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.

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