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.