Heather McKay

Degrees / Designations 

Ph.D, Interdisciplinary, Specialization: Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, 1995 M.P.E., Physical Education, University of British Columbia, 1990 B.Sc., Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, 1984 R.T., Medical Radiography, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 1975

Email Address 
Mailing Address 
Centre for Hip Health and Mobility 798 - 2635 Laurel Street Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9 604-875-4111 ext 21803


Academic Appointment 
Body Locations and Systems 
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Other Areas of Research 
Adult chronic disease antecedents in children and interventions to ameliorate chronic disease risk factors
Design and implementation of effective physical activity interventions to promote older adult health and mobility
The role of the built environment in promoting or inhibiting the health and mobility of older adults
Knowledge mobilization of research

Dr. Heather McKay is Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Departments of Orthopaedics and Family Practice. Professor McKay’s research evaluates the positive role of physical activity, other lifestyle factors and the built environment on child, youth and older adult health. She is well known for convening highly effective teams to “move research into action” (knowledge mobilization) and for performing research that has immediate impact. This is illustrated by her lead role in the development and implementation of a whole school physical activity and healthy eating model (Action Schools! BC) that engages almost half a million children in British Columbia. Professor McKay’s contributions have been acknowledged through a Knowledge Translation Award (2009) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a BC Woman of Distinction Award for Health & Active Living (2009).

Current Projects 

Walk the Talk: Transforming the Built Environment to Enhance Mobility in Seniors IMPAKT-HIP – Investigations of Mobility, Physical Activity, and Knowledge Translation in Hip Pain Health Promoting Secondary Schools – A Pilot Project: Implementation of a Self-Determination Framework CIHR Team in Linking Exercise, Physical Activity and Pathophysiology in Childhood Arthritis: A Canadian Collaborative Team Knowledge Synthesis on the Intersection between Seniors’ Mobility and the Built Environment Enhancing the Mobility and Health of Older Adults Characterizing Mobility and Bone Health in Older Adults after Hip Fracture On the development of bone quality parameters for assessing osteoporosis using peripheral quantitative computed tomography Transforming Spaces, Transforming Lives: An Integrated Community Partnership to Enhance the Health & Mobility of Older Adults Transforming Spaces, Transforming Lives: An Integrated Community Partnership to Enhance the Health & Mobility of Older Adults We Want to be Healthy: A Community Engagement Strategy to Enhance Foreign-Born, Older Adult Health and Mobility