September 21, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


CAAWS releases active & free resource book

CAAWS is pleased to publish Active & Free: Young Women, Physical Activity and Tobacco, a practical tool to support your work in encouraging a healthy lifestyle for young women by keeping them physically active and tobacco-free for life.

This updated resource booklet is designed for people who care about young women's health: teachers, recreation leaders, parents, coaches, and health promoters.

We hope Active & Free will assist you in your efforts to keep young girls tobacco-free, and to encourage them to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle.

Healthy schools program framework (USA)

The Healthy Schools Program has developed recognition criteria to help schools identify concrete actions they can take to establish a healthier school environment and to recognize and reward schools that have met the criteria.

We believe that students and staff deserve a healthy school environment that spans the classroom, cafeteria, hallways and playing fields.

Thus, the criteria address the entire school picture and identify program and policy actions for the following arenas:

  • Systems and policy

  • School meals

  • Competitive foods

  • Health education

  • Physical education

  • Physical activity opportunities

  • After-school programs

  • Staff wellness programs

A systematic review of interventions to prevent childhood obesity and overweight

This review identifies some key characteristics of physical activity programs for young people that had not been discovered in previous reviews, which is likely to be due to the methods that were used, rather than a change in the available research evidence.

It gives policy makers and practitioners clear guidance in effective strategies to increase physical activity levels in children and points to the need for reviews of this kind to be carried out focusing on adult and other populations.


Active living research conference 2008

The fifth Active Living Research Conference will be held April 9 to 12, 2008, in Washington, D.C. The theme for next year's conference is Connecting Active Living Research to Policy Solutions. Conference registration will begin in October.

Adapting evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity among African Americans, Hispanics, Hmong, and Native Hawaiians: A social marketing approach

Van Duyn M.A.S., McCrae T., Wingrove B.K., Henderson K.M., Boyd J.K., Kagawa-Singer M., et al. (2007). Adapting evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity among African Americans, Hispanics, Hmong, and Native Hawaiians: A social marketing approach. Prev Chronic Dis, 4(4).

Results indicate that evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity need to be adapted for cultural relevance for each racial or ethnic group.

Our research shows that members of four underserved populations are likely to respond to strategies that increase social support for physical activity and improve access to venues where they can be physically active.

Further research is needed to test how to implement such strategies in ways that are embraced by community members.

Election platform 2007

Outlines the issues and questions to ask election candidates in four areas:

  • Environment

  • Active, Healthy Communities

  • Halting the Obesity Epidemic

  • Community Safety and Youth

(Editor’s note: This may be a primer for the Ontario Provincial election, but all municipalities across Alberta are going to the polls in October too. There are some good ideas/pointers here.)

Use of local area facilities for involvement in physical activity in Canada

These findings highlight how gender and age differences need to be taken into account when implementing successful environmental and policy interventions to increase population levels of physical activity.

As the study was cross-sectional and only looked at a snapshot at one timeframe, the results could have been attributed to where physically active people chose to live, compared to less active people.

Nevertheless, this study adds an important contribution to our understanding of physical activity patterns.

Using census data for health research

This website launched by UBC researchers is designed to help health services researchers understand the enormous potential (and some of the potential challenges) of integrating census data into their work.

Using Census Data for Health Research (launched by the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research and timed to coincide with the release of a fresh wave of 2006 Census data) is a gateway and FAQ that targets health services researchers, health system administrators and managers, and students.

The resource looks at sources of Canadian census data, how health system and census geographies compare, linking and combining data, and points to resources and examples of research using census data.

Using the RE-AIM framework to evaluate a physical activity intervention in churches

Bopp M., Wilcox S., Laken M., Hooker S.P., Saunders R., Parra-Medina D., et al. (2007). Using the RE-AIM framework to evaluate a physical activity intervention in churches. Prev Chronic Dis, 4(4).

Health-e-AME was a three-year intervention designed to promote physical activity at African Methodist Episcopal churches across South Carolina.

It is based on a community-participation model designed to disseminate interventions through trained volunteer health directors.

Our use of the RE-AIM framework to evaluate this intervention serves as a model for a comprehensive evaluation of the health effects of community programs to promote health.


Assessing the association of walking with health services use and costs among socioeconomically disadvantaged older adults

Perkins, A. J., & Clark, D. O. (2001). Assessing the association of walking with health services use and costs among socioeconomically disadvantaged older adults. Prev Med. 32(6), 492-501.

BACKGROUND: The costs of physical inactivity are beginning to be recognized. Research to pinpoint these costs will provide needed information for researchers and policy-makers to develop cost-effective physical activity promotion programs.

We present the association of walking with health services use and costs within a sample of 695 older, urban primary care patients.

METHODS: A survey provided most data, but utilization and cost data were obtained from a medical records system.

Multivariate models were developed to assess the association of walking with health services use and costs, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, chronic disease, health status and previous utilization.

RESULTS: Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported walking 0 minutes per week, 49% walked 1 to 119 minutes, and 13% walked 120 minutes or more.

In the multivariate analyses, a report of walking 120 or more minutes was associated with a lower risk of emergency room visit and hospital stay in the subsequent year. No association was found between walking and primary care visits and total cost.

CONCLUSION: These analyses suggest an association of walking 120 minutes or more with decreased emergency room visits (OR = 0.5, P = 0.046) and hospital stays (OR = 0.6, P = 0.034).

This suggests that physical activity promotion among socioeconomically disadvantaged older adults has the potential to provide cost savings.

This will not be known, however, until physical activity can be promoted and maintained among these adults.

The reference guide of physical activity programs for older adults: A resource for planning interventions

This 2007 CDC document provides information on 17 physical activity programs that could be used with older adults having healthy to frail functional status.

All of the programs contain physical activity components that might achieve important benefits for all older adults with diabetes. A limited number of the programs were designed specifically for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.


Building health: Creating and enhancing places for healthy, active lives

Discover the latest evidence on urban planning and its potential positive impact on health in this document from the U.K.

"How far by which route and why ? ..."

"... A Spatial Analysis of Pedestrian Preference" This report from the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies, San Jose State University College of Business, "examines the distance pedestrians walk to rail transit stations and the environmental factors that influence their route choice." (6.9mb pdf)

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