December 18, 2008

Welcome to the final Physical Activity Information Round-Up for
2008. We’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the holidays.
From all of us here at the Centre, we'd like to wish you a
Merry Christmas and a Happy
and Healthy New Year!

Making a Pedestrian Master Plan that Makes a Difference: A National Survey of Pedestrian Master Plans
Feet First conducted a national survey of master plans aimed at advocates, community members, and government agencies/consultants in order to get a better idea of things….

What are the benefits of complete streets?
Use this fact sheet at public meetings, to share with elected officials, and spread the word on how complete streets improve safety for everyone. Other fact sheets are also offered.

What does the term road diet mean?
A primer…

What is traffic calming?
A primer…


A Community–School District–University Partnership for Assessing Physical Activity of Tweens
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(1).
Capitalizing on leadership from multiple community-based organizations to monitor youth physical activity may inspire implementation of strategies for motivating youth to try new games and sports that they can sustain through the adolescent years and beyond.

Association Between Sedentary Behavior, Physical Activity, and Obesity: Inactivity Among Active Kids
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(1).
Conclusion: Sedentary behavior may moderate the relationship between physical activity and overweight. Developing a better understanding of sedentary behavior in relation to physical activity and overweight is critical for preventing and reducing overweight among youth.

Child Care as an Untapped Setting for Obesity Prevention: State Child Care Licensing Regulations Related to Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Media Use for Preschool-Aged Children in the United States
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(1).
Conclusion: Opportunities exist for strengthening state licensing regulations to prevent childhood obesity. The increasing prevalence of childhood obesity underscores the urgency for state policy efforts to create child care environments that foster healthful eating and participation in physical activity.

Hub for Action on School Transportation Emissions (HASTE)
HASTE is a new project that supports schools and their communities taking action on reducing transportation emissions in British Columbia. It's an online resource and networking centre, designed to help students, teachers and schools improve the health of individuals, communities and the environment.

Influences of Physical and Social Neighborhood Environments on Children’s Physical Activity and Obesity
American Journal of Public Health (2008) on-line prior to print version.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that neighborhood social factors as well as the physical environment should be considered in the development of health policy and interventions to reduce childhood obesity.

Safe Routes to School Improves the Built Environment
In this recently released report (pdf), Safe Routes to School National Partnership focuses on case studies describing how ten states (California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia) are awarding their SRTS federal funds to support improved infrastructure such as sidewalks, bike lanes, pathways, improved intersections, traffic calming, and more.

School Policy Framework - Implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
The overall purpose of this tool is to guide policy-makers at national and sub-national levels in the development and implementation of policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity in the school setting through changes in environment, behaviour and education.

Exercise and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease
A Statement From the Council on Clinical Cardiology (Subcommittee on Exercise, Rehabilitation, and Prevention) and the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism (Subcommittee on Physical Activity).

Active Roma: A healthy active community
Just launched this sites aim is to inspire a healthy, active Roma community through supporting residents to make healthy lifestyle choices including physical activity and nutrition.

Creating liveable new communities: Checklist for liveability planning
This checklist has been designed as a tool to support Precinct Structure Planning for creating liveable new communities in Melbourne’s growth areas. It has been designed for multiple users including developers, local government, State Government agencies, other key providers of infrastructure and services and the Growth Areas Authority.

BHFNC 8th Annual Conference, ‘Opening Doors to an Active Life
All the keynote and workshop presentations from the Conference are now available to download.

Effect of exposure to natural environment on health inequalities: an observational population study
The Lancet, Volume 372, Issue 9650, Pages 1655 - 1660, 8 November 2008
Studies have shown that exposure to the natural environment, or so-called green space, has an independent effect on health and health-related behaviours. We postulated that income-related inequality in health would be less pronounced in populations with greater exposure to green space, since access to such areas can modify pathways through which low socioeconomic position can lead to disease.

ACSM's Activity & Health Policy Network News
The second issue of the AHPN Newsletter continued with providing more information for members to get politically involved. The second issue informs members about three pieces of legislation at the federal level. Most important, was the Physical Activity and Guidelines for Americans Act of 2008. Followed by The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids Act) and Human Growth Hormone Restriction Act of 2007.

Charting and Changing the Policy Landscape: Promoting Physical Activity &
Reversing Physical Inactivity through Policy Solutions
This 'Call to Action' focuses on six key steps that would move policy initiatives into changing the future landscape of improving health and health care in the United States.

Improving Physical Activity Resource Guides to Bridge the Divide Between the Clinic and the Community
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(1),
Conclusion: Resource guides may offer a critical link between clinical services and community resources. Integrating guides with existing clinical systems, incorporating mechanisms for frequent updating, and providing multiple copies will help address provider concerns. Web-based resource guides may help achieve these goals.

Physical activity cost-benefit analyzer
This tool is intended to assist you in: Thinking about the costs and benefits of changing
your exercise behavior and determining what is involved in your decision to change your physical activity habits.

Physical activity tips, fact sheets
There are a whole bunch of information sheets here. Start with the first one. You can either go back to the initial list or scroll to the bottom of that page to see more links. It seems the lists at the end of the documents are not entirely the same as the initial list. There is lots and lots to look at! Also don’t forget to click on the links to their FAQ’s and Tips Sheets – you’ll find them in the left hand column.

Physical activity tip sheets in other languages
Tips sheets in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.

Predictors of Increased Physical Activity in the Active for Life Program
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(1)
Conclusion: For 6 of the 8 variables associated with differential outcomes, the least active group improved the most, which suggests that the programs worked especially well for participants most in need. Participants who were older than 75 years (both groups) and those who reported lower physical activity social support (in the telephone-based program) on entry did not respond as well and may require alternative or more intensive intervention strategies.

Relationship of Perceived Environmental Characteristics to Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Meeting Recommendations for Physical Activity in Texas
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(1),
Conclusion: Perceptions of neighborhood characteristics and reported use of facilities were related to physical activity and to meeting recommendations for physical activity, with stronger associations for women than for men. Interventions to increase levels of physical activity among Texans should be informed by multilevel assessments including environmental characteristics and by attention to important subpopulations.

December 11, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Active travel and health inequalities
How walking and cycling can benefit the health of the most disadvantaged people.

BEST (better environmentally sound transportation)
Since 1991, BEST has been offering innovative programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to inform people about the environmental, health, and community issues surrounding transportation. Our programs encourage and motivate people to cycle, walk, carpool, and use public transit more often.

LocalMotion provides local (B.C.) governments funding assistance for capital projects that make communities greener, healthier and more active and accessible places in which to live. This program provides extra resources for projects that encourage people to get out and be more active, support a reduction in car dependency and associated greenhouse gas emissions and meet the mobility needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

Take action on active travel
The UK's leading organisations working on all areas of public health, call on decision makers at all levels to act now to bring about a population-wide shift from sedentary travel to walking and cycling to tackle ill-health caused by the decline of physical active travel in past decades.

Ten questions to ask if you are... scrutinising how physical activity can be promoted through

Prevention of overweight in the school arena
Overall, half of the studies demonstrated significant effects, suggesting that school-based interventions are important to help reduce the prevalence of overweight or obesity.

Utilization and physical activity levels at renovated and unrenovated school playgrounds
Colabianchia, N., Kinsella, A., Coultonb, C., Mooreb, S. (2008). Preventive Medicine.
The results showed that more adults and children used the renovated playgrounds compared to the unrenovated playgrounds.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program : A World Premiere in French-Language Health Care
According to the President of Réseau santé albertain, Dr. Denis Vincent, the program fits well with the vision of its organization, which is that every French-speaking individual is healthy through individual and collective empowerment. “Instead of imparting content about a particular disease, the program teaches strategies that help the participants increase their sense of control in their day to day lives. They also help each other and this contributes to decreasing their feelings of solitudes.”

Alberta Diabetes Surveillance System (ADSS) Newsletter
The purpose of the ADSS Newsletter is to update stakeholders on new and important diabetes issues in Alberta.

Effects of aerobic exercise on lipids and lipoproteins in adults with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials.
Kelley, G., Kelley, K., (2007). Public Health, 21(9), 643-655.
Overall, aerobic exercise appears to lower LDL-C in adults with type 2 diabetes, but this needs confirmation in further random control trials.

Health economic evaluation of controlled and maintained physical exercise in the prevention of cardiovascular and other prosperity diseases
Link to academic paper:
They concluded that: controlled and maintained physical exercise is projected to be cost-effective, which is likely to be explained by its simultaneous effect on several diseases and the associated weight loss, which affects quality of life positively.

Building stronger communities through physical activity: a practitioner’s resource
A concise practitioner’s resource has been developed to assist practitioners plan, implement and evaluate physical activity programs that build social capital in communities (see companion document below).

Guidelines for the use of physical activity for community development purposes: Final report
A November 2008 publication, with a great reference section!

Whole-of-community physical activity interventions: Easier said than done?
Conclusion: Despite the challenges, the whole-community approach still offers tremendous potential for developing the social and cultural change which will be required for sustained improvements in population physical activity. (Note: Kerry Mummery is the primary author J )

Barrier free design guide

Checklist for Accessibility & Universal Design in Architecture
The City of Edmonton Advisory Board on Services for Persons with Disabilities has revised and updated the checklist.

What do we mean by ‘wellbeing’? And why might it matter?
The meaning and function of a term like ‘wellbeing’ not only changes through time, but is open to both overt and subtle dispute and contest. There is evidence that the discourse of ‘wellbeing’ - how, for what purposes, and with what effects the term is being used - is at present particularly unstable in the UK.

Best-Practice Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults: Findings from the National Impact Study
Conclusions. Best-practice community-based physical activity programs can measurably improve aspects of functioning that are risk factors for disability among older adults. US public policy should encourage these inexpensive health promotion programs.

Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe
SHARE is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 30,000 individuals aged 50 or over....

Active Living Research Literature Database

Defining Sport and Physical Activity: A Conceptual Model
This paper presents a conceptual model defining key concepts commonly used in survey
research on sport and physical activity. The aim of developing a conceptual model for
sport and physical activity is to aid interpretation and future development of surveys in
this field.

NSW Premier’s Council for active living
The Premier's Council for Active Living (PCAL) aims to build and strengthen the physical and social environments in which communities engage in active living. It comprises senior representatives from across government, industry and the community sector.

Combined impact of lifestyle factors on mortality: Prospective cohort study in US women
van Dam R. et al BMJ 2008;337:a1440
(Their) results indicate that adherence to lifestyle guidelines is associated with markedly lower mortality in middle aged women. Both efforts to eradicate cigarette smoking and those to stimulate regular physical activity and a healthy diet should be intensified.

Healthy People, Healthy Performance, Healthy Profits: The Case for Business Action on the Socio-Economic Determinants of Health
Business has an important role to play in addressing the socio-economic determinants of health. This report provides practical guidance and principles of success to businesses that may take action.


December 5, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Active Transportation: Moving Canadians towards better health
A Hot Topic discussion paper from the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about Bikeways by Adjacent Residents
Discusses the impact of developing new bikeways in existing neighborhoods. ( from Vancouver)

Trails bring crime myth
“The premise that trails bring crime is pretty ridiculous. It's not exactly the best get away vehicle, nor is it easy to carry a lot of stuff. And wouldn't that be an argument for not building roads?.....”


Community Decision-Making Toolkit
The list of Decision-Making Tools below contains a variety of methods to help communities generate ideas, prioritize issues and weigh options. Simple to use, these tools can easily be adapted to fit the needs of your particular community requirements.

In Alberta recreation and parks matter research summary: Public perceptions on use and benefits of local government recreation and parks services
The report that follows provides clear evidence of the contribution that recreation and parks make to the public good. It also confirms that the general public understands both the direct and intangible benefits of these services, strongly supports those services and acknowledges that they are essential to social and community development and environmental sustainability.

Men’s health
Information and advice on the most common health issues affecting men, including testicular cancer, hair loss, stress and more.... There is a lot out there for women; this is one of the few for men.

A systematic policy approach to changing the food system and physical activity environments to prevent obesity
As obesity prevention becomes an increasing health priority in many countries, including Australia and New Zealand, the challenge that governments are now facing is how to adopt a systematic policy approach to increase healthy eating and regular physical activity. This article sets out a structure for systematically identifying areas for obesity prevention policy action across the food system and full range of physical activity environments.

The key to fighting fat may lie in the pockets of public policy makers
Zoning laws and taxes can be used to encourage healthier lifestyles.

BHF National Centre for physical activity+health
This is the 2nd issue of their new newsletter.

Physical Activity and Population Health Research Lab
Physical Activity and Population Health (PAPH) Research Laboratory directed by Dr. Ron Plotnikoff focuses on individual/behavioural- and environmental-level theory and intervention development/testing for the prevention and management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as the promotion of healthy body weight and general health of the population through physical activity.

Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2008 (Edition 2)
This report provides a statistical overview of the output of the sports and physical recreation sector, employment in sports and physical recreation, government outlays on recreation, international trade in sports and physical recreation goods, attendances at sporting events, and participation in sports and physical recreation activities.

Trails: Safety, Land Value, Fears
This page briefly outlines the normal and reasonable questions and concerns (crime, property values) that people have about trails.

Physical activity and health in mid-age and older Australian women
Physical activity has a significant role in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, mental health problems, and musculoskeletal problems in women.

November 27, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Children and physical activity: a systematic review of barriers and facilitators
This review was undertaken to address what is known about the barriers to, and facilitators of, physical activity amongst children aged four to 10. It aimed to bring together the findings from 'qualitative' as well as 'quantitative' research on these barriers and facilitators.

Almanac of chronic disease 2008

Partnership to fight chronic disease
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the United States: chronic disease.

Community mapping kit: Healthy eating and active living
If you're interested in creating a map for your neighborhood, you're in the right place!
Open the first link to read more and follow the instructions from there.

Prevention for a healthier California: Investments in disease prevention yield significant savings, stronger communities
Physical activity is mentioned throughout.

A framework for identifying high-impact interventions to promote reductions in late-life disability
Lots of physical activity information here.

How healthy is prime time? An analysis of health content in popular prime time television programs
Note: they track “exercise” instead of physical activity.

LIN office goes virtual!
Effective November 28, the LIN staff will start working in a virtual office! LIN will maintain a small office and mailing address which can be used for meetings, but all staff will be working from home.

Television as a Health Educator: A Case Study of GREY´S ANATOMY
The study reported on here was the result of a unique opportunity to place a health storyline in one of the top-rated shows on television.

Increasing home access: Designing for visitability
A different concept from full accessibility and universal design.

Report on childhood obesity

Schemes to promote healthy weight among obese and overweight children in England

Physical activity is mentioned throughout the document.
School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity

August 2008 from Germany. “In light of the recent rise in childhood obesity, the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) have received renewed attention. Using panel data on over 13,500 primary school students, we assess the relationship between SBP and NSLP participation and (relatively) long-run measures of child weight.”

Social and environmental interventions to reduce childhood obesity: a systematic map of reviews
This report describes a systematic map of existing research reviews relating to social and environmental interventions aimed at reducing or preventing obesity and overweight. Its focus is on research which has included children and young people.

Cost effectiveness of community-based physical activity interventions
Roux, L., et al Am J Prev Med. 2008 Dec;35(6):578-88.
This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of population-wide strategies to promote physical activity in adults and followed disease incidence over a lifetime. All of the evaluated physical activity interventions appeared to reduce disease incidence, to be cost-effective……

Designing for mobile: A walk in the park
Describes the Park Walk Project where participants use a specially programmed application on a mobile phone, connected via Bluetooth with a GPS device, to see images and hear stories mapped to various locations, enabling an exploration of the social, cultural, and natural history of Toronto’s Grange Park.

The environment and active living
A factsheet.

Minding our bodies: Physical activity for mental health
Minding Our Bodies is a two-year project (2008-2010). Our goal is to increase capacity within the community mental health system in Ontario to promote active living and to create new opportunities for physical activity for people with serious mental illness to support recovery.

A documentary oral history project that records stories and memories told about specific geographic locations…. In each of these locations we install a [murmur] sign with a telephone number on it that anyone can call with a mobile phone to listen to that story…. Some stories suggest that the listener walk around, following a certain path through a place, while others allow a person to wander with both their feet and their gaze.

The role of community programs and mass events in promoting physical activity to patients
Bauman, A., Murphy, N., Lane, A. (2008). British Journal of Sports Medicine, Online First.
“The central idea of this paper is that clinicians could take a more pro-active role in
community physical activity promotion, as they did in the anti-smoking movements in
previous decades. Clinicians should routinely ask about physical activity, as it is central
to chronic disease prevention.”

Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia
Stevens, M., de Jong, J., Lemmink, K., Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2008; 5, 795–814.
Walking and bicycling are far more common in European countries than in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Active transportation is inversely related to obesity in these countries. Although the results do not prove causality, they suggest that active transportation could be one of the factors that explain international differences in obesity rates.

Effective dissemination of findings from research
Knowledge Translation……..The essays presented in this book have grown out of a workshop on effective dissemination of findings from research organized by the Institute of Health Economics (IHE), that was held two years ago at the University of Alberta. The publication includes some of the material presented at that workshop.

Assessing the physical environment
Assessing a community’s physical environment, especially aspects related to walking and cycling is becoming more important as physical activity recommendations focus on active living and incorporating moderate intensity activity into daily life.

Creating healthy environments: A review of links between the physical environment, physical activity and obesity.
This document comprises two parts: an Overview Report that provides an integrated summary of how physical environments can influence physical activity, nutrition and obesity; and a Technical Report that provides a review of public health research on this topic.

Healthy by design: A planners’ guide to environments for active living
In line with the Heart Foundation’s ethos of promoting healthy lifestyles, this resource is designed to make it easier for planners to incorporate healthier design Considerations into daily planning decisions.

Healthy urban environments site assessment audit
The Healthy Urban Environments Site Assessment Audit is an audit instrument designed to be used by practitioners and consumers.

Involving the community in assessing the environment
There is potential for members of the community to play a significant role in assessing the physical environment for physical activity. Involving community members can lead to the initiation of positive environmental changes.

Planning and design guidelines resources
A great list of resources from Australia.

November 21, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Recreation Director's Handbook: A guide for recreation delivery in Aboriginal communities
This manual offers information to help communities become involved in recreation and create programs that last. It also describes how to obtain the resources needed to develop recreation facilities and plan for the future. Note it is a large document: 329 pgs / 15MB

Physical Activity and the Health of Young People
New from the CDC November 2008

Where Are Youth Active? Roles of Proximity, Active Transport, and Built Environment.
Grow HM, Saelens BE, Kerr J, Durant NH, Norman GJ, Sallis JF. Where Are Youth Active? Roles of Proximity, Active Transport, and Built Environment. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Oct.
They concluded that “active transport was strongly associated with the use of multiple recreation sites by children and adolescents, even when accounting for proximity and demographic factors. Adolescents living in neighborhoods with better traffic safety walked/biked to more recreation sites for physical activity. Findings support the need for built environments and transportation policies that facilitate safe, active transport to recreation sites for youth physical activity.”

The association of physical activity and depression in type 2 diabetes
Lysy, Z., Da Costa, D., Dasgupta, K. (2008). The association of physical activity and depression in type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine, 25 (10), 1133-41.
They conclude that “studies to date suggest an association between depressed mood and physical inactivity in adults with Type 2 diabetes, although objective measures of physical activity have not been employed. Depression-specific management may improve mood and possibly activity.”

Epidemiology of walking and type 2 diabetes
Caspersen CJ, Fulton JE. Epidemiology of walking and type 2 diabetes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Jul;40(7 Suppl):S519-28.
They found that “moderate to faster pace of walking seemed to enhance risk reduction. These reductions fit well with results of earlier reviews of physical activity and diabetes, and basically corresponded to 2-3 h of weekly walking.”

Reduced diabetic, hypertensive, and cholesterol medication use with walking
Williams PT. Reduced diabetic, hypertensive, and cholesterol medication use with walking. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Mar;40(3):433-43.
Their “results are consistent with the hypothesis that antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and LDL cholesterol-lowering medication use may be reduced substantially by walking more intensely and farther each week, and by including longer walks.”

Vigorous exercise, fitness and incident hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes
Williams PT. Vigorous exercise, fitness and incident hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Jun;40(6):998-1006.
They found that “higher cardiorespiratory fitness reduces the odds for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes, independent of physical activity and is an important risk factor separate from physical activity.”

How many days of pedometer use predict the annual activity of the elderly reliably?
Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Yasunaga A, Park S, Shephard RJ, et al. How many days of pedometer use predict the annual activity of the elderly reliably? Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Jun; 40(6):1058-64.
They conclude that “when estimating annual step counts, seasonal and/or random sampling of data allows collection of reliable data during substantially fewer days than needed for consecutive observations.”

Cost effectiveness of community-based physical activity interventions
This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of population-wide strategies to promote physical activity in adults and followed disease incidence over a lifetime.

Healthy Brandon in motion
“We are a combined Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative and in motion group. Our primary focus is those people in the age group of 30-59.”

The importance of walking to public health
Lee IM, Buchner DM. The importance of walking to public health. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Jul;40(7 Suppl):S512-8.
They conclude that “walking is a simple health behavior that can reduce rates of chronic disease and ameliorate rising health care costs, with only a modest increase in the number of activity-related injuries.”

Interventions to increase walking behavior
Williams DM, Matthews CE, Rutt C, Napolitano MA, Marcus BH. Interventions to increase walking behavior. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008 Jul;40(7 Suppl):S567-73.
They found that “mediated interventions delivering physical activity promotion materials through non-face-to-face channels may be ideal for delivering walking promotion interventions and have shown efficacy in promoting overall physical activity, especially when theory-based and individually tailored. Mass media campaigns targeting broader audiences, including those who may not intend to increase their physical activity, have been successful at increasing knowledge and awareness about physical activity but are often too diffuse to successfully impact individual behavior change. Incorporating individually tailored programs into broader mass media campaigns may be an important next step, and the Internet could be a useful vehicle.”

Keeping Albertans fit worth $500 tax credit
Private member's bill based on the expectation that a healthy body will ultimately cost health-care systems less money.

New CDC study finds community physical activity programs are money well spent
“Community-based physical activity interventions designed to promote more active lifestyles among adults are cost-effective in reducing heart disease, stroke, colorectal and breast cancers, and type 2 diabetes, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

Pedometer accuracy during walking over different surfaces
Leicht AS, Crowther RG. Pedometer accuracy during walking over different surfaces. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007 Oct;39(10):1847-50.
They concluded that “walking on a soft surface such as dry beach sand significantly reduced walking speed and increased pedometer error for females compared with males, possibly by exacerbating hip and walking movements. Identification of gender and softer surfaces should be considered when documenting physical activity levels in field studies.”

Physical Activity and Health: The Benefits of Physical Activity
This page was last updated November 2008.

The economic costs of physical inactivity, obesity and overweight in California adults: Health Care, Workers’ Compensation, and Lost Productivity
The study…… estimated that a five percent improvement in the rates of physical activity and healthy weight over five years could save more than $6 billion, while a ten percent improvement could save nearly $13 billion.

The health benefits of physical activity for girls and women: Literature review and recommendations for future research and policy
This document presents an interdisciplinary portrayal of what is known about the benefits and risks of physical activity and inactivity for the health status of girls and women.

November 14, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Active transportation for America: The case for increased federal investment in bicycling and walking
This report quantifies, for the first time, the benefits that America can expect from elevating the priority of bicycling and walking in our nation’s transportation system. This case statement for increased investment in bicycling and walking infrastructure evaluates benefits in the areas of transportation, oil dependence, climate change, and public health, and puts dollar estimates to the economic value of these benefits.

Bike to work week: A case study in successful behavior change
The issue: Initially, Bike to Work events in Victoria, British Columbia inspired only committed cyclists to ride to work. An effort to convince provincial government employees to bicycle to work by linking the message to the province's own "green" initiatives was not recruiting new cyclists to bicycle commuting.

Multi-modal transportation planning: Principles and Practices
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute has released a short paper (pdf) summarizing basic principles for transportation planning. It first discusses conventional planning that focuses on automobiles and the ways in which other transportation modes - bicycling, walking, and transit - are overlooked, despite their presence most everywhere.

Designing and planning for play: Public space lessons
Designing and planning for play has been published to encourage local authorities to seize this opportunity to create spaces that allow children to use their imagination, with natural play design.

MyPyramid for preschoolers
Launched by the United States Department of Agriculture, it is designed for children 2 to 5 years of age. You can do many things to help children develop healthy eating habits for life. Be sure to click on the physical activity link found in the left hand navigation column.

The effectiveness of a physical activity intervention for seniors
Jancey J, Lee A, Howat P, Clarke A, Wang K, Shilton T. (2008). American Journal of Health Promotion, 22(5):318-321.
A neighborhood-based physical activity intervention among seniors aged 65 to 74 years was examined to determine potential increases in total physical activity levels and to explore factors linked to physical activity participation.

Honda debuts wearable device that helps you walk.
A Nov. 11th USA Today article suggests, "Imagine a bicycle seat connected by mechanical frames to a pair of shoes for an idea of how the new wearable assisted-walking gadget from Honda works. The experimental device, unveiled Friday, is designed to support bodyweight, reduce stress on the knees and help people get up steps and stay in crouching positions… "'This should be as easy to use as a bicycle,' Ashihara said at Honda's Tokyo headquarters. 'It reduces stress, and you should feel less tired.' To wear it, you put the seat between your legs, put on the shoes and push the on button. Then just start walking around. In a test-run for media, this reporter found it does take some getting used to. But I could sense how it supported my moves, pushing up on my bottom when I squatted and pushing at my soles to help lift my legs when I walked..."

Internet-Delivered behavior change program increases physical activity
Carr L, Bartee R, Dorozynski C, Broomfield J, Smith M, Smith D. (2008). Internet-Delivered Behavior Change Program Increases Physical Activity and Improves Cardiometabolic Disease Risk Factors in Sedentary Adults: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Preventive Medicine, 46:431-438.
In order to determine the effectiveness of Active Living Every Day (ALED-I), researchers investigated whether the internet based program can increase physical activity and improve cardiometabolic risk factors in inactive overweight adults….Researchers found that the ALED-I internet program was successful in increasing PA and improving some risk factors in sedentary overweight adults.

New ASCM certification
The American College of Sports Medicine* (ACSM) has announced a new specialty certification for professionals promoting physical activity focused on the public health setting. This specialty certification was developed by a group of subject matter experts representing ACSM and the National Society for Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health (NSPAPPH). ACSM is performing BETA testing in preparation for a live exam. Live testing will begin early next year.

Objective physical activity accumulation in bouts and nonbouts and relation to markers of obesity in US adults
Little is known about the relation between duration of physical activity and obesity. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of physical activity in bouts (≥10 minutes) to the effects of physical activity in nonbouts (<10 minutes) on markers of obesity.

Physical activity special interest group (PA SPIG)
A leadership team has been working to provide a visible and credible *home* within the American Public Health Association (APHA) for those with a primary interest in PA science, practice, and policy. The team has recruited over 100 persons who will join APHA and select the PA SPIG as their primary affiliation, developed an organizational infrastructure, and drafted a letter of intent. These were recently packaged and submitted as a formal application to APHA (the review process will take 4-6 months). At the recent APHA meeting in San Diego, the 4 program sessions organized by the PA SPIG were standing room only; about 100 persons attended the PA SPIG reception, and 50 brave souls participated in the first-ever 5K fun run/walk. Look for future alerts with regard to submitting PA abstracts for next year*s APHA annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Getting to smart growth II: 100 more policies for implementation
A primer in the ongoing series from the Smart Growth Network and ICMA, and follows on the heels of the extremely popular first volume of Getting to Smart Growth. The publication serves as a road map for states and communities that have recognized the need for smart growth but are unclear on how to achieve it.

Social-Environmental influences on the physical-activity behavior of women
Vrazel, Saunders, Wilcox (2008). An Overview and Proposed Framework of Social-Environmental Influences on the Physical-Activity Behavior of Women.* American Journal of Health Promotion, 23(1):2-12.
The review indicated that women are exposed to societal messages that indicate physical activity is not a priority, and may be inappropriate. Women may also lack the social support necessary to adopt and maintain physical activity.

A new evaluation tool to obtain practice-based evidence of worksite health promotion programs
Swift Worksite Assessment and Translation is a useful, business-friendly approach to systematic, yet rapid, evaluation that comports with program evaluation standards. The method provides a new tool to obtain practice-based evidence of worksite health promotion programs that help prevent obesity and, more broadly, may advance public health goals for chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

November 7, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Active Transportation for America: A Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking
This report quantifies the transportation, energy, climate, public health, and economic benefits of bicycling and walking.

Safe routes to school: Increases physical activity and improves health
The following four case studies showcase local communities that have successfully incorporated SRTS as a way to improve public health, and have institutionalized SRTS at select schools. Aspects of these case studies also address how health professionals are
getting involved with SRTS efforts, how federally mandated Wellness Councils could be involved, and how these types of collaborations could be increased in the future.

At my best: Helping every child thrive
Physical and Health Education Canada (formerly CAHPERD) teamed up with AstraZeneca Canada to unveil a groundbreaking children's wellness program. Aimed at improving the health and well-being of Canadian children, At My Best™ is a unique school-based program that focuses on three key areas of wellness: physical, nutritional and emotional health.

Changes in food and drink advertising and promotion to children: a report outlining the changes in the nature and balance of food and drink advertising and promotion to children, from January 2003 to December 2007
This report sets out the current restrictions for broadcast and non-broadcast media; the findings of the Thomson Intermedia research on overall food and drink advertising spend across a range of media, child-themed ad-spend and TV viewing figures; and the output of the Food and Drink Advertising and Promotion Forum.

The characteristics of the outdoor school environment associated with physical activity.
Ellen Haug, Torbjørn Torsheim, James F. Sallis and Oddrun Samdal
Health Education Research – Advance Access.
Discover what's important in the school environment to encourage physical activity.

Successful overweight prevention in adolescents by increasing physical activity: A 4-year randomized controlled intervention.
International Journal of Obesity, 2008; 32, 1489–1498. C Simon, B Schweitzer, M Oujaa, A Wagner.
This study provides strong evidence of the positive effects of a long-term school-based physical activity program on preventing obesity, increasing physical activity and reducing TV viewing.

Improved methods for assessing social, cultural, and economic effects of transportation projects
This report identifies existing and emerging community and social impact assessment practices that can be used as indicators of community quality of life. Physical Activity is mentioned 22 times. Includes a copy of their survey instrument and many useful maps/graphics.

Smart transportation guidebook: Planning and Designing Highways and Streets that Support Sustainable and Livable Communities
Smart Transportation proposes to manage capacity by better integrating land use and transportation planning. The desire to go “through” a place must be balanced with the desire to go “to” a place.

The last straw: A board game on the social determinants of health
The Last Straw! is a fun and exciting teaching tool on the social determinants of health. The game has three objectives: to promote discussion about the social determinants of health; to help players build empathy with marginalized people and gain an awareness of players' own social location; to encourage learning in a fun and supportive environment.

Vancouver Island University aims to be international centre of excellence in leisure studies
In its bid to become an international centre of excellence in leisure studies VIU, formerly Malaspina University) attended the World Leisure Congress in Quebec City this month and presented the idea of offering a master’s in leisure and sustainability degree.

Canadian falls prevention curriculum
The Canadian Falls Prevention Curriculum (CFPC) was developed and pilot-tested as a training curriculum for those working in the area of falls prevention among older adults (those 65 and over).

Occupational therapy interventions and physical activity interventions to promote the mental wellbeing of older people in primary care and residential care
This guidance focuses on the role of occupational therapy interventions and physical activity interventions in the promotion of mental wellbeing for older people.

How do you measure up?
TV adverts for this new obesity social marketing campaign from the Australian Better Health Initiative

Obesity in children. Part 1: Epidemiology, measurement, risk factors, and screening
The authors based this review on relative national guidance and a literature search in a number of databases. They concluded that the obesity epidemic is primarily due to population changes in physical activity and diet although other genetic factors may be involved. They do not recommend screening for childhood obesity.

Obesity in children. Part 2: Prevention and management
The authors based this review on relative national guidance and a literature search in a number of databases. They concluded that a number of interventions are not effective when applied to children. More work needs to be done on the overall effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions when applied to children.

Social and environmental interventions to reduce childhood obesity : A systematic map of reviews
This report describes a systematic map of existing research relating to social and environmental interventions aimed at reducing or preventing obesity and overweight. Its focus is on research which has included children and young people.

Four commonly used methods to increase physical activity : brief interventions in primary care, exercise referral schemes, pedometers and community-based exercise programmes for walking and cycling
This guidance aims to help practitioners deliver effective interventions that will increase people’s physical activity levels and therefore benefit their health.

Sedentary living laboratory
The focus of research for this (University of Alberta) lab is to identify and understand the factors that contribute to sedentary behaviour.

Social marketing nutrition and physical activity
A new online social marketing course developed by the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention.

Tips for getting active
From the Australian “how do you measure up?” web-site. Includes an on-line physical activity quiz.

What Sport Can Do: The True Sport Report
Physical activity is mentioned 82 times in this 97 page report.

RE-AIM is a systematic way for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to evaluate health behavior interventions. It can be used to estimate the potential impact of interventions on public health.


Promoting and creating built or natural environments that encourage and support physical activity
This guidance offers the first national, evidence-based recommendations on how to improve the physical environment to encourage physical activity. It demonstrates the importance of such improvements and the need to evaluate how they impact on the public's health.


October 30, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

2007 Australian national children’s nutrition and physical activity survey
The objective of the Children’s Survey was to assess food and nutrient intake, physical activity participation and to measure weight, height and waist circumference in a sample of children aged 2–16 years randomly selected from across Australia.

Increasing active travel to school: Are we on the right track? A cluster randomised controlled trial from Sydney, Australia
A two-year multi-component program that included classroom activities, development of school Travel Access Guides, parent newsletters and improving environments with local councils.

Maximizing the sport experience for our children
This new documents from Canadian Sport for Life looks at the questions parents should be asking coaches, clubs, and themselves to ensure their child is not only being taught age appropriate technical skills, but also learning and gaining positive values in the process.

Phase II of the Canadian Best Practices Portal for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention
Phase II will be available November 24th. In this version, users will find new content in mental health (in relation to home, community, school and workplace settings), obesity (in relation to protective and risk factors concerning physical activity, nutrition, tobacco, alcohol) and; newcomers/ immigrant health (as related to general chronic disease).

World health statistics 2008: full report
The global burden of disease is shifting from infectious diseases to noncommunicable diseases, with chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke now being the chief causes of death globally, according to a new WHO report.

Finding Balance
This website is dedicated to helping seniors prevent a fall before it happens so they can stay mobile and independent.

The Groningen Active Living Model, an example of successful recruitment of sedentary and underactive older adults
The GALM recruitment strategy demonstrates an effective way of method for reaching and community-dwelling sedentary and underactive older adults in the community. Future physical activity programs should consider strategies of this kind when recruiting people who will benefit the most from such a program.

Guidelines for intergenerational physical activity programs
Recognizing an opportunity for intergenerational programs to support generations being physically active together, work got underway to research, write and disseminate a new guide to implementing intergenerational physical activity.

Study Reveals Factors of Exceptional Health in Old Age
Elderly people who have a positive outlook, lower stress levels, moderate alcohol consumption, abstention from tobacco, moderate to higher income and no chronic health conditions are more likely to thrive in their old age, according to a study in the October issue of the Journals of Gerontology, Medical Sciences.

The impact of the built environment on the health of the population: A review of the review literature
The purpose of this literature review is to provide the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) with an overview of the evidence of the impacts of land use planning and the way in which the built environment is designed on the health of the population.

The female athlete perspective
This new documents from Canadian Sport for Life discusses the participation of women and girls in physical activity and sport.


October 24, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Cycling in the Netherlands
Based on the frequent requests for information from policy-makers, politicians and NGO’s from all over the world, the authors decided to produce a comprehensive brochure about cycling in the Netherlands, giving an actual overview on the results and findings of relevant studies and experiences. With this publication, we would also like to support the work of the UN ECE/WHO PEP programme to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of existing good practices in the different countries in the European region to promote safe conditions for people to walk and cycle in urban areas.

Walkability research tools - Summary report
Land Transport New Zealand released a report 15 Sept 08 that examines appropriate physical and operational variables related to walkability, and explores the development of a methodology for the collection of these variables.

What are the benefits of complete streets?
Many fact sheets and other information showing the benefits of complete streets.

Green Hour
By giving our children a "Green Hour" a day -- a bit of time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world -- we can set them on the path toward physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Project energize
Project Energize is a project for primary schools to improve children's physical activity and nutrition, to improve their overall health.

Reducing childhood obesity through safer sport
Research conducted by the University of New South Wales found that parents are preventing their children from participating in sport and other recreational activity because of injury and safety concerns.

Safety guidelines for children and young people in sport and recreation
Smartplay has developed New safety guidelines for children and young people in sport and recreation.

SOGO Active
Sogo Active is designed by Coca-Cola Ltd., ParticipACTION, and an Advisory Committee of youth and organizations to help young Canadians between 13 and 19 to become more active by creating a physical activity movement by and for youth.

Factors influencing the adoption of an innovation: An examination of the uptake of the Canadian Heart Health Kit (HHK)
Implementation Science 2008, 3:41
The Healthy Heart Kit (HHK) is a risk management and patient education resource for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and promotion of cardiovascular health. Although previous studies have demonstrated the HHK's content validity and practical utility, no published study has examined physicians' uptake of the HHK and factors that shape its adoption.

Is integration of healthy lifestyle promotion into primary care feasible? Discussion and consensus sessions between clinicians and researchers
BMC Health Services Research 2008, 8:213
The adoption of a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity, a healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption and abstinence from smoking, is associated with a major decrease in the incidence of chronic diseases and mortality. Primary health-care (PHC) services therefore attempt, with rather limited success, to promote such lifestyles in their patients. The objective of the present study is to ascertain the perceptions of clinicians and researchers within the Basque Health System of the factors that hinder or facilitate the integration of healthy lifestyle promotion in routine PHC setting.

Searches for evidence related to chronic disease: Focusing on intervention strategies
Here is a list of searches that relate to Specific Intervention Strategies. Each search includes articles that have been assessed as providing strong to moderate evidence related to chronic disease interventions.

Opening doors to an active life: how to engage inactive communities
The annual conference of the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health focuses on ways to increase physical activity in hard to reach groups.

Development of a nutrition and physical activity booklet to engage seniors
BMC Research Notes 2008, 1:77
This paper describes the development and process evaluation of an interactive booklet aimed at motivating older adults to improve their nutrition and physical activity.

F as in fat: How obesity policies are failing in America 2008
Although many promising programs have emerged in communities to promote healthy eating and exercise, they are not preventing the spread of obesity…….

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provide specific recommendations about the types and amounts of physical activity you need to do each week and how hard you need to work to gain substantial health benefits.
Extra activity needed to maintain weight loss.

Effect of exercise on 24-month weight loss maintenance in overweight women
Jakicic JM, Marcus BH, Lang W, Janney C. Effect of exercise on 24-month weight loss maintenance in overweight women. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28;168(14):1550-9. Researchers have estimated just how much physical activity overweight women need to keep extra pounds from coming back—and it’s a lot…..

Fitness, Diet, Health and Medical Cartoons
Cartoons for publications, web sites, presentations and other projects. Terms of use can be found at the bottom of the web-page. Don’t forget to navigate back to the homepage – there are many categories of cartoons available.

Mind guide to physical activity
Mind is a leading mental health charity in England and Wales and has produced information on many areas of mental health. Physical activity can boost mental wellbeing and change your outlook on life. It can help people with anxiety and depression, and might even prevent such problems from developing in the first place. This booklet provides practical advice about ways of building more activity into your life, and identifies ways to help you stick to a more active lifestyle. It's not designed to give detailed information about individual activities.

Physical activity and mental health
This chapter from the updated USA Physical Activity guidelines addresses 7 general questions about physical activity and mental health conditions. Each question includes subsections that focus on whether physical activity can protect against the onset of, or reduce, symptoms; whether the effects of physical activity on the symptoms differ by age, sex, race/ethnicity, or medical condition; and whether the effects of physical activity differ by the type, intensity, or timing of the physical activity.

Physical Activity for Everyone
The CDC, a key partner in developing and writing the 2008 US PA Guidelines, has re-designed and updated the Physical Activity for Everyone Web site. Here, you’ll find examples and tools to help you better understand how much activity you need to do on a regular basis, how to begin a sensible routine and how to be active your way by finding activities you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle.

Neighborhoods and obesity in later life
Conclusions. The mechanisms by which neighborhood environment and weight status are linked in later life differ by gender, with economic and social environment aspects being important for men and built environment aspects being salient for women.

October 10, 2008

by Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Bicycles produced in the world
An interesting real time web-site that tracks bicycle vs. car production worldwide.

Take a child outside week
An interesting initiative from the USA.

Chronic disease new tool launch
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) has developed a chronic disease planning tool to aid in the prevention of chronic disease. The tool presents eight Critical Success Factors to strengthening chronic disease prevention and management, with guiding questions for each.

Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities
The Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities is a cultural research and development centre based at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver campus.

Rural and remote health journal
The international electronic journal of rural and remote health research, education, practice and policy. There are 4 sections: North American, African, Australasian, and European.

Alberta Milk new nutrition and marketing website
This site is separate from the Alberta Milk site and contains nutrition information, recipes, newsletters, programs and more.

Healthy lunches to go
The Dietitians of Canada invites you to visit its Healthy Lunches to Go section and discover tips and recipes to make your job of packing healthy and delicious lunch a little easier.

Ontario public health standards mapped against the nutrition resource centre programs
This article provides descriptions of the Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC) programs and resources including the implementation process and available support materials. A general overview of the Ontario Public Health Standards is presented, followed by the specific standards and program requirements against which the specific NRC programs and resources are mapped.

Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3, 2008
The data are insufficient to show that the improvements in cognitive function which can be attributed to physical exercise are due to improvements in cardiovascular fitness.

Physical activity programs for persons with dementia
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3, 2008
The authors conclude there is insufficient evidence to be able to say whether or not physical activity programs are beneficial for people with dementia.

Rethinking individual and community fall prevention strategies: a meta-regression comparing single and multifactorial interventions.
Comment in: Age Ageing. 2008 May;37(3):352-3; author reply 353.
They conclude: Multifactorial fall prevention interventions are effective for individual patients. However, for community programmes for populations at risk, targeted single interventions are as effective as multifactorial interventions, may be more acceptable and cost effective.

Standard Eight - The promotion of health and active life in older age
The aim of this standard is to extend the healthy life expectancy of older people.

Playing their part: the role of physical activity and sport in sustaining the health and well being of small rural communities
While an older publication – a good one J The authors suggest that physical activity and sport make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of rural people and their communities and suggest that further research is necessary to better define this apparent contribution.


October 2, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Alta Planning + Design
This links takes you to a page that houses all of the presentation given at the Sept 08 Pro Walk / Pro Bike conference. There is a great deal of good information on walking and cycling here.

Bike sheds and funding (Australia schools)
One of the biggest barriers to more students riding to school is the lack of secure, sheltered places to park bikes at school. Our experience shows that a bike shed can increase the number of students riding to school by 50% overnight.

Challenges in assessing the implementation and effectiveness of physical activity and nutrition policy interventions as natural experiments
As found in Health Promotion International, 2008, 23: 290-297. The paper provides an example of a natural experiment of the Ontario government in Canada’s new policy requiring elementary schools to offer at least 20 min of daily physical activity for students in Grades 1–8 and replace non-nutritious vending machine foods with healthier choices. Note: Guy Faulkner is one of the authors.

Development of a compendium of energy expenditures for youth
As found in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2008, 5: 45. The new Compendium is intended to be used in scoring physical activity questionnaires and estimating energy expenditure levels in young people. It provides a more accurate, time efficient and up to date tool for both researchers and practitioners in measuring physical activity/energy expenditure specific to this population group in future interventions and programs.

EPODE (Together let’s prevent childhood obesity)
A methodology designed to involve all relevant local stakeholders in an integrated and concrete prevention program aimed at facilitating the adoption of healthier lifestyles in the everyday life.

Hands Up! (Bicycle Victoria)
Hands Up! allows your school to track its progress in getting more students riding and walking more often. It's a great way to measure and reward your school's success and it's as easy as ABC!

Ride 2 School
The Ride2School Program (Australia) is a behavior change program which aims to increase the number of students walking and riding to school.

Active community environments (ACE’s) program
Active Community Environments (ACEs) are places where people of all ages and abilities can easily enjoy walking, bicycling, and other forms of recreation.

Active creative engaged communities
Be sure to check out the downloads page

Mentally healthy communities: A collection of papers
The Canadian Population Health Initiative (CPHI) commissioned these papers from experts from across Canada and internationally to foster discussion of the complex ways in which individual, social, cultural, physical and socio-economic determinants may affect individual and community mental health.

Planning and designing the physically active community: A resource list
The Planning and Designing the Physically Active Community Resource List contains book, article, and government document citations. The list is part of a continuous process and may be considered a literature review as well as a resource list.

Planning for parks, recreation, and open space in your community
This guidebook provides suggestions for distinguishing and designating different types of open space and recreation areas to meet a variety of community and regional needs. It provides basic steps and criteria for designating open space areas and recreation areas. It provides information on the planning process for parks, recreation, and open space and how to fund these facilities in your community.

Introducing health impact assessment (HIA): Informing the decision-making process
This booklet provides a simple, straightforward overview of the developing health impact assessment (HIA) approach, aiming to highlight its potential value and encourage people to use it to inform and enhance equitable, health-aware decision-making at all levels.

Healthy aging network (HAN) Case study report
An innovative Prevention Research Centers (PRC) program, the Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN) is a group of nine PRCs focused on improving the health of older Americans by conducting quality prevention research, translation, and dissemination of findings.

Healthy aging research network environmental audit tool and protocol
This audit tool and protocol were designed to support a detailed quantitative and qualitative inquiry into community-scale and street-scale factors associated with physical activity in older adults.

Livable and senior friendly communities: North Carolina

Walk-wise Drive smart - A senior pedestrian safety campaign

Long-term effectiveness of interventions promoting physical activity: A systematic review
Published in upcoming issue of Preventive Medicine. This review is the first to provide evidence of long-term effectiveness in physical activity programs and these successful components should be considered when planning future interventions in adults.

Washington State Department of Health – Nutrition and physical activity strategy
To help the people of Washington get healthier, the Department of Health is working with communities, schools, employers, and healthcare providers to make changes that will make it easier for us to make healthy choices in our daily lives.

White Paper on sport: an-other step to tackle obesity
The White Paper on Sport is focused on the societal role of sport which comprises the enhancement of public health through physical activity but also, the economic dimension and organisations in Europe, and the subsequent follow-up of the measures taken.

FHWA University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
Designed for engineering and planning students, the FHWA University Course contains modular resource material that is intended for use in university courses on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The Student Workbook contains 24 lessons that span a wide range of topics including an introduction to bicycling and walking issues, planning and designing for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and supporting elements and programs.


The Green Bike Project (GBP)
Will provide 200 new commuter bikes - and 100 tune ups for existing bikes - to commuters in return for their pledge to reduce drive-alone commuting by 60% during the project.


September 25, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The built environment, active transportation, public transportation, and health
Preventive Medicine Volume 47, Issue 3, September 2008, Pages 237-238
The papers in this month's themed issue, reflect both the exciting opportunities to identify major health determinants associated with modifiable characteristics of our habitats, and the relative infancy of this domain of research.

Journal of preventive medicine special issue
The January 2008 themed issue of Preventive Medicine on Self-transportation, Public Transportation and Health is available in full text.

Online TDM encyclopedia
“The Online TDM Encyclopedia is the world’s most comprehensive information resource concerning innovative transportation management strategies. It describes dozens of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies and contains information on TDM planning, evaluation and implementation. It has thousands of hyperlinks that provide instant access to more detailed information, including case studies and reference documents.”

Realtors peddle real estate to bike-happy clients
Not surprisingly this news article is from Portland, Ore. “With gas prices high, bicycles flying out of stores and a buyers' market for houses, a handful of real estate agents around the country are touting the two-wheeled appeal of their listings.”

Take action on active travel: Why a shift from car-dominated transport policy would benefit public health
They summarize: Policy in relation to active travel is evolving rapidly; important work is in development relating to land use and planning, children and play, and sustainability, as well as the more traditional areas of transport and of public health. Decision makers should not be swayed by a vocal minority of motoring enthusiasts; the public are in favor of transport policies that support walking, cycling and public transport over the private car.


Health passport
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 27(3), 416-433, 2008.

The Health Passport program was a collaborative effort with school PE teachers, health educators, and researchers. Teachers used the Health Passport process to hold students accountable for their involvement in physical activity outside of PE class over 3-7 months. Findings show that PE teachers can effectively promote physical activity beyond the school environment when they use specific strategies.

Risk and play: A literature review
Discover ways to balance risk-taking and safety in children's play with insight from research and expert opinion.

Youth sport vs. youth crime
“Organized sport programs for youth that develop social skills, mentoring opportunities with adult role models, cognitive skills, and increase feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem provide an antidote to antisocial behavior.”

A pilot study of physical activity education delivery in diabetes education centres in Ontario
The authors conclude “There is a lack of standardization in the content and delivery
of PA education in Ontario Diabetes Education Centers, and many diabetes educators feel that they lack the skills and training related to PA counseling.

Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada

Prevention for a healthier America: Investments in disease prevention yield significant savings, stronger communities
A small, strategic investment in disease prevention could result in significant savings in health care costs, according to a new report released by the Trust for America’s Health. The report finds that an investment of $10 per person per year in proven community-based programs to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and prevent smoking and other tobacco use could save more than $16 billion annually within five years (a return of $5.60 for every $1 spent).

Communities achieving responsive services (CARS) project
CARS cultivates local leadership by providing training, support and mentoring to communities through site visits, group gatherings, web-based supports and distance training sessions. The goal is to support networking and local leadership that will help communities work together to ensure that local services are accessible, responsive and culturally appropriate in communities across this country.

Promoting inclusive physical activity communities for people with disabilities
A new article in the Research Digest from the US President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Effect of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults at risk for alzheimer disease
JAMA Vol. 300 No. 9, September 3, 2008
In this study of adults with subjective memory impairment, a 6-month program of physical activity provided a modest improvement in cognition over an 18-month follow-up period.

Physical activity and neighborhood parks
American Journal of Public Health, 98(8): 1451-1456.
Researchers collected observational data on 28 specific features from 33 parks, and 7-day physical activity logs from adult residents to study whether park size, number of features in the park, and distance to a park were related to its usage. Results showed that number of features was a significant predictor of increased use for physical activity, while size and distance were not. Park facilities (e.g., bike trails or ball fields) were more strongly related to park-based physical activity than park amenities (e.g., drinking fountains or picnic area). Of facilities, trails had the strongest relationship with park use for physical activity.

Places for physical activity: Facilitating development of a community trail and promoting its use to increase physical activity among youth and adults. An action guide
An action guide from the Partnership for Prevention. Although there are many options for modifying the environment to allow for increased physical activity, community trails have a unique advantage in that they can accommodate different types of physical activity by people of all ages.

Review of best practice in interventions to promote physical activity in developing countries
This review aims to address the evidence gap by describing physical activity interventions in developing countries (current practice), and compiling case studies of those interventions thought to be successful (current best practice), for example, in terms of raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity and increasing participation in physical activity. This information will then support WHO initiatives towards the development of guidelines for implementing physical activity interventions in developing countries. (A WHO document 1st published Oct 2005).

Active living, the built environment, and the policy agenda
Active Living Research has produced a special issue journal on active living, the built environment, and the policy agenda that features case studies funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Planning's role in building healthy cities
This special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association includes several articles that advance our understanding of the influence of the built environment on physical activity. (large file, takes time to load)

Public health and the built environment
The American Planning Association has created a talking points webpage as part of the American Institute of Architects Communities by Design program. These talking points provide facts and figures that support the argument for including public health concerns in decisions affecting the built environment. Architects can design environments that incorporate physical activity into people's daily routines, give them a community with attractive destinations within walking or biking distance, and keep safety in mind with lighting, ''eyes on the street'' design, traffic calming, and other techniques to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Commute trip reduction (CTR): Programs that encourage employees to use efficient commute options
“This chapter describes Commute Trip Reduction programs, which encourage more efficient commute travel. These programs provide encouragement, incentives and support for commuters to use of alternative modes (such as walking, cycling, ridesharing, public transit and telework), alternative work hours, and other efficient transportation options.”

Guaranteed ride home: A backup for commuters who use alternative modes
“This chapter describes Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) programs, which provide an occasional subsidized ride to commuters who use alternative modes, to help deal with unexpected conditions.”