March 9, 2007

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


Canadian Parks and Recreation Association: Response to federal budget

Exercise can help replenish brain cells, researchers find
The National Post (Tue 13 Mar 2007 Source: Reuters) reports that U.S. researchers have determined that exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss. Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans. The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice—and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise. They found the same patterns, which suggests that people also grow new brain cells when they exercise.


Creating a robust public health infrastructure for physical activity promotion
Yancey, A.K., Fielding, J.E., Flores, G.R., Sallis, J.F., McCarthy, W.J. & Breslow, L. (2007). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32(1), 68-78.

The essential role of physical activity both as an independent protective factor against numerous common chronic diseases and as a means to maintain a healthy weight is gaining increasing scientific recognition.

Although the science of physical activity promotion is advancing rapidly, the practice of promoting physical activity at a population level is in its infancy. The virtual absence of a public health practice infrastructure for the promotion of physical activity at the local level presents a critical challenge to control policy for chronic disease, particularly obesity. To translate the increasing evidence of the value of physical activity into practice will require systemic, multilevel and multisectoral intervention approaches that build individual capability and organizational capacity for behaviour change, create new social norms, and promote policy and environmental changes that support higher levels of energy expenditure across the population.

This paper highlights societal changes contributing to inactivity; describes the evolution and current status of population-based public health physical activity promotion efforts in research and practice settings; suggests strategies for engaging decision makers, stakeholders, and the general public in building the necessary infrastructure to effectively promote physical activity; and identifies specific recommendations to spur the creation of a robust public health infrastructure for physical activity.


Establishing a women’s swimming program

Information Sheet designed to provide community agencies and workers in the human services sector with a simple step-by-step guide to establishing a women’s swimming program. In establishing this program, two key factors need to be addressed: program sustainability and cultural appropriateness. Good planning and consultation in the initial stages of the program will ensure these areas are addressed appropriately.

Four hypotheses about the public policy significance of youth recreation: Lessons from a literature review and a data analysis on “Learning through recreation”
This summary report combines the key findings of these two studies as they related to four hypotheses about the public policy significance of youth recreation advanced by the Laidlaw Foundation. The data analysis and literature review are available as separate background documents that support and expand upon this summary report.

House of Commons Standing Committee on Health's new report on childhood obesity

OTTAWA, March 27 /CNW Telbec: The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) applauds the recommendations in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health's new report on childhood obesity, Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids, and urges the federal government to act on the report now.

MPs call for “aggressive” action on child obesity:

Today's youth expected to die younger than parents (Commons committee).

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