors are not well understood in this patient population. This poses a great challenge if we are to effectively promote physical activity behaviours in these children and teens. Across a range of research projects, I aim to address this problem by investigating activity levels, contexts and determinants (intra-personal, socio-cultural and environmental), and changes over time, using state-of-the-art objective measures of physical activity (accelerometry, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS)), commercial activity trackers, as well as interviews and questionnaires.

Utility of commercial physical activity trackers in clinical research
There is no doubt that commercial physical activity trackers hold great promise for use in the clinical setting, owing to their ease of use and widespread availability. However, there is ongoing debate as to these devices’ validity (‘do they measure what they say they measure?’), which could be particularly problematic in children. With my research, I study whether: 1) commercial activity trackers provide valid and reliable estimates of physical activity levels and related metrics in children; 2) how children with chronic conditions view and use these devices; 3) whether these devices can play a role in changing physical activity behaviours in children.

Honours & Awards

UBC Science Co-op Supervisor Recognition Award 2017