Friday

November 14, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
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.

CHILDREN
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.

OLDER ADULTS
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.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
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.

URBAN DESIGN
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.

WOMEN
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.

WORKPLACE
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.

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