Is this program available across Canada? What about other provinces?
We are providing this service to help women find someone locally as a primary interest, and if there are limited matches locally then we are hoping women will connect over the telephone or email to at least keep each other accountable. We have targeted the Toronto and Greater Toronto Area as a starting point for our advertising and promotions in order to get the word out on ActiveMatch, however, there is a lot of nation-wide interest in ActiveMatch and we are working on getting this service rolled out everywhere.
Women outside these main areas might have a harder time finding a match in their area until more women join/sign up. While we are still trying to populate the site with women from other provinces, you may still enjoy finding someone online who can offer support online or via phone first.
Is ActiveMatch a service or a research project?
ActiveMatch is both a free service and a research project. As a standalone service, we hope to help find you an ideal exercise partner to join you in adopting a more healthy, active lifestyle. The research that will be conducted is funded by a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Innovation Grant (CCSRI) to evaluate the service and see if it is working! When you sign up for ActiveMatch, you do not necessarily need to participate in the research component.
Once you sign up, you will be sent an email with information specific to the research study. At that point, you can choose to be part of the study. Participation involves filling out a questionnaire, and having weekly telephone sessions with an exercise specialist to help both you and your partner(s) learn ways to keep active.
Is ActiveMatch a sustainable service? Who pays for it?
The development and evaluation of ActiveMatch has been covered by a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute grant. The day-to-day costs of running the service are low and that is why we think it is such a good idea. Our commitment to running ActiveMatch is long term, and we see no financial barriers.
I don’t even know where to begin! Do you provide education or instruction on exercises that best work for me? Are there websites that are recommended as a starting point for becoming active?
As a service alone, ActiveMatch is solely meant to help women find an exercise partner or group and therefore ActiveMatch does not provide education/instructions on best exercises. However, we are currently developing a resources page for the ActiveMatch website. We will also provide exercise counselling sessions to a subset of women who use ActiveMatch.
If you do not know how to begin or what exercises to do, you can always start with walking! Find a partner, meet somewhere locally for you, and start walking. You can increase the intensity of this exercise by walking faster between lamp posts or other landmarks in the neighbourhood. Walking is one of the best exercises for women with cancer.
We also want to hear from you! If you are looking for specific exercise advice, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be updating all ActiveMatch members when the resources are available.
Will there be a place to meet that is supervised by the ActiveMatch team?
There will not be a designated supervised place to meet. We encourage you to go wherever you normally enjoy going whether it be a nearby trail, a local community centre, a walk through your neighbourhood, or the mall. We believe in autonomy. We would like you to be able to meet with your exercise partner at any location you mutually decide on, that suits your lifestyle.
One of the features of typical exercise studies is that people have a hard time getting to one central location, and there is no such thing as one location that suits everyone’s needs. And, when the “study” ends no one knows where to go or what to do. The way ActiveMatch is set up, you find the places that work for you from the beginning. And ActiveMatch doesn’t end.
Is ActiveMatch safe and secure? Will all of my personal information be kept private?
ActiveMatch has multiple layers for safety and security (e.g. screening questions to detect fraudulent profiles). ActiveMatch is a secure webspace that requires a registration process and approval by the research team, and that personal information will not be “seen” or visible by common people searching the web or non-members. Safeguards are in place to protect all confidential information in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations to prevent any unauthorized use or disclosure of the data. Under no circumstance will anything contain identifying information linking to the user. Your information is completely confidential.
Can I choose which information is displayed on my profile?
Remember that only ActiveMatch members will see any information or profiles. All members will see the following information that will be displayed on your personal profile: Reasons for wanting an exercise partner, fitness level, fitness motivation, personality, activities preferred, preferred exercise location, top 3 reasons for wanting to be active, cancer type, treatment status (i.e., finished all main treatments), treatment description, whether you are part of another support group or wellness program. This information was reported as important for women to choose an exercise partner and therefore it is important to be displayed.
Information that is NOT displayed or available to any users: Postal code, Oncologist, treating Hospital. These questions are used to identify how close your potential matches live to you, and the treatment questions are used simply to ensure that the women on the site have had cancer. Since this is an important feature of ActiveMatch, we want to ensure there are no “intruders” on the site.
Do I need to upload a photo?
You do not need to upload a photo, but it helps allow other women to feel safe and secure if they see a face to a name/profile. We do not anticipate that a photo is being used to match you to an exercise partner, but more to instil a sense of comfort.
How do I match with someone?
Go to: “Browse Profiles” and use the filtering criteria provided (you can check off as many boxes as you would like). Click on “Search” and you will be redirected to a page with your possible matches. Click on the name of the woman who’s profile you are interested in seeing in greater detail. If they would make a good exercise match for you, click “Match with… (their name)” They will receive an e-mail indicating that you are have matched with them. You can also Message the person, and this will open up a dialogue between you and your match.
What about if I can’t find a match?
We are working hard to promote ActiveMatch to as many women as possible, in order to build capacity on the site, so that you can find your ideal match. The more women that sign up, the more choices there will be. If you cannot find a match, we encourage you to try to broaden your search criteria. If you cannot find anyone that lives nearby, you may still enjoy finding someone online who can offer support via phone first. This can still help to keep you accountable to your exercise plans!
What about if someone starts messaging me saying inappropriate things?
Please report any issues immediately at email@example.com, and we will take the appropriate steps to contact and remove the user from the system. You can also go to somebody’s profile and click “Report Offensive Profile,” and we will receive this notification immediately.
Can I browse profiles and choose or does the system have to match me?
We like the idea of choice! So we offer you the option of having a computer algorithm help match you AND/OR being able to choose your own matches by limiting the search on your own.
I matched with someone but now I don’t know where to find my matches.
Whenever you want to see your matches, go to “Browse Profiles” and they will show there at the top of the page.
What if I want to exercise with more than one woman?
Great! If you want to put together an exercise group, we encourage that, too. You can match with more than one woman using the same procedures outlined above.
What if I no longer want to be matched with someone?
Not a problem! You can click “Leave Group”.
What if I answer “Yes” to any items on the physical activity readiness questionnaire and cannot continue to build my profile?
If you answer yes to any questions, you need to upload a doctor’s note stating that you are healthy enough to exercise, and send it firstname.lastname@example.org before you can go further in the system. If you answer no (no medical reason to preclude exercise) then you are able to use the system to browse profiles.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com. We would love to hear from you!