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.