Capital health releases annual report (2006)
The latest assessment of the region's overall health demonstrates how many factors influence people's health and how important it is for everyone to work together to improve the health of the population. That's the message in this year's annual Medical Officer of Health report, How healthy are we?
Children's Fitness Tax Credit: Less than meets the eye
an interesting take on the program...
If stairs are in the right place, people will use them. The Brockville Recorder and Times writes that if buildings don't have stairs in a visible and easy-to-find location, and in areas where people actually pass by, they won't get used a lot.
It's a concern in a sedentary society that's making an effort to promote fitness and prevent obesity, says Gayle Nicoll, a professor of architectural science at Toronto's Ryerson University. Nicoll's research was published in the March-April issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Her study included three- and four-storey academic buildings. She ran a statistical analysis involving 22 variables, which included appearance; whether the stairs were comfortable, for instance with landings where people could rest; width of the stairs such that a group of people could travel together; and how far the stairs were from where people were actually working and studying.
In all, she said 53 per cent of stair use came down to just a few factors: location in the building relative to where people sat; how visible the stairs were - the amount of area that existed in the building where you could actually see the stairs; and how far away the stairs were, and the number of turns they were away from the main path of travel.
Ontario Walks is a new province-wide health initiative that encourages Ontarians to be proactive by taking responsibility for their personal and environmental wellness.
ONTARIO WALKS is the creation of Toronto resident, Tom Fiore, who originally founded the Toronto Trails Festival as a result of the health benefits he noticed from his daily walking routine.
As part of the baby boomer population, Fiore wanted to ensure that he stayed fit and healthy. He realized an urgent need for a province-wide event that would encourage reliance on personal health and environmental wellness.
"Something special happens when people take responsibility for their wellness through walking," said Tom Fiore. "They care more about their environment, adopt better health habits, and become more active, fit, aware, productive, healthy & involved citizens."
Rural Canadians at greater risk of obesity
The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Canadians living in rural areas are at greater risk of developing obesity than their city neighbours, says a doctor leading an obesity summit next week in the Calgary area.
Dr. Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network, said city-dwellers typically burn more calories in a day than rural residents, who are more dependent on their vehicles.
Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are Canada's slimmest cities, according to a recent survey, said Sharma. Calgary falls in behind those major centres, he said, pointing out that residents of sprawling cities are prone to being less active.
Sharma is bringing together more than 200 medical professionals in the mountains May 6-8 to discuss ways to tackle the country's staggering obesity rate.
SPARC launches New Zealand sport and physical activity survey
SPARC (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) today announced the official launch of the New Zealand Sport and Physical Activity Survey. This is a nationwide survey designed to determine physical activity levels of New Zealand adults (aged 16 and over) and their participation in sport, recreation and physical activities...
The survey is being undertaken through face-to-face nationwide interviews over a 12-month period to take account of seasonal patterns of activity. Initial survey findings will be released in mid-2008
Age and gender differences in youth physical activity: Does physical maturity matter?
Sherar, L.B., Esliger, D.W., Baxter-Jones, A.D.G., & Tremblay, M.S. (2007). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 39(5), 830-835.
Purpose: To investigate whether observed gender differences in objectively measured physical activity (PA) in children (8-13 yr) are confounded by physical maturity differences.
Methods: Four hundred and one children (194 boys and 207 girls) volunteered for this study. An Actigraph accelerometer was used to obtain seven consecutive days of minute-by-minute PA data for each participant.
Minutes of moderate to vigorous PA per day (MVPA), continuous minutes of MVPA per day (CMVPA), and minutes of vigorous PA per day (VPA) were derived from the accelerometer data.
Age at peak height velocity (APHV), an indicator of somatic maturity, was predicted in all individuals. Gender differences in the PA variables were analyzed using a two-way (gender x age)
ANOVA.Results: Levels of PA decreased with increasing chronological age in both genders. When aligned on biological age, PA declined with increasing maturity.
Am J Public Health, 97(5), 913-918.
Methods: Body composition measures (fat and lean mass and percentage body fat) were calculated by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Anthropometric measures were body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) and waist circumference.
Results: During eight years of follow-up, there were 945 deaths. Mortality was lowest among women in the middle of the distribution of each body size measure.
The association between low physical fitness and high body mass index or waist circumference is increasing with age in children: The "Quebec en Forme" Project
Brunet, M., Chaput, J. P., & Tremblay, A. (2007). Int J Obes (Lond), 31(4), 637-643.
Objective: To evaluate physical fitness and body composition of children involved in the Quebec en Forme (QEF) Project and to compare data obtained to the reference values of the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey (CFS).
Subjects: A total of 1,140 children (591 boys and 549 girls) of first (7 years), second (8 years) and fourth (10 years) grade from primary schools in the City of Trois-Rivieres (Quebec) were selected to participate in this study.
Measurements: Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were measured. The physical fitness tests included standing long jump, 1-minute in speed sit-ups and speed shuttle run.
Results: The prevalence of overweight in children ranged between 20 and 30%, which represents a substantial increase compared to the 1981 CFS.
Conclusion: This study shows that BMI and WC are negatively correlated with physical fitness and that these associations are more pronounced in older children.
Contracts between patients and healthcare practitioners for improving patients' adherence to treatment, prevention and health promotion activities.
Results: We included 30 trials, all conducted in high income countries, involving 4,691 participants. Median sample size per group was 21.
Effects of different doses of physical activity on cardiorespiratory fitness among sedentary, overweight or obese postmenopausal women with elevated blood pressure
Church, T.S., Earnest, C.P., Skinner, J.S., & Blair, S.N. (2007). JAMA, 297, 2081-2091.
Context: Low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with high risk of mortality, and improvements in fitness are associated with reduced mortality risk. However, a poor understanding of the physical activity–fitness dose response relation remains.
Objective: To examine the effect of 50%, 100% and 150% of the NIH Consensus Development Panel recommended physical activity dose on fitness in women.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized controlled trial of 464 sedentary, post-menopausal overweight or obese women whose body mass index ranged from 25.0 to 43.0 and whose systolic blood pressure ranged from 120.0 to 159.9 mm Hg. Enrollment took place between April 2001 and June 2005 in the Dallas, Tex, area.
Intervention: Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: 102 to the nonexercise control group and 155 to the 4-kcal/kg, 104 to the eight-kcal/kg, and 103 to the 12-kcal/kg per week energy-expenditure groups for the six-month intervention period. Target training intensity was the heart rate associated with 50% of each woman's peak O2.
Main Outcome Measure: The primary outcome was aerobic fitness assessed on a cycle ergometer and quantified as peak absolute oxygen consumption ( O2abs, L/min).
Results: The mean (SD) baseline O2abs values were 1.30 (0.25) L/min. The mean (SD) minutes of exercising per week were 72.2 (12.3) for the four-kcal/kg, 135.8 (19.5) for the eight-kcal/kg, and 191.7 (33.7) for the 12-kcal/kg per week exercise groups.
Conclusion: In this study, previously sedentary, overweight or obese post-menopausal women experienced a graded dose-response change in fitness across levels of exercise training.
The effect of walking on fitness, fatness and resting blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomised, controlled trials.
Prev Med., 44(5), 377-385.
Method Twenty-four randomised controlled trials of walking were assessed for quality on a three-point scale. Data from these studies were pooled and treatment effects (TEs) were calculated for six traditional cardiovascular risk variables: body weight, body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat, aerobic fitness (V(O(2) )max in ml kg(-1) min(-1)) and resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Leisure-time physical activity patterns by weight control status: 1999-2002 NHANES
Kruger, J., Yore, M.M., Kohl, H.W. III. (2007). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 39(5), 788-795.
Physical activity, obesity status, and glycemic control: The ATTICA study
Think tank on school-aged children: nutrition and physical activity to prevent the rise in obesity
Interesting workplace program to encourage weight loss
The city has three wellness coaches on-site daily, circulating through offices to offer encouragement, hand out fruit, perform blood pressure checks and talk about exercise. City employees lost more than 2,000 pounds in the fall as part of a 12-week weight-loss contest, and an additional 2,300 pounds in a similar challenge this spring.
If that sounds like a major investment, consider that the expense is less than 1 per cent of the city's annual health care spending, Robinson said. It's also roughly the same cost as bypass surgery for one worker.
Pedometer impact on sustained physical activity behaviour – New Zealand
Trails paths and routes advisory committee - Edmonton
The TPRAC provides advice and input to the City administration on planning, maintenance, management, emerging issues and special projects pertaining to multi-use facilities.
Toronto coalition for active transportation
Walking, cycling win-win emission reduction strategies
From the Victoria Transport Policy Institute Victoria, BC.
What are your children learning? The impact of high school sports on the values and ethics of high school athletes
Where technology is taking fitness management
In this article, the author describes how fitness club owners and managers are using computer technology to provide better member services and boost their revenue.