March 16, 2007

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


Exercise helps in the battle against breast cancer
The Vancouver Province (Mon 12 Mar 2007, Byline: Jill Barker) reports that new studies on the role of exercise in dealing with breast cancer show that women who exercise experience less nausea, anxiety, depression and fatigue than those who don't. They also have better immune function, are less likely to gain weight after diagnosis and are more able to perform regular daily activities. And studies are now showing regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer reoccurrence by as much as 40 per cent. However, fewer than 10% undergoing treatment do exercise, and on average, their activity is reduced by about 2 hours a week after diagnosis.

River valley park extension proposed for Edmonton
CBC News (Mon 19 Mar 2007) reports that councillors from seven municipalities in the Edmonton area have formed the River Valley Alliance with the aim of promoting development of the Capital Region River Valley Park an 88 mile long park along the North Fort Saskatchewan River from Devon through Edmonton to Fort Saskatchewan. Costs are estimated at $605 million—about half for land purchases and additional trails. The seven municipalities are willing to assist with funding.


Eat better & move more: A community-based program designed to improve diets and increase physical activity among older Americans
Assessed outcomes of an integrated nutrition and exercise program designed for Older Americans’ Act Nutrition Program participants as part of the administration on Aging’s You Can! campaign.

A 10-site intervention study was conducted. Re-intervention and post intervention assessments focused on nutrition and physical activity stages of change, self-reported health status, dietary intakes, physical activity, and program satisfaction.

Results: Of 999 enrollees, the 620 who completed the program were aged 74.6 years on average; 82% were women, and 41% were members of racial/ethnic minority groups. Factors associated with program completion were site, health conditions, and nutrition risk. Seventy-three per cent and 75 per cent of participants, respectively, made a significant advance of one or more nutrition and physical activity stages of change; 24 per cent reported improved health status. Daily intake of fruit increased 1 or more servings among 31 per cent of participants; vegetables, 37 per cent; and fibre, 33 per cent. Daily steps increased 35 per cent; blocks walked, 45 per cent; and stairs climbed, 24 per cent. Program satisfaction was 99 per cent.

Conclusions: This easy-to-implement program improves diets and activity levels. Local providers should offer more such programs with the goal of enabling older Americans to take simple steps toward successful aging. Am J Public Health. 2007


My turn, my time, my plan
The “My turn My time My plan” project of Hamilton Public Health offers women very realistic information about how they can take their turn in the family, so that they can prioritize themselves, their health, and physical activity.

National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health
On April 17, 2006, a network of physical activity practitioners in state Departments of Health formed the National Society of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health. The mission of the Society is to elevate physical activity as a public health priority through engagement, education, and expansion of partnerships. The Society elected a Steering Committee (chair: Chris Kimber of MN) and accepted Operating Guidelines and Core Competencies at its first annual business meeting on April 17.

The Society was formed from a two-year planning process initiative by the PA Collaborative. The PA Collaborative is made up of representatives of four groups (Directors of Health Promotion and Education, Chronic Disease Directors, the Society, and the Physical Activity and Health Branch at CDC). Formation of the Society was one of a number of activities of the PA Collaborative.

One Less Car program
Why One Less Car? People on bikes, people walking—interacting—hese are indicators that a city, town or community is healthy, vibrant and working. Through education, lobbying, and advising our government officials, we are lifting the barriers to realizing the power of these basic human modes of travel. The goal is to enable bicycling and walking to flourish as vital facets of our daily routine.

Preventing chronic diseases: A framework for country action
From 5 to 8 February 2007, a WHO Expert Consultation on “Preventing Chronic Diseases: A Framework for Country Action” was held in Geneva. The Expert Group strongly supported WHO's initiative to develop a practical tool to assist Member States in updating, strengthening, developing, implementing, and evaluating a national policy, plan and program for the prevention and control of chronic diseases. The Group also agreed on a work plan to further develop this Framework, with the aim of publishing it in October 2008.

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