January 26, 2007

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


Study: Sports activities as arena for socializing children
Lessons from sports: children's socialization to values through family interaction during sports activities. Tamar Kremer-Sadlik and Jeemin Lydia Kim Discourse Society. 2007; 18(1): p. 35-52

In the United States, children are encouraged to enroll in sports activities. Studies show that these activities are positively associated with reduced delinquent behavior and increased academic and social performance. Research using parents' reports in interviews and surveys shows that parents view extracurricular sports activities as an arena for socializing their children to important values and skills that go beyond the benefits of participation in athletic activities. Through analysis of parent–child interaction using video data of naturalistic family interaction during formal participation in organized sports (e.g. Little League), informal participation (e.g. backyard pick-up games), and passive participation in sports (e.g. watching televised athletic events), this article reveals that parents play an active role in this socialization process. This article underscores the important function that sports have in family daily life as a socializing tool for culturally cherished skills and values.


Public health attention for physical activity
I would like to thank Sarah Levin Martin and Tammy Vehige for bringing national attention to the need for professional capacity in physical activity public health programs in their letter, “Establishing Public Health Benchmarks for Physical Activity Programs,” in the July 2006 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (1). Qualified physical activity and public health specialists provide critical technical assistance for state- and community-based interventions, and public health benchmarks for physical activity programs provide a sound framework for program development at the state health department level..... snip


Rollie Robin program for children
Rollie Robin is an obesity awareness and prevention program designed to encourage physical activities and healthy food choices among children in preschool to 3rd grade. Children help Rollie, a bird who cannot fly, by setting examples for him. They record their improved eating and enhanced physical activities in a journal and are rewarded with stickers and visual charting of their success.

We can! A parent handbook
Learn practical tips to help your family find the right balance of eating well and being physically active to maintain a healthy weight.

The main site where I found the handbook:

We feel so welcome here: Whalley revitalization
Surrey, one of Canada’s fastest developing cities, is experiencing challenges that are often associated with more mature urban centres (aging infrastructure, drug use, crime, slowed business and residential development, poverty, Aboriginal and cultural diversity, negative community identity, and barriers to participation in recreation activities). This session from the 2006 National Parks Conference and Trade Show in Saskatoon, highlights the Whalley Revitalization Strategy, aimed at enhancing the area and creating a more inclusive community.

Your walking program: Four week walking program
A four-week walking program that includes goal setting and tracking your number of daily steps.

January 19, 2007

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


Newfoundland launches walking program
The Western Star (Corner Brook, Tue 19 Dec 2006 ) reports that a new walking program called "Small Steps, Big Results". Sponsored by Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador, it is also supported by Tourism, Culture and Recreation and Health and Community Services. $40,000 has been provided by government. The program will be launched in various regions around the province after the holidays.


Landscape as playscape: The effects of natural environments on children’s play and motor development
This study investigated the impacts of playing in a natural environment on motor development in children. Methods from landscape ecology were applied for landscape analysis and entered into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Localization of play habitats was done by use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). A quasi-experimental study was conducted on five-, six-, and seven-year old children with an experimental group playing in a natural environment and a control group playing in a more traditional playground. When provided with a natural landscape in which to play, children showed a statistically significant increase in motor fitness. There were also significant differences between the two groups in balance and co-ordination in favor of the experimental group. The findings indicate that landscape features influence physical activity play and motor development in children.


Parental involvement in children's physical activity
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) has recently released the third set of topics from its 2005 Physical Activity Monitoring Report. This section covers: playing active games or sports with children, transporting children to physical activities and sports, volunteering with physical activities and sport, and financial support of children's physical activity and sport.

Physical activity and sport: Encouraging children to be active
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) has recently released the third set of topics from its 2005 Physical Activity Monitoring Report. This is the third section that covers steps taken by preference for active vs. sedentary activities, steps taken and preference for organized vs. unorganized activities and preference for vigorous or moderate-intensity activities and steps.

Prevention of childhood obesity: Can school programs make a difference?

Promoting physical activity for health - A framework for action in the WHO European region. Steps toward a more physically active Europe

January 12, 2007

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


Missoula (Mt) runners use "check out dog" program
According to a Dec. 6th news release, "Staff at the Forest Service's Fire Science Lab have found a great way to get physical activity during their work day and to be kind to the Animal Shelter's dogs at the same time. These workers use their breaks to 'check out' a dog at the nearby County Animal Shelter to accompany them on a run or walk. Research shows that people are more likely to get physical activity if they have someone, like an exercise partner, to help motivate them. With an estimated 25,000 dogs living in Missoula, there are ample opportunities for a walking buddy.

When we take a dog out for their daily walk, we are not only receiving health benefits and physical activity for them but also for ourselves. Research shows that 80% of individuals who own a dog walk it once a day for at least 10 minutes. 42% of dog walkers accumulated at least 30 minutes of walking for at least 10 minutes each.


Healthy lifestyle behaviors among older U.S. adults with and without disabilities, Behavioral risk factor surveillance system, 2003
Personal, family, social, and environmental correlates of active commuting to schoolAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol: 30 Issue: 1 Pages: 45-51 2006Background: Active commuting to school may be an important opportunity for children to accumulate adequate physical activity for improved cardiovascular risk factors, enhanced bone health, and psychosocial well-being.
The purpose of this study was to examine personal, family, social, and environmental correlates of active commuting to school among children. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 235 children aged 5 to 6 years and 677 children aged 10 to 12 years from 19 elementary schools in Melbourne, Australia. Self-administered questionnaires were completed by parents, and the older children. The shortest possible routes to school were examined using a geographic information system.
Results: Among both age groups, negative correlates of active commuting to school included parental perception of few other children in the neighborhood and no lights or crossings for their child to use, and an objectively assessed busy road barrier en route to school. In younger children, an objectively assessed steep incline en route to school was negatively associated with walking or cycling to school. Good connectivity en route to school was negatively associated with walking or cycling to school among older children.

Among both age groups, children were more likely to actively commute to school if their route was <>

Conclusions: For children, creating child-friendly communities and providing skills to safely negotiate the environment may be important. Environmental correlates of active transport in children and adults may differ and warrant further investigation.

Physical activity and school recess time: Differences between the sexes and the relationship between children's playground physical activity and habitual physical activity
Journal of Sports Sciences Vol: 23 Issue: 3 Pages: 269-275 2005
The aims of this study were: (1) to observe participation in mode rate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during school recess periods; (2) to determine the relative importance of physical activity during recesses to overall daily physical activity, and (3) to examine differences in physical activity between the sexes during unstructured recess periods. The participants were 22 school children (10 boys, 12 girls) aged 8-10 years (mean = 8.9, s = 0.7) in the third and fourth grades.

Daily totals for the physical activity variables were calculated by summing the values for each hour of 14 h of physical activity measurements (08:00 to 22:00 h). Recess times (minutes) were as follows: morning 10:30 to 11:00 h and afternoon 15:30 to 16:00 h. We did not differences between boys and girls in daily total accelerometer counts or the overall time spent in MVPA. However, girls were significantly (P < 0.05) more involved (38%) in MVPA during recess time than boys (31%). Participation in MVPA during recess contributes significantly more (P < 0.05) for girls (19%) than boys (15%) to the total amount of physical activity suggested by international health-related physical activity guidelines, while the percentage of time engaged in MVPA during recess time at school accounts for a small amount of the daily MVPA (6% for boys and 8% for girls).
The results of this study suggest that school recess time is an important setting to promote MVPA and contributes to daily physical activity in young children, especially in girls.

NOTE: There are many more articles. To produce the full list yourself go to - click on the search feature (bottom of the left column); use the keywords physical activity (make sure you choose AND); make sure you are searching for 'all references'; if you choose the 'short form' it will list all the titles (when you click on them you will see all the article info); if you choose 'long form,' you get the full meal deal right away.


Healthy steps workplace guide
Describes a free, four-week walking program designed to gradually increase an employee's level of physical activity. Participants use step counters to measure the number of steps they take throughout the day and set goals to increase their steps each week. Includes a guide for participants and one for the coordinator.

While you're at this site - use the 'health information A-Z' link to also find all the info they have on AL, PA, workplace etc

ICAA welcome back to fitness toolkit
The International Council on Active Aging’s Welcome Back to Fitness toolkit is designed to help older adults get back into a fitness regime, whether at home, at a club, with a personal trainer or on their own. The toolkit is available on the ICAA website and features topics such how to get started, age friendly equipment and physical activities, what look for in a trainer and questions to ask your doctor before getting started. An age-friendly fitness and wellness facilities locator (in United States and Canada) is also available.

The NICE clinical guideline on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children
The NICE clinical guideline on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children covers many things including:- how people can make sure they and their children stay at a healthy weight- how health professionals, local authorities and communities, childcare providers, schools and employers should make it easier for people to improve their diet and become more active.Go to the web-site itself to download the resources.

Objective measures of physical activity levels of Canadian children and youth
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) has recently released the third set of topics from its 2005 Physical Activity Monitoring Report. This is the second topic that asks how active are Canadian children and youth?

January 5, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc
Resource Coordinator


Most diabetics ignore advice to exercise: Study
The Journal Pioneer (Summerside) (Fri 26 Jan 2007 Byline: Chase Squires) writes that most people with Type 2 diabetes or at risk for it apparently ignore their doctors' advice to be active. Fewer than 40 per cent get exercise, a new study found, and the more in danger the patients are, the less likely they are to be active. That's despite an earlier study that found nearly three-quarters of diabetics said their doctors had advised them to exercise.

The patients who got the strongest warnings to get moving were the least likely to listen, according to research being released today. Without exercise, Type 2 diabetics face complications ranging from nerve damage to high blood pressure.


Association between physical activity and proximity to physical activity resources among low-income, midlife women

Effects of a life skills intervention for increasing physical activity in adolescent girls.
Young DR, Phillips JA, Yu T, Haythornthwaite JA.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Dec;160(12):1255-61.

Background: Although adolescence is a time when physical activity levels decline, few interventions have targeted high school-aged girls in the school setting.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of a life skills-oriented physical activity intervention for increasing overall physical activity in high school-aged girls.

Design: Randomized controlled trial. SETTING: Baltimore magnet high school.

Participants: A total of 221 ninth-grade girls, 83.0% of whom were African American. Intervention Participants were randomized to an 8-month physical intervention conducted in physical education class or to a standard physical education class (control).

Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported estimated daily energy expenditure (physical activity), self-reported sedentary activities (television viewing and computer or Internet use), cardiorespiratory fitness, and selected cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Results: Intervention classes spent 46.9% of physical education class time in moderate to vigorous activity compared with 30.5% of time for control classes (P<.001). There were no significant between-treatment group differences for mean daily energy expenditure (P = .93), moderate-intensity energy expenditure (P = .77), or hard to very hard energy expenditure (P = .69). The proportion of participants who spent 3 or more hours viewing television during school days declined from 22.3% to 17.0% in the intervention group, but remained at 26.7% for the control group (P = .03). Both groups improved their cardiorespiratory fitness (P<.001).

Conclusion: A life skills-oriented physical education curriculum may need to be combined with other approaches to increase the magnitude of effects on physical activity behavior in predominantly African American high school-aged girls.


Child Fitness Tax Credit
Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) has posted a page of frequently asked questions about the new Children’s Fitness Tax Credit that came into effect January 1, 2007. It can be found at

Come meet the challenge! Physical activity and nutritional initiatives inAboriginal communities
A resource guide that offers health care providers and community workers (e.g., CHRs, nurses, youth workers, recreation officers): background information and suggestions related to developing physical activity and nutrition programs; details of some best practices in physical activity and nutrition programs; a resource directory of various physical activity and nutrition programs; a directory of associations and/or organizations that may offer support to the development of physical activity and/or nutrition programs in Aboriginal communities

Everyone plays! A review of the research on the integration of sports and physical activity into out-of-school time programs
Posing the question, "Can out-of-school time (OST) sports and physical activity programs become staging grounds for fighting America's battle with youth obesity?," Policy Studies Associates conducted a review of current research on the integration of OST sports and physical activity.

Getting active, staying activeHealthy living and lower cancer risk
American Institute of Cancer Research
Just moving can help fight cancer. Offers a realistic approach to increasing physical activity and sticking with it.