November 30, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Active parents raise active kids

The Agence France Presse English (Thu 22 Nov 2007) reports on the results of a new study published today of more than 5000 10- and 11-year olds, which suggests active parents can, by their example, encourage their children to be physically active, but the effect is less than widely thought.

Birth of inactivity? A review of physical activity and parenthood

How does being a parent affect physical activity levels? This review explores this new area of research.

Childhood obesity: Views on who can make a difference

This WSJcomHarris Interactive survey finds that most adults believe parents, schools and the food industry can make a difference in battling childhood obesity.

Social support for youth physical activity

Find out about the impact that social support, family, friends and school has on participation in physical activity of high school students.

Talking back to grownups: Healthy children, healthy communities — Report on the social determinants of health and middle childhood in Canada

This resource is the concluding report to the research that the Healthy Children, Healthy Communities project conducted between May 2006 and March 2007.

Throughout this time, the project team travelled to 12 communities across Canada engaging with child health stakeholders and with young people themselves in order to understand the perceptions and priorities which exist around the health of children (age nine to 12).

In addition, UNA-Canada surveyed 1,200 Canadian adults to understand how they are thinking about the health of this age group.

The study showcases the social determinants of health with the largest impact on children’s lives (such as parental involvement and attachment to the community) and provides recommendations for tackling health disparities from a population health perspective.


Advancing the future of physical activity measurement and guidelines in Canada

Provided is the link to the press release and backgrounder.

Community exercise classes and adherence

This intervention, implemented over a 20-week period, aims to increase exercise participation and adherence in sedentary, middle-aged adults.

Exercise adherence

A web resource with lots of information from Georgia State University.

“Exercise is Medicine” program

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have launched a new program to encourage physicians to prescribe exercise to patients.

Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer


A report from the American Institute for Cancer Research, “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective” ...

This report, based on the most comprehensive study of the association between cancer and obesity, concludes that excess body fat triggers up to a third of all cancer cases.

The consumption of even moderate amounts of alcohol, red meats and processed meats were also found to be associated with cancer.

Healthy eating — Healthy action

Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) is the New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s strategic approach to improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and achieving healthy weight for all New Zealanders.

Healthy living e-bulletin

The E-bulletin is a quarterly newsletter designed to inform healthy living stakeholders about efforts to promote physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weights across the country.

It is produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada on behalf of the Healthy Living Issue Group of the Intersectoral Healthy Living Network.


Global age friendly cities: A guide

WHO regards active ageing as a lifelong process shaped by several factors that, alone and acting together, favour health, participation and security in older adult life.

Informed by WHO’s approach to active ageing, the purpose of this Guide is to engage cities to become more age-friendly to tap the potential that older people represent for humanity.

Retraining promotes physical fitness in seniors

The CBC.CA News (Sun 18 Nov 2007) writes that “attribution retraining” may be the key to convincing seniors that advanced age is no excuse for being physically unfit, according to American researchers.

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, used the technique, which changes a person's perceptions and patterns to boost seniors' activity levels.


Community-based participatory research training manual

Based on a training workshop for community workers, the authors adapted their training modules and handouts, and consolidated them into a comprehensive training manual for building the research capacity of community-based team members.

Journal of park and recreation administration

The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration has issued a special issue call for papers on Physical Activity, Health and Wellness.


Using pedometers to increase physical activity and improve health

This study evaluated the association of pedometer use with physical activity and health outcomes among outpatient adults.

The results suggest that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.

Whether these changes are durable over the long term is undetermined.


Physical activity in the workplace

From the British Heart Foundation ... Be sure to check out all the different resources (you’ll find the links in the left hand Navigation column.)

Think fit – Be active

A website from the British Heart Foundation …


November 22. 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Making cycling irresistible ...
Pucher, J. & Buehler, R. (In press). Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany.
Transport Reviews, 28. (876 KB, pdf). Scheduled for publication in July 2008.

Walking and bicycling survey database
A National Cancer Institute database of survey questions on walking and cycling from (71) national and international physical activity surveys and questionnaires (PAQs).

This database gives you access to many questions about assessing the duration and frequency of walking and bicycling in the non-disabled adult population. It also briefly reviews the results of (35) validation studies of some of the PAQs.

Walking techniques to keep up the pace
“Mastering a good walking technique takes some time. But with practice, it will become second nature and will help you increase and maintain your pace comfortably ...”


Everybody gets to play: Ontario supplement
This supplement to the Everybody Gets to Play Community Mobilization Tool Kit provides data and resources specific to Ontario's population. The Tool Kit aims to enhance the lives of children and youth in low-income families by increasing access to recreation.

The Tool Kit will help you mobilize your community to reduce barriers to recreation participation for low income families.

Health education trust newsletter (U.K.)

This newsletter interprets the latest research findings about the importance of exercise for children's health.

N.B. students subject of three-year study of health habits
The Quispamsis Middle School class is beginning a three-year program that will track their physical activity, diet and sleeping habits with online software.

Objective measures of physical activity levels of Alberta children and youth

In 2005, Alberta Education started requiring 30 minutes of Daily Physical Activity (DPA) for all students in grades 1 to 9.

Early in 2005, Alberta Education contracted the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) to help research the DPA initiative.

To obtain baseline pedometer data, Alberta Education asked CFLRI to get provincial data from the Canadian Physical Activity Levels Among Youth (CANPLAY) study.

The CANPLAY study is a nationwide study that reports data by regions only. Alberta Education contracted CFLRI to collect an oversample of 1,100 children and youth. This extended sample gave Alberta a large enough sample size to analyze data at the provincial level.”

School health policies and programs study (SHPPS)

This national survey assesses school health policies and practices at the state, district, school and classroom levels.

SHPPS was most recently conducted in 2006. Results are published in the October issue of the Journal of School Health (see above link).


Active Commuting and CVD risk factors

Little is known about the effects of active commuting on biological cardiovascular risk factors This knowledge may form an important basis for interventions aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) by increasing physical activity.

This project examined the associations between commuting, leisure time and total physical activity and biological risk factors for CVD.

British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (U.K.)
This Foundation publishes monthly physical activity information updates.

"Conservatives axe health network"

“Effective March 31, 2008, the Canadian Health Network will cease to exist.

For the past eight years, it has provided citizens and medical professionals with a reliable, non-commercial source of online information about how to stay healthy and prevent disease.”

Contact, help, advice and information networks

CHAINs — Contact, Help, Advice and Information Networks — are online networks for people working in health and social care.

They are based around specific areas of interest and give people a simple and informal way of contacting each other to exchange ideas and share knowledge.

CHAINs are multi-professional and cross-organizational.

Get moving Tasmania (Australia)

This newsletter focuses on preventing poor health and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Impact of a new transit stop on physical activity
Brown, B. & Werner, C. (2007). A new rail stop: Tracking moderate physical activity bouts and ridership. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 33 (4), 306-309.

Nature's anti-depressant: Exercise
From the Nov. 13, 2007, American Council on Exercise newsletter ...

A much less known fact about the treatment of depression is that since the late seventies, researchers have been examining the influence of physical activity on depressive symptoms.

Since that time, research has consistently reported that exercise may be as effective in decreasing mild to moderate depression as more traditional treatment approaches.

Park safety and physical activity
Learn about the importance of safety in parks and open spaces and how it can contribute to increasing community levels of physical activity.

Physical activity among adults with a disability

Results based on an analysis of the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Physical activity network Wales (U.K.)

This network links individuals and organizations across the spectrum of physical activity in Wales, providing support and facilitating partnership.

Premier's council for active living (PCAL) bulletin (New South Wales, Australia)

This newsletter offers people interested in promoting active living choices within N.S.W. relevant, up-to-date news and research.

Telephone counseling for physical activity
Kolt, G.S., Schofield, G.M., Kerse, N., Garrett, N., & Melody Oliver, M. (2007) Effect of telephone counseling on physical activity for low-active older people in primary care: A randomized, controlled trial. The American Geriatrics Society, 55 (7), 986-992.

Unhealthy America: The economic impact of chronic disease
The Milken Institute details the enormous financial impact of chronic disease on the U.S. economy — not only in treatment costs, but lost worker productivity — today and in the decades ahead.

It also describes the huge savings if a serious effort were made to improve Americans’ health. Click on any of the links on this page to view the data by that category.

From this website, you can also download the Full Report and/or the Executive Summary/Research Findings.

Wednesday walkers

Wednesday Walkers (a program developed by Sumter County Active Lifestyles, the USC Prevention Research Center's community partner) was included in an article in November's Parks and Recreation Magazine, a publication of the National Recreation and Parks Association.


Physical activity programs for older adults

A guide from CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation that provides information on 17 physical activity programs for older adults with healthy to frail functional status.

Some programs were designed specifically for those with diabetes or pre- diabetes.
This guide helps organizations choose the right physical activity program for the population served.

The guide also includes program elements such as:

· Demographics of the programs’ target population.
· Program and participant costs.
· Number and type of paid or volunteer staff.
· Research on evaluating program efficacy or effectiveness.

Portage La Prairie — An age-friendly city
Portage la Prairie participated in a project of the World Health Organization: the global “Age Friendly Cities Project.” This project is based on the premise that an age-friendly city promotes active aging.


Managing knowledge in the recreation sector

This presentation, from the 2007 Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Annual Conference, is in the form of a wiki.

This presentation looks at the use of information technology such as wikis, blogs, RSS feeds as ways to manage and share knowledge. It also highlights ways in which the Lifestyle Information Network has implemented the technology.

Tournament info
This is a free site that helps sport organizers schedule tournaments for various sports. You simply fill in the boxes. No computer skills or knowledge of html codes are required.

You can include schedules, venues and even results as they happen if you choose to. This will allow participants to be aware of standings, etc., by simply visiting your tournament page.


Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute
The Institute of Medicine and other key organizations have identified environment and policy changes as the most promising strategies for controlling obesity and improving diet and physical activity.

Healthy communities, sustainable communities

Released by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, this report highlights the links between community planning and health and notes ways in which we can make communities healthier and more sustainable.

The paper focuses on the relationship between where we live and issues that are key to communities across this province:

· obesity and related health problems
· air quality in transportation corridors
· economic vitality and poverty
· social cohesion

The paper is being released following yearlong research and consultation.


Updating the evidence on physical activity and health in women
Find out about the health benefits of physical activity in women in this up-to-date review of the evidence.


Get moving at work: A resource kit for workplace health and well-being programs

From Australia … There is a kit and an audit tool, among other things.

Posters promoting stair use
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., van Baak, M.A., Brug J., et al. (2007) A poster-based intervention to promote stair use in blue- and white-collar worksites. Preventive Medicine, 45, 177- 181.


November 9, 2007

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

An Introduction to Active Movement/Koringa Hohiko: Guidelines booklet resource

This resource focuses on educating the key influencers of children up to five years old about the importance of quality physical movement activities for children of this age group.
It includes information for parents/caregivers and educators, scientific research findings on how movement can assist with a child’s brain development and suggested readings for more information.

Perceived athletic competence, sociometric status, and loneliness in elementary school children

A new Canadian study that looks at the connections between athletic skill and social acceptance among school children has found that kids place a great deal of value on athletic ability, and youngsters deemed unskilled by their peers often experience sadness, isolation and social rejection at school.

Asset management guide: Sport and recreation and facilities
This guide contains a series of practical tools to help you through the process of developing an asset management plan so that your facilities are productive and sustainable.

Decision-making guide: Sport and recreation facilities
This decision-making tool helps determine the need for community and recreation services. While the model is mostly for facility planning, it has been structured so that it can also be applied to program-based solutions.

How to undertake a feasibility study for a proposed sport or recreation facility
The aim of this kit is to provide local government authorities, state sporting associations and other providers of sport and recreation facilities with a practical guide to undertaking a feasibility study.
The kit highlights the planning issues that need to be considered, the various ways of gathering information and the outcomes that should be achieved.
This kit provides an overview of the issues to be considered in this type of study, whether the client intends to undertake the feasibility study in-house or engage an external consultant to undertake the research.

How to develop a management plan for your facility
This kit will help facility managers prepare a management plan for their recreation or leisure centre. Each management plan will be different.
There is no set formula for either the content or process of preparing a management plan.
However, there are a number of key principles that should be considered. The information provided in this kit constitutes a guide to more efficient management practices, which should ultimately result in more effective service delivery.

Life cycle cost guidelines
These Life Cycle Cost Guidelines provides facility owners, architects and engineers with tools to develop life cycle cost reports to be used by departments of sport and recreation considered publicly owned or funded facilities.
The guidelines mean analysis and reporting can be standardized to ensure a timely and accurate technical review of your facility or project.

Comprehensive workplace health strategy

A workplace strategy and web resource from Nova Scotia.


November 5, 2007

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Complete the Streets (website)

The streets of our cities and towns ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper.

But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. They’re unsafe for people on foot or bike — and unpleasant for everybody …

Impediments to Walking as a Mode Choice

Conducted in 2005, this study evaluates a case-control design of contrasts between walkers and drivers to address factors influencing the uptake of walking as a mode choice.

With samples drawn from Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, this research uses a 62-item survey to examine a number of factors …

Neighborhood Design and Aging: An Empirical Analysis in Northern California

The low mobility of seniors may be due in part to a history of auto-oriented transportation and land use policy decisions.

More recently, land use policies that make it possible to drive less show promise of effectiveness for the population as a whole. However, little attention has been paid to the implications of such policies for older people.


BMI and Cancer: "Poor Diet Ratchets Up Cancer Risk”

Excess fat can cause up to a third of all cases, study says, putting lifestyle choices on par with quitting smoking


Eat Right Be Active
The Nutrition Resource Centre has recently released two new resources called Eat Right Be Active. Developed as part of Ontario's Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living, these guides assist families, caregivers and professionals to support healthy eating and physical activity in the early years.

Healthy Children, Healthy Communities

Over the past year, the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) has visited urban and rural communities across the country listening to children and child health stakeholders voice their opinions on the social and economic factors that affect children's health.

Through community roundtables and surveys, they have exchanged perceptions and priorities on factors like income, housing, social supports, racism, education, gender and the built environment.

Linking in with the physical, emotional and mental sides of health, we have covered a complex field of interconnected issue such as risk behaviour, obesity, emotional wellbeing and stress …


Get Moving at Work: A Resource Kit for Workplace Health and Wellbeing Programs

This Australian resource includes a kit and an audit tool (among other things).