December 21, 2007

Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living

Welcome to the final Info. Round-up for 2007. We’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. From all of us here at the Centre, we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!


Inverse associations between cycling to work, public transport and overweight and obesity

Find out the associations between active commuting behaviour and overweight and obesity in New South Wales.


Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) 2007 City-SRTS pilot project city reports

In 2006, the ALRC staff began work on an SRTS program for diverse populations in heavily urbanized environments where schools are typically located in the middle of cities with row homes, multi-family dwellings and industrial neighbours.

A series of pilot workshops were presented in communities across the United States. You can download and read the reports from the first and second year of the program.

Renewed Nova Scotia Active Kids Healthy Kids strategy


Why health care renewal matters: Learning from Canadians with chronic health conditions

Canada must strengthen efforts to prevent chronic health conditions and support patients as active partners in their own care, says the Health Council of Canada’s latest report.

If governments act now, they can curb the growing epidemic of chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.


(If you know of any others, please let me know at


Dietary practices, dining out behavior, and physical activity correlates of weight loss maintenance

Conclusion: The behavioural strategy of reducing consumption of fast foods could help people k weight off.

The combined approach of consuming five or more fruit and vegetable servings per day and attaining 150 minutes or more per week of physical activity was a common strategy among adults successful at weight loss maintenance.


Cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity as mortality predictors in older adults

In this study population, fitness was a significant mortality predictor in older adults, independent of overall or abdominal adiposity.

Clinicians should consider the importance of preserving functional capacity by recommending regular physical activity for older individuals, normal-weight and overweight alike.

Developing a telephone assessment of physical activity (TAPA) questionnaire for older adults

Conclusion: The pilot test demonstrated that the TAPA questionnaire is a promising instrument for use as a brief, telephone-based questionnaire for assessing physical activity in older adults.

It is our exercise family: Experiences of ethnic older adults in a group-based exercise program

Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest strategies for developing community-based physical activity programs for older adults from ethnically diverse communities.

Translating a community-based motivational support program to increase physical activity among older adults with diabetes at community clinics: A pilot study of physical activity for a lifetime of success (PALS)

Interpretation: A community-based referral and support program to increase physical activity among elderly, ethnically diverse, low-income people with diabetes, many of whom are not English-speaking, may be thwarted by unforeseen barriers.

Those who enrol and participate in the PALS program appear to increase their level of physical activity.

Walking inside-out

AARP advice for walking indoors or outdoors during winter months.


America Walks!

America Walks launches new website. This is the latest piece in the America Walks 2007 technology upgrade.

Please explore the site and come back to see the numerous additions planned over the coming weeks and months.

Can newly acquired healthy behaviors persist? An analysis of health behavior decay

Conclusion: During an 18-month period, participants’ physical activity and dietary behaviors improved significantly. Even though behaviour improvement tended to be greater at six weeks, most healthy behaviours did not return to baseline levels after 18 months.

CJSR to revive bicycle traffic reports

From a recent announcement from the University of Alberta student radio station:

“Join CJSR Bicycle Traffic Reporters Daryl Richel and Karly Coleman as they head out every Thursday morning to check on bicycle traffic on the bike paths and streets of Edmonton.

"The Bicycle Traffic Report also includes interviews and features about cycling issues around town and around the world.

"You can listen to the Bicycle Traffic Report on Peter Chapman's new morning show Full English Breakfast heard Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Listen to the Bicycle Traffic Report and avoid those nasty bicycle bottlenecks on your bike commute to work. Two wheels good, four wheels bad.”

Get active and stay injury free

This article will first highlight the cost of injury in Ontario due to physical activity, as outlined in The Economic Burden of Injury in Ontario, released in 2006 by SMARTRISK.

They also offer tips on how to take part in physical activity while avoiding injury from the Canadian Health Network.

Inactive Australia

Find out the current activity levels of adult Australians in this newly released report from Pfizer and Sports Medicine Australia.

ISBNPA Conference '08

Next year's conference of the International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) takes place in Canada in May. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January.

Ongoing physical activity advice by humans versus computers: The CHAT Trial

Are real people more effective than computers in providing advice on being physically active?


A survey of policies and local ordinances supporting physical activity in Hawaii counties

Interpretation: The most populous county, Honolulu, had the most policies in place, although discrepancies existed between reported and written policies.

This baseline measure of physical activity–related policies will help focus efforts of county coalitions to increase opportunities for physical activity. Additional policies should be tracked with population behaviour surveillance.

Cities, sustainability and health

Cities, sustainability and health is the focus of the latest issue of the N.S.W. Public Health bulletin.

Neighbourhood walkability and TV viewing time among Australian Adults

Another publication from the PLACE study shows the links between neighbourhood environments and sedentary behaviour.

Trail-building toolbox
Building trails is not always a simple, straightforward task. Transforming former railroad tracks into a vibrant rail-trail requires technical know-how, support from your community, guidance from experienced trail builders and successful strategies to overcome barriers.

Whether you are new to the trail movement, or a seasoned trail builder, use Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's resources to find answers to technical questions or to guide you through the trail-building process.


Get Moving at Work Tasmania

This kit for workplace health and wellbeing programs was launched in October 2007. The audit tool has also been based very closely on the work of the Alberta Centre for Active Living.

December 14, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc (Alberta Centre for Active Living)


Active Education Physical Education, Physical Activity and Academic Performance

There are competing schools of thought in relation to the importance of research linking physical education and academic achievement.

Early Life Determinants of Physical Activity in 11 to 12 Year Olds: Cohort Study

This piece of research looks at factors in early life (up to the age of 5 years) that are associated with objectively measured physical activity in 11-12 year olds.


The Effect of Season and Weather on Physical Activity: A Systematic Review

“This review looked at previous research concerned with the effect of seasonality and the weather on physical activity participation, as an influencer of conditions of the built environment.”

Effectiveness of Exercise-Referral Schemes to Promote Physical Activity in Adults: Systematic Review

“Despite the health benefits of physical activity, most adults do not take the recommended amount of exercise.”

Ontario Society of Physical Activity Promoters in Public Health [OSPAPPH)
Announced Dec 12/07 (no website address yet)

“Our mission is to elevate physical activity as a public health priority in Ontario through engagement, education, advocacy and strategic alliances.

“This organization builds on the strengths of an established infrastructure and mandate within the public-health system, as well as the partnerships formed at the community, provincial and national levels with the ultimate purpose of increasing physical activity levels in Ontario.
“We look forward to working more closely with our members and partners in pursuit of a healthier, more active Ontario!”


Financial Health
Financial health is often a topic overlooked by people when they are considering an assessment of their “health.” We also know that when people are a victim of investment fraud, aside from financial loss, mental and physical health are the next casualties.

The following documents, are available from the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), and provide helpful information:

To understand more about the impact of fraud on victims and their families, read the Executive Summary from ASC’s national investor study.

For more tips on investing and your financial health, visit the For Investors section on the ASC's website at

Health Effects of Exercise

If you missed ABC Radio National's interview with leading physical activity researcher Professor Steven Blair, who visited Australia from the U.S.A., you can access the transcript here.

It's Your Health Web Site: Update

The changes to the site were based on suggestions received from subscribers and Healthcare, Educational and Internal Advisory Committees.

You will now find articles organized under themes (such as Diseases, Food & Nutrition, Lifestyles) and audiences (such as Seniors, Parents & Children, Women).


Leisure Program for Mental Health Sufferers in Calgary

The Calgary Herald reports on a leisure recreation program run by the Canadian Mental Health Association Calgary Region and funded by the United Way of Calgary and Area.


Cost of Eating in B.C. 2007: The Bite Nutritious Food Takes From the Income Pie

This report is published by Dietitians of Canada, B.C. Region in partnership with the Community Nutritionists Council of B.C.

The report demonstrates that some groups within our population are denied the right to safe and nutritious food due to limited financial resources.

Health Check Launches New Website

“With over 1,300 licensed products , including many of Canada’s leading brands, the Health Check symbol can be found in every food group, in virtually every grocery store aisle across the country and on a growing number of restaurant menus.

"Health Check’s growth is making it easier for Canadians to find healthy choices in grocery stores and in restaurants.”


Planning for Health: The Built Environment (Australia)

“The Public Health Bulletin South Australia is a publication of the South Australian
Department of Health.

“The Bulletin aims to provide current data and information to practitioners and policy makers emphasizing the value of orienting services towards prevention, promotion and early intervention and to support effective public health interventions.”


Safe to Walk? Neighborhood Safety and Physical Activity Among Public Housing Residents

“Despite its health benefits, physical inactivity is pervasive, particularly among those living in lower-income urban communities.

“In such settings, neighborhood safety may impact willingness to be regularly physically active. We examined the association of perceived neighborhood safety with pedometer-determined physical activity and physical activity self-efficacy.”

December 7, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Small Step

“ has recently been redesigned to better suit your needs. Re-launched this fall, the Web site includes updated information on health tips, eating better, ways to get active and portion control. can also provide a range of informational resources to assist you in achieving your health goals.”

Check out the “Get the Facts” section and link to Small Steps’ activity tracker.

Workbook for Influencing Physical Activity Policy – Now
The PARC Workbook for Influencing Physical Activity Policy is for anyone venturing to create a physical activity policy in their community, school or workplace.

It is suitable for all levels of experience or comfort with policy development. This workbook follows the Health Communication Unit’s (THCU) eight-step policy development model.

Although policy development is often resource intensive, this systematic approach can make it easier and the long-term benefits of policy make it a worthwhile investment.


Obesity and Genetics: What We Know, What We Don’t Know and What It Means

“Rising rates of obesity seem to be a consequence of modern life, with access to large amounts of palatable, high calorie food and limited need for physical activity. However, this environment of plenty affects different people in different ways.

Some are able to maintain a reasonable balance between energy input and energy expenditure. Others have a chronic imbalance that favors energy input, which expresses itself as overweight and obesity. What accounts for these differences between individuals?”


Using Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health: A Systematic Review

Bravata D.M., Smith-Spangler C., Sundaram V., Gienger A.L., Lin N., Lewis R., Stave C.D., Olkin I., & Sirard J.R. (2007). Using pedometers to increase physical activity and improve health: A systematic review. JAMA 298 (19), 2296–2304.

Context: Without detailed evidence of their effectiveness, pedometers have recently become popular as a tool for motivating physical activity.

Objective: To evaluate the association of pedometer use with physical activity and health outcomes among outpatient adults.

Data sources: English-language articles from MEDLINE, EMBASE, Sport Discus, PsychINFO, Cochrane Library, Thompson Scientific (formerly known as Thompson ISI), and ERIC (1966-2007); bibliographies of retrieved articles; and conference proceedings.

Study Selection: Studies were eligible for inclusion if they reported an assessment of pedometer use among adult outpatients, reported a change in steps per day, and included more than five participants.

Conclusions: The results suggest that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure. Whether these changes are durable over the long term is undetermined.

Walk and Bike for Life

Walk & Bike for Life is a non-profit organization dedicated to create awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling as activities.

The organization also promotes urban parks and trails as great places, as they improve our environment, advance economic development, enhance our transportation systems, raise the recreation levels for all and improve our personal and public health.


Active & Free: Young Women, Physical Activity and Tobacco

This resource is for leaders who care about young women’s health. English and French versions of the resource are available free of charge in a downloadable PDF from the CAAWS website.

November 30, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Active parents raise active kids

The Agence France Presse English (Thu 22 Nov 2007) reports on the results of a new study published today of more than 5000 10- and 11-year olds, which suggests active parents can, by their example, encourage their children to be physically active, but the effect is less than widely thought.

Birth of inactivity? A review of physical activity and parenthood

How does being a parent affect physical activity levels? This review explores this new area of research.

Childhood obesity: Views on who can make a difference

This WSJcomHarris Interactive survey finds that most adults believe parents, schools and the food industry can make a difference in battling childhood obesity.

Social support for youth physical activity

Find out about the impact that social support, family, friends and school has on participation in physical activity of high school students.

Talking back to grownups: Healthy children, healthy communities — Report on the social determinants of health and middle childhood in Canada

This resource is the concluding report to the research that the Healthy Children, Healthy Communities project conducted between May 2006 and March 2007.

Throughout this time, the project team travelled to 12 communities across Canada engaging with child health stakeholders and with young people themselves in order to understand the perceptions and priorities which exist around the health of children (age nine to 12).

In addition, UNA-Canada surveyed 1,200 Canadian adults to understand how they are thinking about the health of this age group.

The study showcases the social determinants of health with the largest impact on children’s lives (such as parental involvement and attachment to the community) and provides recommendations for tackling health disparities from a population health perspective.


Advancing the future of physical activity measurement and guidelines in Canada

Provided is the link to the press release and backgrounder.

Community exercise classes and adherence

This intervention, implemented over a 20-week period, aims to increase exercise participation and adherence in sedentary, middle-aged adults.

Exercise adherence

A web resource with lots of information from Georgia State University.

“Exercise is Medicine” program

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have launched a new program to encourage physicians to prescribe exercise to patients.

Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer


A report from the American Institute for Cancer Research, “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective” ...

This report, based on the most comprehensive study of the association between cancer and obesity, concludes that excess body fat triggers up to a third of all cancer cases.

The consumption of even moderate amounts of alcohol, red meats and processed meats were also found to be associated with cancer.

Healthy eating — Healthy action

Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) is the New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s strategic approach to improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and achieving healthy weight for all New Zealanders.

Healthy living e-bulletin

The E-bulletin is a quarterly newsletter designed to inform healthy living stakeholders about efforts to promote physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weights across the country.

It is produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada on behalf of the Healthy Living Issue Group of the Intersectoral Healthy Living Network.


Global age friendly cities: A guide

WHO regards active ageing as a lifelong process shaped by several factors that, alone and acting together, favour health, participation and security in older adult life.

Informed by WHO’s approach to active ageing, the purpose of this Guide is to engage cities to become more age-friendly to tap the potential that older people represent for humanity.

Retraining promotes physical fitness in seniors

The CBC.CA News (Sun 18 Nov 2007) writes that “attribution retraining” may be the key to convincing seniors that advanced age is no excuse for being physically unfit, according to American researchers.

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, used the technique, which changes a person's perceptions and patterns to boost seniors' activity levels.


Community-based participatory research training manual

Based on a training workshop for community workers, the authors adapted their training modules and handouts, and consolidated them into a comprehensive training manual for building the research capacity of community-based team members.

Journal of park and recreation administration

The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration has issued a special issue call for papers on Physical Activity, Health and Wellness.


Using pedometers to increase physical activity and improve health

This study evaluated the association of pedometer use with physical activity and health outcomes among outpatient adults.

The results suggest that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.

Whether these changes are durable over the long term is undetermined.


Physical activity in the workplace

From the British Heart Foundation ... Be sure to check out all the different resources (you’ll find the links in the left hand Navigation column.)

Think fit – Be active

A website from the British Heart Foundation …


November 22. 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Making cycling irresistible ...
Pucher, J. & Buehler, R. (In press). Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany.
Transport Reviews, 28. (876 KB, pdf). Scheduled for publication in July 2008.

Walking and bicycling survey database
A National Cancer Institute database of survey questions on walking and cycling from (71) national and international physical activity surveys and questionnaires (PAQs).

This database gives you access to many questions about assessing the duration and frequency of walking and bicycling in the non-disabled adult population. It also briefly reviews the results of (35) validation studies of some of the PAQs.

Walking techniques to keep up the pace
“Mastering a good walking technique takes some time. But with practice, it will become second nature and will help you increase and maintain your pace comfortably ...”


Everybody gets to play: Ontario supplement
This supplement to the Everybody Gets to Play Community Mobilization Tool Kit provides data and resources specific to Ontario's population. The Tool Kit aims to enhance the lives of children and youth in low-income families by increasing access to recreation.

The Tool Kit will help you mobilize your community to reduce barriers to recreation participation for low income families.

Health education trust newsletter (U.K.)

This newsletter interprets the latest research findings about the importance of exercise for children's health.

N.B. students subject of three-year study of health habits
The Quispamsis Middle School class is beginning a three-year program that will track their physical activity, diet and sleeping habits with online software.

Objective measures of physical activity levels of Alberta children and youth

In 2005, Alberta Education started requiring 30 minutes of Daily Physical Activity (DPA) for all students in grades 1 to 9.

Early in 2005, Alberta Education contracted the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) to help research the DPA initiative.

To obtain baseline pedometer data, Alberta Education asked CFLRI to get provincial data from the Canadian Physical Activity Levels Among Youth (CANPLAY) study.

The CANPLAY study is a nationwide study that reports data by regions only. Alberta Education contracted CFLRI to collect an oversample of 1,100 children and youth. This extended sample gave Alberta a large enough sample size to analyze data at the provincial level.”

School health policies and programs study (SHPPS)

This national survey assesses school health policies and practices at the state, district, school and classroom levels.

SHPPS was most recently conducted in 2006. Results are published in the October issue of the Journal of School Health (see above link).


Active Commuting and CVD risk factors

Little is known about the effects of active commuting on biological cardiovascular risk factors This knowledge may form an important basis for interventions aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) by increasing physical activity.

This project examined the associations between commuting, leisure time and total physical activity and biological risk factors for CVD.

British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (U.K.)
This Foundation publishes monthly physical activity information updates.

"Conservatives axe health network"

“Effective March 31, 2008, the Canadian Health Network will cease to exist.

For the past eight years, it has provided citizens and medical professionals with a reliable, non-commercial source of online information about how to stay healthy and prevent disease.”

Contact, help, advice and information networks

CHAINs — Contact, Help, Advice and Information Networks — are online networks for people working in health and social care.

They are based around specific areas of interest and give people a simple and informal way of contacting each other to exchange ideas and share knowledge.

CHAINs are multi-professional and cross-organizational.

Get moving Tasmania (Australia)

This newsletter focuses on preventing poor health and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Impact of a new transit stop on physical activity
Brown, B. & Werner, C. (2007). A new rail stop: Tracking moderate physical activity bouts and ridership. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 33 (4), 306-309.

Nature's anti-depressant: Exercise
From the Nov. 13, 2007, American Council on Exercise newsletter ...

A much less known fact about the treatment of depression is that since the late seventies, researchers have been examining the influence of physical activity on depressive symptoms.

Since that time, research has consistently reported that exercise may be as effective in decreasing mild to moderate depression as more traditional treatment approaches.

Park safety and physical activity
Learn about the importance of safety in parks and open spaces and how it can contribute to increasing community levels of physical activity.

Physical activity among adults with a disability

Results based on an analysis of the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Physical activity network Wales (U.K.)

This network links individuals and organizations across the spectrum of physical activity in Wales, providing support and facilitating partnership.

Premier's council for active living (PCAL) bulletin (New South Wales, Australia)

This newsletter offers people interested in promoting active living choices within N.S.W. relevant, up-to-date news and research.

Telephone counseling for physical activity
Kolt, G.S., Schofield, G.M., Kerse, N., Garrett, N., & Melody Oliver, M. (2007) Effect of telephone counseling on physical activity for low-active older people in primary care: A randomized, controlled trial. The American Geriatrics Society, 55 (7), 986-992.

Unhealthy America: The economic impact of chronic disease
The Milken Institute details the enormous financial impact of chronic disease on the U.S. economy — not only in treatment costs, but lost worker productivity — today and in the decades ahead.

It also describes the huge savings if a serious effort were made to improve Americans’ health. Click on any of the links on this page to view the data by that category.

From this website, you can also download the Full Report and/or the Executive Summary/Research Findings.

Wednesday walkers

Wednesday Walkers (a program developed by Sumter County Active Lifestyles, the USC Prevention Research Center's community partner) was included in an article in November's Parks and Recreation Magazine, a publication of the National Recreation and Parks Association.


Physical activity programs for older adults

A guide from CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation that provides information on 17 physical activity programs for older adults with healthy to frail functional status.

Some programs were designed specifically for those with diabetes or pre- diabetes.
This guide helps organizations choose the right physical activity program for the population served.

The guide also includes program elements such as:

· Demographics of the programs’ target population.
· Program and participant costs.
· Number and type of paid or volunteer staff.
· Research on evaluating program efficacy or effectiveness.

Portage La Prairie — An age-friendly city
Portage la Prairie participated in a project of the World Health Organization: the global “Age Friendly Cities Project.” This project is based on the premise that an age-friendly city promotes active aging.


Managing knowledge in the recreation sector

This presentation, from the 2007 Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Annual Conference, is in the form of a wiki.

This presentation looks at the use of information technology such as wikis, blogs, RSS feeds as ways to manage and share knowledge. It also highlights ways in which the Lifestyle Information Network has implemented the technology.

Tournament info
This is a free site that helps sport organizers schedule tournaments for various sports. You simply fill in the boxes. No computer skills or knowledge of html codes are required.

You can include schedules, venues and even results as they happen if you choose to. This will allow participants to be aware of standings, etc., by simply visiting your tournament page.


Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute
The Institute of Medicine and other key organizations have identified environment and policy changes as the most promising strategies for controlling obesity and improving diet and physical activity.

Healthy communities, sustainable communities

Released by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, this report highlights the links between community planning and health and notes ways in which we can make communities healthier and more sustainable.

The paper focuses on the relationship between where we live and issues that are key to communities across this province:

· obesity and related health problems
· air quality in transportation corridors
· economic vitality and poverty
· social cohesion

The paper is being released following yearlong research and consultation.


Updating the evidence on physical activity and health in women
Find out about the health benefits of physical activity in women in this up-to-date review of the evidence.


Get moving at work: A resource kit for workplace health and well-being programs

From Australia … There is a kit and an audit tool, among other things.

Posters promoting stair use
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., van Baak, M.A., Brug J., et al. (2007) A poster-based intervention to promote stair use in blue- and white-collar worksites. Preventive Medicine, 45, 177- 181.


November 9, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Resource Coordinator, Alberta Centre for Active Living

An Introduction to Active Movement/Koringa Hohiko: Guidelines booklet resource

This resource focuses on educating the key influencers of children up to five years old about the importance of quality physical movement activities for children of this age group.
It includes information for parents/caregivers and educators, scientific research findings on how movement can assist with a child’s brain development and suggested readings for more information.

Perceived athletic competence, sociometric status, and loneliness in elementary school children

A new Canadian study that looks at the connections between athletic skill and social acceptance among school children has found that kids place a great deal of value on athletic ability, and youngsters deemed unskilled by their peers often experience sadness, isolation and social rejection at school.

Asset management guide: Sport and recreation and facilities
This guide contains a series of practical tools to help you through the process of developing an asset management plan so that your facilities are productive and sustainable.

Decision-making guide: Sport and recreation facilities
This decision-making tool helps determine the need for community and recreation services. While the model is mostly for facility planning, it has been structured so that it can also be applied to program-based solutions.

How to undertake a feasibility study for a proposed sport or recreation facility
The aim of this kit is to provide local government authorities, state sporting associations and other providers of sport and recreation facilities with a practical guide to undertaking a feasibility study.
The kit highlights the planning issues that need to be considered, the various ways of gathering information and the outcomes that should be achieved.
This kit provides an overview of the issues to be considered in this type of study, whether the client intends to undertake the feasibility study in-house or engage an external consultant to undertake the research.

How to develop a management plan for your facility
This kit will help facility managers prepare a management plan for their recreation or leisure centre. Each management plan will be different.
There is no set formula for either the content or process of preparing a management plan.
However, there are a number of key principles that should be considered. The information provided in this kit constitutes a guide to more efficient management practices, which should ultimately result in more effective service delivery.

Life cycle cost guidelines
These Life Cycle Cost Guidelines provides facility owners, architects and engineers with tools to develop life cycle cost reports to be used by departments of sport and recreation considered publicly owned or funded facilities.
The guidelines mean analysis and reporting can be standardized to ensure a timely and accurate technical review of your facility or project.

Comprehensive workplace health strategy

A workplace strategy and web resource from Nova Scotia.


November 5, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Complete the Streets (website)

The streets of our cities and towns ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper.

But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. They’re unsafe for people on foot or bike — and unpleasant for everybody …

Impediments to Walking as a Mode Choice

Conducted in 2005, this study evaluates a case-control design of contrasts between walkers and drivers to address factors influencing the uptake of walking as a mode choice.

With samples drawn from Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, this research uses a 62-item survey to examine a number of factors …

Neighborhood Design and Aging: An Empirical Analysis in Northern California

The low mobility of seniors may be due in part to a history of auto-oriented transportation and land use policy decisions.

More recently, land use policies that make it possible to drive less show promise of effectiveness for the population as a whole. However, little attention has been paid to the implications of such policies for older people.


BMI and Cancer: "Poor Diet Ratchets Up Cancer Risk”

Excess fat can cause up to a third of all cases, study says, putting lifestyle choices on par with quitting smoking


Eat Right Be Active
The Nutrition Resource Centre has recently released two new resources called Eat Right Be Active. Developed as part of Ontario's Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living, these guides assist families, caregivers and professionals to support healthy eating and physical activity in the early years.

Healthy Children, Healthy Communities

Over the past year, the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) has visited urban and rural communities across the country listening to children and child health stakeholders voice their opinions on the social and economic factors that affect children's health.

Through community roundtables and surveys, they have exchanged perceptions and priorities on factors like income, housing, social supports, racism, education, gender and the built environment.

Linking in with the physical, emotional and mental sides of health, we have covered a complex field of interconnected issue such as risk behaviour, obesity, emotional wellbeing and stress …


Get Moving at Work: A Resource Kit for Workplace Health and Wellbeing Programs

This Australian resource includes a kit and an audit tool (among other things).


October 26, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


CDC study finds U.S. schools making progress in decreasing availability of junk food and promoting physical activity


Bicycling and walking in the U.S.

Thunderhead’s first biennial Benchmarking Report, shows that bicycling and walking have been in decline in the U.S. since the 1960s. At the same time there has been a surge in adults and children who are obese. The report compares, for the first time ever, bicycling and walking levels, investment in bicycling and walking, and public health. The most striking findings reveal major disparities between cycling and walking levels, traffic fatalities, and federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.” The document is 18 MB and 120 pages.

Preventing chronic disease: Public health research, practice and policy

The October 2007 issue of this CDC research journal. Many articles deal with physical activity and specific ethnic groups in the United States.


Canada’s nutrition and health atlas (CNHA)

You can view maps for each indicator or data by province (see the links in the right-hand column). There is information on nutrition and physical activity (five different sets of physical activity data), data on adults and children.

This survey is the best for BMI statistics because "The height and weight measures of all respondents aged 2 and older were collected at the end of the interview. In addition to the exact measures, self-perceived height and weight were also collected from 10% of respondents aged 18 and older."

My food guide servings tracker

The Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion has released a new tool to help Canadians keep track of the amount and type of food they eat each day. You can print the My Food Guide Servings Tracker from the Health Canada website. Print My Food Guide Servings Tracker for your age and sex and use it to keep track of your daily choices. Compare it to the recommendations in Canada's Food Guide.


CDC presents first state-by-state data on work limitations caused by arthritis

“… these findings show that large numbers of workers in every state are affected by arthritis … Fortunately, simple workplace accommodations like flexible work schedules, ergonomic work stations and efforts to promote exercise and physical activity can help many workers who have arthritis.”

October 19, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


2007 Report Card on Nutrition for School Children

Breakfast for learning’s 2007 Report Card on Nutrition for School Children gives Canadian children and adolescents a “D” when it comes to meeting the recommendations of the new 2007 Canada’s Food Guide.

Are schools making the grade? School nutrition policies across Canada

A resource from the Centre for Science in the Public Interest.

CDC school health index
This resource includes:

  • Module 3: Physical Education and other physical activity programs.
  • Module 4: Nutrition Services. You can choose between an index for elementary schools or middle/high schools.

You can access a “customizable paper format and select only those health topics you wish to address. After selecting the health topics, you will be able to print and complete the SHI on paper.”

Childhood obesity: An environmental scan among health region partners of the Southern Alberta Child & Youth Health Network: 2006

Prepared by the Joint Consortium for School Health Secretariat in June 2006 (updated by the Canadian Association for School Health Feb, 2007), this document is full of active links to many other documents and reports.

Communities and schools promoting health
“This gateway website provides access to many resources in school health promotion as well as being home for the Canadian School Health Centre and the Canadian School Health NGO Network. There is also reference to the School Health Research Network as another part of the school health promotion community in Canada. These organizations, as well as many others initiatives are linked in an effort to create the Canadian School Health Knowledge Network.”

Dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Australian secondary students in 2005
Scully M., Dixon H., White H., & Beckmann K. (2007). Dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Australian secondary students in 2005. Health Promotion International, 22(3), 236–245.

Environmental scan of childhood obesity in the Calgary region: 2005

A resource prepared for the Southern Alberta Child & Youth Health Network.

Environmental scan of Pan-Canadian activities related to schools and nutrition

This report comes from the Joint Consortium For School Health Secretariat.

How to conduct a school health audit

This resource even has sample questions.

Physical activity measurement in children 2–5 years of age

Here’s another resource from Australia.

Review of physical activity interventions for children from 2 to 5 years of age

This is a new resource from

This study assessed Australian secondary students’ self-reported dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviour and also examined the relationship between television viewing and students’ dietary behaviour.


Getting children and youth to walk and cycle more: Webinar November 9, 2007

This webinar will feature two practical approaches for getting children and youth to walk and cycle more.

Dr. O’Brien will cover the Centre for Sustainable Transportation’s Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transport Planning Guidelines, their rationale, and her work with Ontario municipalities in implementing the guidelines.

Jacky Kennedy will present highlights of Green Communities Canada’s Active and Safe Routes to School program, including related barriers and benefits, and the results achieved and lessons learned over many years of implementation.

The first 75 qualified Canadian registrants will have their fees covered by Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program. Presented on Friday, November 9, 2007, 12 noon Eastern Time.

Presenters: Catherine O’Brien, Cape Breton University; and Jacky Kennedy, Green Communities Canada.


“My food guide online” available to print in multiple languages

On October 9, 2007, the Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Health, announced that “My Food Guide Online” is now available to print in multiple languages.

Release of CCHS cycle 2.2, nutrition (2004): Nutrient Intakes from Food, Provincial, regional and national summary data tables

This first volume includes 13 sets of data tables that compile Canadians’ usual intakes from in 2004 for a set of nutrients based on the Nutrition Facts table.

Results are presented for 13 geographical areas in the country, i.e., the 10 provinces, the Atlantic Region, Prairie Region, and Canada excluding the Territories. The document does not provide any interpretation or draw conclusions.


Cost of physical inactivity: What is the lack of participation in physical activity costing Australia?

A new report from Medibank Private, Australia s largest provider of medical insurance, has calculated a $1.5 billion cost each year to the public and private health sectors for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions attributable to physical inactivity in the adult population.

ParticipACTION launches national movement to move Canadians
ParticipACTION’s public awareness campaign is targeted to all Canadians with an emphasis on parents and Canadian youth.

With only 9% of Canadian children and youth (aged 5 to 19) meeting the recommended guidelines in Canada’s Physical Activity Guides for Children and Youth, ParticipACTION’s new ads seek to show the implications of youth inactivity and motivate parents to make physical activity a priority at home.

The campaign will include TV and radio advertisements that will run nationally from October 2007 to March 2008.


Physical activity and building stronger communities

A resource from Australia.

ThemePARC: Creating healthy communities through active living
This resource was developed by Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC). For more information on OHCC and their Healthy Communities and the Built Environment Project, go to


Linking health and the built environment: An annotated bibliography of Canadian and other related research

This literature review reported on studies identifying and exploring the relationships between the built environment and the health of Ontario’s population, with attention to our diversity. (Scroll down the page a bit to find the link to the pdf.)


Healthy Workplace Week: October 2227, 2007
Canada’s Healthy Workplace Week is a yearly celebration of workplace health in Canadian organizations.