Trish Tucker, PhD

Trish Tucker

Associate Professor and
Faculty Scholar

Room 2547, Elborn College
519 661-2111, 88977


  • BHSc, MA, PhD (Western University)

Supervising Graduate Students

  • Yes

Research Interests

  • Measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviours
  • Physical activity promotion in the early years
  • Understanding the role of childcare in supporting children's health

Additional Information

Featured Projects/Publications

Impact of the Supporting Physical Activity in the Childcare Environment (SPACE) intervention on preschoolers' physical activity levels and sedentary time: a single-blind cluster randomized controlled trial

Recent Publications

  • Statler, J., Wilk, P., Timmons, B.W., Colley, R., & Tucker, P. (December 2020). Habitual Physical Activity Levels and Sedentary Time of Children in Different Childcare Arrangements from a Nationally Representative Sample of Canadian Preschoolers. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 9(6), 657-663.
  • Truelove, S., Vanderloo, L.M., Tucker, P., Di Sebastiano, K.M., & Faulkner, G. (December 2020). The Use of the Behaviour Change Wheel in the Development of ParticipACTION’s Physical Activity App. Preventive Medicine Reports, 20, 101224. Impact Factor: 2.40.
  • Bruijns, B.A., Johnson, A.M., & Tucker, P. (October 2020). Content Development for a Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour e-Learning Module for Early Childhood Education Students: A Delphi Study. BMC Public Health, 20, 1600.
  • Bruijns, B.A., Adamo, K.B., Burke, S.M., Carson, V., Irwin, J.D., Naylor, P.J., Timmons, B.W., Vanderloo, L.M., & Tucker, P. (August 2020). Early Childhood Education Candidates' Perspectives of their Importance and Responsibility for Promoting Physical Activity and Minimizing Screen-Viewing Opportunities in Childcare. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. doi: 10.1080/10901027.2020.1818651.
  • Truelove, S., Bruijns, B. A., Johnson, A. M., Gilliland, J., & Tucker, P. (July 2020). A Meta-Analysis of Children’s Activity During Physical Education Lessons Taught by Generalist and Specialist Teachers. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 7(4), 292-313. doi: 10.14485/HBPR.7.4.3.
  • Sharma, B., Allison, D., Tucker, P., Mabbott, D., & Timmons, B.W. (March 2020). Cognitive and Neural Effects of Exercise Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review of Randomized and Controlled Clinical Trials. Brian Injury, 34(2), 149-159. doi:10.1080/02699052.2019.1683892.
  • Bruijns, B.A., Truelove, S., Johnson, A.M., Gilliland, J., & Tucker, P. (February 2020). Infants’ and Toddlers’ Physical Activity and Sedentary Time as Measured by Accelerometry: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 17, 14.
  • Tucker, P., Driediger, M., Vanderloo, L.M., Burke, S.M., Irwin, J.D., Johnson, A.M., Shelley, J., & Timmons, B.W. (November 2019). Exploring the Feasibility and Efficacy of a Childcare PhysicaL ActivitY (PLAY) Policy: Rationale and Protocol for a Pilot Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 4400. doi:10.3390/ijerph16224400.
  • Driediger, M., Truelove, S., Johnson, A.M., Vanderloo, L.M., Timmons, B.W., Burke, S.M., Irwin, J.D., & Tucker, P. (October 2019). The Impact of Shorter, More Frequent Outdoor Play Periods on Preschoolers' Physical Activity during Childcare: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 4126. doi:10.3390/ijerph16214126.
  • Smith, C., Clark, A.F., Wilk, P., Tucker, P., & Gilliland, J.A. (January 2020). Assessing the Effectiveness of a Naturally Occurring Population-Level Physical Activity Intervention for Children. Public Health, 178, 62-71.
  • Clark, A.F., Campbell, J., Tucker, P., Wilk, P., & Gilliland, J.A. (July 2019). If You Make it Free, Will They Come? Using a Physical Activity Accessibility Model to Understand the Use of a Free Children’s Recreation Pass. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 16(7), 493-503.
  • Ott, E., Vanderloo, L. M., & Tucker, P. (February 2019). Exploring Physical Activity and Screen-Viewing Policies in Canadian Childcare Centres. BMC Public Health, 19, 145.
  • Bruijns, B.A., Adamo, K.B., Burke, S.M., Carson, V., Irwin, J.D., Naylor, P.J., Timmons, B.W., Vanderloo, L.M., & Tucker, P. (January 2019). Exploring the Physical Activity and Screen-Viewing-Related Knowledge, Training, and Self-Efficacy of Early Childhood Education Candidates. BMC Pediatrics, 19, 5.

Current Projects

  • TEACH: The purpose of the Training EArly CHildhood educators in physical activity (TEACH) study is to develop and implement a physical activity and sedentary behaviour e-Learning training module for post-secondary Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs to better support students’ related learning.
  • PLAY: Currently, formal written physical activity policy is lacking in Canadian childcare centres. The purpose of the PhysicaL ActivitY (PLAY) Policy pilot study was to explore the effects of implementing a written physical activity policy has on toddlers’ and preschoolers’ physical activity levels. This institutional level policy provides Early Childhood Educators with guidance on the appropriate daily physical activity, outdoor play, and (reduced) screen time affordances in childcare. Return to Play Post-COVID - The purpose of this study is to explore parents’ perspectives and intent (or not) to return their child(ren) to opportunities that support active play, following the pandemic.

Research Affiliations

  • Child Health and Physical Activity Lab - Lead Investigator
  • Principal investigator of the Supporting Physical Activity in the Childcare Environment (SPACE) Study

Teaching Areas

  • Health promotion
  • Research in practice


  • School of Occupational Therapy top 10% in Teaching (2011-2012)
  • CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH), Post-doctoral and New Investigators Travel Award
  • CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes Student, Post-doctoral and New Investigators Travel Award
  • Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (2016-2021)
  • Petro Canada Young Innovator Award (2019)
  • Post-Doctoral Supervisor of the Year(2019)
  • Faculty Scholar (2020-2022)

Professional Activities

  • Member - Child & Youth Network
  • Contributor, Active Healthy Kids Canada – 2011 Report Card, Ontario Edition
  • Research Advisory Committee, ParticiPACTION Report Card - Activities
  • College of Reviewers, Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Activities