January 25, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Dependence on cars in urban neighbourhoods: Life in metropolitan areas
As cities grow, sometimes neighbourhood design and public transportation schemes do not keep pace, resulting on more reliance on cars.


Energy expenditure in adolescents playing new generation computer games
This study compared the energy expenditure of teenage boys and girls when playing sedentary (XBOX 360) and new generation active computer games (Wii Sports).


Chronic disease prevention: Looking back on 2007 and ahead to 2008


Manulife national physical activity institute
The Manulife National Physical Activity Institute is being hosted at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

The institute will take place from June 23-25, 2008. The focus of the institute, will be on providing resources and tools that can be utilized to mobilize populations to be more physically active for health benefits.


Combined impact of health behaviours and mortality in men and women: The EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study

Indicators of well-being in Canada
Indicators of Well-being in Canada gathers data from different sources and presents a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the well-being of Canadians and Canadian society.

You will find a wide range of indicators, or statistical measures, that show how things are going for Canadians.


2008 American Council on Exercise (ACE) fitness trends predictions

Active living network website – no longer operating
Message from the Network January 10:

“I'm writing to thank you for your support and commitment to advancing active living and to let know you that this month's Active Living Update will be our last. While the Network will no longer operate after Jan. 10, 2008, you may continue to access archived resources, tools, profiles and storybank projects,”

Case studies from "Go for your life" physical activity grants program
Read about success stories from the "Go for your life" physical activity grants program in Victoria, Aus.

This is the first large study to show the combined effects of four key health behaviours: non-smoking, physically active, moderate alcohol intake and recommended fruit & vegetable consumption.

Get out there magazine: Launches online editions
With editions in Ontario and western Canada, Get Out There serves as a local resource for amateur sports, outdoor recreation and adventure pursuits.

Links to even more research


Diet and exercise prescribed to aid psychotic patients
Quebec research which claims that excess weight gain provoked by antipsychotic drugs can be avoided with a nutrition and exercise program. Instead of packing on the pounds, patients actually lost weight, a study by the Université Laval faculty of medicine shows.


Obesity and the eating habits of the Aboriginal population, 2005


Does walking in the neighbourhood enhance local sociability?


Get moving at work – A resource kit for workplace health and wellbeing programs

The Get Moving at Work resource kit is a simple-to-use guide for organizations, particularly employers, wishing to develop a health and wellbeing program for their organisation. (Part of Get Moving Tasmania - lots of other good resources here too!)

January 18, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc, Alberta Centre for Active Living


Edmonton 2005/2006 bicycle user survey report

The Household Travel Survey conducted by the City of Edmonton in 2005 showed a 150% increase in the number of cycling trips taken per day (from 10,000 trips per day to 25,000 trips per day) between 1994 and 2005.

With such a marked increase in cycling in the City of Edmonton, the 2005/2006 Bicycle User Survey provides some insight into the habits and preferences of these cyclists.


Characteristics of school campuses and physical activity among youth

Previous research suggests that school characteristics may influence physical activity.

However, few studies have examined associations between school building and campus characteristics and objective measures of physical activity among middle school students.

The childcare environment and children’s physical activity

Previous research indicates that the childcare center that children attend significantly affects physical activity behaviour.

The current findings extend this evidence by identifying aspects of the childcare environment that relate to the physical activity behaviour of children.

These factors should be considered when identifying determinants of physical activity and designing interventions.

Ever Active Schools: Updated website

“The staff at Ever Active Schools are excited to launch our new and improved website. Our intent was to make our site more user friendly and ensure it supplies our visitors with valuable resources and helpful information.”

Ever Active Schools: Winter newsletter:


Effects of “10,000 Steps Ghent” A whole-community intervention

“A multi-strategy community-based intervention was implemented in 2005 with follow-up measurements in 2006 to promote physical activity to adults.

“A local media campaign, environmental approaches, the sale and loan of pedometers and several local physical activity projects were concurrently implemented …”


Physical activity and the deaf

“The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) has produced a report on physical activity and the Deaf community.

“This report focuses on the relationship of hearing loss, communication skills and the development of motor skills in deaf or hearing-impaired children and adults and makes recommendations for physical educators on the challenges of integrating and involving the deaf and hearing- impaired in community sport and recreation activities.

Providing physical education programs to help individuals develop healthy and active lifestyles is a critical issue for the deaf community.”


The effect of question order on reporting physical activity and walking behaviour

“Estimating PA and walking across sociodemographic strata with differing patterns of PA requires asking moderate-PA and vigorous-PA questions before walking questions.

“Asking walking questions first might lead to bias, especially for moderate PA. Walking, added to a survey with BRFSS moderate and vigorous PA items, should be placed after moderate and vigorous PA.

“Walking questions first may cause bias, especially for moderate PA.”

Efficacy of a theory-based behavioural intervention to increase physical activity in an at-risk group in primary care (ProActive UK): a randomised trial.

“Interpretation: A facilitated theory-based behavioural intervention was no more effective than an advice leaflet for promotion of physical activity in an at-risk group; therefore health-care providers should remain cautious about commissioning behavioural programmes into individual preventive health-care services.”

Exercise is medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have launched a new program designed to encourage patients to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routine.

It calls on doctors to prescribe exercise to their patients.

Leisure-time activities shift over 12 years

“For 1,052 adults ages 18 and over, each week contains 45 hours of work and 20 hours of leisure time.

"In 2007, the 2 or 3 most favorite leisure-time activities were reading (29%), watching television (18%) and spending time with the family/kids (18%).

“Compared to 1995, the largest increases in popularity were computer activities (up 7 points from 2% to 9%), watching sporting events (up 4 points), exercise (up 3 points) and crafts (up 3 points).”

Promoting physical activity through hand-held computer technology

Results from this first-generation study indicate that hand-held computers may be effective tools for increasing initial physical activity levels among underactive adults.

Step up to better health
Register at http://aarp.stepuptobetterhealth.

“Step Up to Better Health” incorporates a step counter to help users build up to walking 10,000 steps per day by virtually travelling along one of four famous trails: Lewis & Clark, Alaska Highway, Highway 50 or the Appalachian Trail.

Two on-line activity trackers
Register to participate at

“Get Fit on Route 66” Virtually trace the legendary highway that runs from the shores of Lake Michigan to the California coast by recording exercise minutes online; minutes convert to highway miles.”

Understanding dog owners’ increased levels of physical activity: Results from RESIDE

“We examined the influence of dog ownership on physical activity, independent of demographic, intrapersonal, and perceived environmental factors, in a cross-sectional survey of 1813 adults.

“Although only 23% of the dog owners walked their dogs 5 or more times per week, the adjusted odds of achieving sufficient physical activity and walking were 57% to 77% higher among dog owners compared with those not owning dogs (P< .05).

“Dog ownership was independently associated with physical activity and walking. Actively encouraging more dog walking may increase community physical activity levels.”


The relationship between organized physical recreation and mental health

“This review supports the development and maintenance of organized sport and recreational activities that are socially and culturally appropriate.

“An increase in valid and reliable evaluations of sport and physical recreation programs would contribute to the international body of evidence of the mental health benefits of organized physical recreation.”


Ready-to-use presentation for educators on Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis

“... a new ready-to-use PowerPoint presentation to help nutrition educators introduce and share the information about healthy eating and physical activity found in Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis.


The Friendly Corner

The Friendly Corner (TFC) is a successful partnership between the St. Laurent Centre Mall in Ottawa, the Canadian Public Health agency, and 24 volunteers.

TFC is a bilingual, health information and activity centre, open in this mall since 1994.

It provides opportunities for older adults to take charge of their health and improve their quality of life through physical activity, healthy eating, social connectivity and positive mental health.


Active neighborhood checklist

“This practical checklist helps residents, community groups, government officials and others determine whether their neighborhoods are activity friendly.

The checklist rates communities on land use, presence of public recreational facilities, availability of public transportation and quality of the environment.”

(Scroll to the Tools section – the titles underneath are all hyper-linked.)

Healthy landuse plans

“A new toolkit details various strategies for creating healthy communities, from building relationships and assessing existing conditions, to creating policy language for implementation of these strategies.

“It is designed for training advocates in the relationship between the built environment and public health, such as improving community health by ensuring that farmers' markets and neighborhood grocery stores are supported, or by promoting sidewalks, parks and other environmental components that encourage physical activity.”

Land use impacts on transport

“This paper examines how various land use factors such as density, regional accessibility, mix and roadway connectivity affect travel behavior, including per capita vehicle travel, mode split and nonmotorized travel.” (Published 10 January 08)

Measuring the performance of transit-oriented developments in Western Australia

“This new report summarizes factors to consider when evaluating TOD transport, economic social and environmental impacts.

"It recommends longitudinal measurement of performance indicators in six categories, including travel behaviour, the local economy, the natural environment, the built environment, the social environment and the policy context.”

Planning for healthy places fact sheets

Smart growth e-learning portal

“An educational program describing various smart growth concepts and implementation strategies, developed by the Smart Growth Canada Network, sponsored by Natural Resources Canada.”


Long-term effects of a physical activity intervention in high school girls

“Physical activity (PA) decreases during childhood and adolescence, and PA levels are significantly lower in females than males, particularly during adolescence.

“Schools are attractive settings in which to implement interventions designed to promote PA in girls and young women, but few studies have tested the sustained effects of such interventions.”

Updating the evidence on physical activity and health in women

“There is strong evidence of a role for PA in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers in women.

“There was no evidence of additional health benefits from vigorous-intensity PA, over and above those achieved from walking or moderate-intensity PA.

“This may be because, in most studies, there was limited reporting of vigorous PA by women.

“For some health outcomes, the amount of PA required for health benefits in middle-aged and older women might be lower than current national recommendations.”