Dr. Justin J. Lang

Image Justin J. Lang, PhD

Epidemiologist supporting mental and physical health research

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Lang is an Epidemiologist working in the Applied Research Division, Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research (HPCDP) at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He is also a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University, School of Mathematics and Statistics.

Dr. Lang has contributed to many projects in the area of physical fitness, positive mental health, suicide prevention, problematic substance use, and understanding the role of the built environment in chronic disease prevention. His research interests are extensive, but his main research focus thus far has been the use of physical fitness as a population health indicator among children, youth, and adults.

Research and/or project statements

  • Support research in health promotion and chronic disease prevention

  • Identify policy-relevant science needs, develop research projects with internal and external partners, and implement research

  • Lead scientific publications in healthy living, problematic substance use, and mental health

  • Provide scientific advice through consulting with other divisions in PHAC

  • Leads the R User Group at PHAC

Professional activities / interests

Associate researcher with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity research group from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, And Risk Factors (GBD-Study), Canadian Regional collaborator

Supervises graduate students

Delivers presentations at national and international conference

Education and awards


Ph.D. in Population Health, University of Ottawa, 2017

M.Sc. in Kinesiology, Lakehead University, 2013

Honours Bachelor in Kinesiology, Lakehead University, 2011


2019 PHAC Award, Creativity and Innovation, Base + Premium Health Outcomes Funding Team

Key publications

Lang JJ, Wolfe Phillips E, Hoffmann MD, Prince SA. Establishing modified Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test (mCAFT) cut-points to detect clustered cardiometabolic risk among Canadian children and youth aged 9 to 17 years. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. In press (Aug 12, 2019)


Lang JJ, Tremblay MS, Ortega FB, Ruiz JR, Tomkinson GR. Review of criterion-referenced standards for cardiorespiratory fitness: what percentage of 1 142 026 international children and youth are apparently healthy? British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2019; 53:953–8.


Lang JJ, Larouche R, Tremblay MS. Association between physical fitness and health in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children and youth aged 6 to 17 years. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada. 2019; 39(3): 104–11


Lang JJ, Alam S, Cahill LE, Drucker AM, Gotay C, Kayibanda JF, Kozloff N, Mate KKV, Patten SB, Orpana HM. Global Burden of Disease Study trends for Canada from 1990 to 2016. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2018; 190(44): E1296–304.


Lang JJ, Wolfe Phillips E, Orpana HM, Tremblay MS, Ross R, Ortega FB, Silva DAS, Tomkinson GR. Field-based measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness as a way to evaluate physical activity interventions. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2018; 96: 794–6.


Lang JJ, Tomkinson GR, Janssen I, Ruiz JR, Ortega FB, Tremblay MS. Making a case for cardiorespiratory fitness surveillance among children and youth. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews. 2018; 46(2): 66–75.


Lang JJ, Tremblay MS, Olds TS, Léger L, Tomkinson GR. International variability in 20 m shuttle run performance in children and youth: who are the fittest from a 50-country comparison? A systematic literature review with pooling of aggregate results. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018; 52:276