January 30, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Bike Route Toaster is a course creation application primarily aimed at Garmin Edge/Forerunner owners although other users without a GPS may also find it useful for planning rides. Courses are created using Google maps and then downloaded from the server.

Put very simply, Bikely helps cyclists share knowledge of good bicycle routes. I entered “Edmonton” in to the search feature and it came up with 73 routes.

Enjoying healthier food and drinks at events
Caterers for groups and organizations can play an important role in supporting healthy eating, a key step in reducing one's risk of heart disease.

Sports nutrition handbook – Public health nutrition program
Brand new! 2009 from Alberta Health Services. “This package can help athletes, coaches and parents learn about nutrition for active people. Proper nutrition can help optimize performance, and everyone can play a part.”

The benefits of physical activity
Found on the Centers for Disease Control web-site – last updated December 2008.

British Columbia Physical Activity Strategy
The Strategy is committed to its goal to improve the health of British Columbians through leadership that enhances community action to promote physical activity, with a targeted focus on inactive 35-54 year olds.

British Journal of Sport Medicine January 2009, Volume 43, 1
There are lots of great articles in this issue. Information on physical activity in general, for children, for older adults, in the workplace and more.

Take a walk today
Tips to encourage walking - excellent example of an email that could be sent out to employees.

Walk On
Ontario Communities walkON, a program that will, over the next three years, help make 24 Ontario cities and towns more walkable.

What's Holding You Back? Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity
This fact sheet provides tips on how to overcome personal barriers to physical activity.

Designing and planning for play: public space lessons
Bland playgrounds are restricting children’s creativity, with local authorities relying on an identical KFC, ‘kit, fence and carpet’, approach to design. This document 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.

Land in limbo - making the best use of vacant urban spaces: public space lessons
Land in limbo looks at how to transform these spaces into public assets. It outlines the obstacles faced, the actions required and the benefits to be gained from bringing vacant land back into use.

Public space lessons: Improving park performance
If a local authority wants to improve the performance of its green space services, where should it begin? And how will it know when it has succeeded?


Be active at work
Tips on easy ways to fit activity into your work day.

Ensuring a supportive environment at work
How to use the physical environment in and around your workplace to support your staff’s efforts to be physically active.

January 23, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

The more cyclists the safer
There is plenty of evidence showing that cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. In London there has been a 91% increase in cycle use on the capital's main roads since 2000, and a 33% reduction in cycle casualties in roughly the same period.

Skimping on sidewalks 2008: An analysis of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in New Jersey
Though pedestrian and cyclist deaths fell between 2007 and 2006, this report finds that NJ has made little progress towards a 1998 goal of halving ped/bike deaths by 2010 -- and seniors are most at risk of dying as a pedestrian. The report also shows that municipal demand for bike/ped funding far exceeds the state's ability to support those types of projects, with applications outstripping awards by almost 10-to-1.

Physical Activity to Combat Chronic Diseases and Escalating Health Care Costs: The Unfilled Prescription.
Franklin, Barry A Current Sports Medicine Reports May/Jun2008, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p122 4p.
The author reflects on the cause and prevention of chronic diseases in the U.S. He assessed that chronic diseases, such as coronary artery diseases (CAD), are stimulated by the increased reliance on technology and lead to higher health care cost. He suggested that the physicians and other health care providers should refer their patients to medically based exercise programs, thus more individuals may realize the cardioprotective and health benefits that physical activity can provide.

Physical Activity Recommendations for Children and Adolescents with Chronic Disease
Morris, Patrick J Current Sports Medicine Reports Nov/Dec2008, Vol. 7 Issue 6, p353 6p.
Recent research involving youth with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, cystic fibrosis, asthma, diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and hemophilia suggest positive effects of exercise therapy upon the aerobic capacity, functional ability, and quality of life of children and adolescents with disabilities and chronic diseases.

Canadian Abilities Foundation
The Canadian Abilities Foundation is excited to announce the launch of our new web site.
** NOTE** they have a Health + Activity section (click on the tab along the top).

The Health Benefits and Economics of Physical Activity
Myers, Jonathan Current Sports Medicine Reports Nov/Dec2008, Vol. 7 Issue 6, p314 3p.
The author reflects on the health importance of physical activity. He states that physical activity is linked with physiological adaptations and assists to avoid the development of various chronic diseases.

Let Us Play -- Fitness Is Fun!
Smith, Angela D Current Sports Medicine Reports Sep/Oct2008, Vol. 7 Issue 5, p248 2p.
The author reflects on the loss of physical play that improved fitness in the U.S. She states that with the modern conveniences, computer, cars and sprawling communities, people engineered physical activity out of their daily lives. She adds that people must build physical activity back into daily living, and critical in the fight against obesity increased physical activity decreases health risk for both normal weigh and overweight people.

National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA)
The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity's mission is to unite the strengths of public, private, and industry efforts into collaborative partnerships that inspire and empower all Americans to lead more physically active lifestyles.

It's the Sprawl Stupid! What's Driving Connecticut's Traffic Congestion
This fact sheet explains the cycle of sprawl and congestion which has led to vast increases in Connecticut’s per capita traffic delay and vehicle-miles traveled over the last two decades. It recommends that CT embrace smart growth policies and create a transit village program that would provide state funding and incentives to interested towns.

10 Good Reasons to Promote Health in Your Workplace

January 16, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Pedestrians 2008
Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2073; Dec. 31, 2008
This issue includes 14 papers on topics like evaluating a pedestrian safety demonstration project, video monitoring of pedestrians at signalized intersections, characteristics and circumstances of collision-involved pedestrians, pedestrian collision risk assessment, and models to measure pedestrian activity at signalized intersections.

Special Issue of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise
July 2008, Volume 40, Issue 7 Supplement 1
A special issue focusing on the health benefits of walking.


Childhood motor skill proficiency as a predictor of adolescent physical activity
Journal of Adolescent Health published online 27 October 2008
This study examined the relationship between motor skill proficiency in childhood and later physical activity in adolescence.

Contribution of Early Weight Gain to Childhood Overweight and Metabolic Health: A Longitudinal Study
Pediatrics Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009, pp. e67-e73

Strength Training by Children and Adolescents: Policy statement
Pediatrics Vol. 121 No. 4 April 2008, pp. 835-840

Opening doors to an Active life: how to engage inactive communities: Information sharing booklet
The booklet focuses on projects across the UK working to increase physical activity levels among the following inactive groups: Black and minority ethnic groups, People with mental ill health, Older adults, Socially deprived communities, Girls and women and People with disabilities.

Inclusion by design, Equality, diversity and the built environment
Until recently, discussion about equality and the built environment focused on physical access – or the lack of it. As physical access has improved, the discussion has widened to address cultural and economic access, recognizing that design plays a vital role in including, and often excluding, communities. It offers everyday examples from urban living demonstrating how good design can help create places that work for everyone.

KT Clearinghouse
The goal of this website is to provide a platform for which researchers interested in knowledge translation can draw on to enhance and facilitate implementation of KT initiatives.

Active living and diabetes: Building on our successes
Information and reports from this ALCOA project. Be sure to check out the left hand navigation column to see links to their other projects as well.

Guidance for Occupational therapy and physical activity interventions to promote the mental wellbeing of older people in primary and residential care
This guidance is for NHS primary care and other professionals who have a responsibility for promoting older people's mental wellbeing. This includes those working in local authorities and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors. It will also
be relevant for carers and family members who support older people.

Mental Wellbeing and Older People
A number of useful resources from the UK.

Healthy weight, healthy lives: A toolkit for developing local strategies
This toolkit is to help Local Authorities plan, coordinate and implement comprehensive strategies to prevent and manage overweight and obesity. It provides information and tools including useful statistics, practical initiatives, evidence of effectiveness, checklists, frameworks and examples of good practice.

Active Scotland
Still in its pilot stage – but worth a look and bookmarking.

Be Active Wa
Welcome to the Premier’s Physical Activity Taskforce (the Taskforce) website. Promoted under the be active wa banner, the Taskforce links government and community agencies to strengthen the promotion and development of physical activity programs for healthy lifestyles, for the environment and to build stronger communities.

The site offers information on how to be active, as well as provides information for government and community agencies on how to promote and support physical activity.

Connecting Newcomers to Sports and Coaching Opportunities in Atlantic Canada
For all Canadians, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, involvement in sport in
Canada is dependent upon personal resources and socio-economic status. In this study, we learned that this is indeed the case for new Canadians, with financial resources playing a key role in either affording or limiting their participation.

Halton Active Living Network
There are links to many good resources here. Click on the ‘home’ button at the top to be taken to the Choices 4 Health Coalition homepage.

Keys to exercise success
Tools, information sheets and videos from the American College of Sports Medicine

Impact of Urban Sprawl on Overweight, Obesity, and Physical Activity in Sydney, Australia
Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. Published online 04 December 2008.

A preliminary analysis of barriers, intentions, and attitudes towards moderate physical activity in women who are overweight
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Volume 11, Issue 6, November 2008, Pages 558-561.
“There was a significant difference between these women in perceived behavioural control for moderate-intensity physical activity, as women who felt more in control of their physical activity behaviour were more likely to engage in physical activity than inactive women.

Physical activity and women aged 55 – 70
CAAWS Physical Activity and Women Aged 55 to 70 was a three-year project (September 2005 – August 2008) focused on increasing physical activity opportunities for women (ages 55 – 70). Many tools and resources have been published – check them out!

Creating healthy, active workplaces
A great web-site from Australia

January 10, 2008

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The determinants of First Nation and Inuit health: A critical population health approach
It’s the 2nd article in this journal issue. Be sure to check out the rest of the table of contents too! There are many other interesting physical activity related articles in there.


Neighbourhood walkability and its particular importance for adults with a preference for passive transport
It’s the 13th article in this journal issue. They note that “Further analyses showed that living in a high walkable neighbourhood was associated with taking more steps, especially in adults with a preference for passive transport and/or a low intention to walk or cycle. In a health promotion context, these results are very promising.”

Transportation Cost and Benefit Analysis Techniques, Estimates and Implications
Be sure to scroll down and click on the link to section 5.3 Safety and Health.

2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey - Main Findings

Active and safe routes to school - January newsletter

Gaining children's perspectives: A multiple method approach to explore environmental influences on healthy eating and physical activity
It’s the 27th article in this journal issue.

What do parents and preschool staff tell us about young children's physical activity: a qualitative study.
Found in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008, 5:66
Their findings support the relevance of the socioecological model of behavioural influences to young children's physical activity. In this age group, efforts may best be directed at emphasising national guidelines for small screen recreation and educating families and carers about the importance of creative, free play to reinforce the child's inherent nature to be active.

Alberta healthy living network – Mental health common messages
These mental health common messages are intended for use by practitioners in the areas of health promotion and chronic disease prevention. As the information provided refers to the general population, the messages may need to be tailored to the specific individual.

Exercise and Depression
A fact sheet produced by the Black Dog Institute, which is attached to the Prince of Wales Hospital and affiliated with the University of New South Wales.

Adiposity, Physical Activity, and Pancreatic Cancer in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Cohort
Found in American Journal of Epidemiology 2008 167(5):586-597.
“The authors observed no association with physical activity. Their results suggest a positive association between adiposity and pancreatic cancer.”

Body Mass Index, Physical Activity, and Bladder Cancer in a Large Prospective Study
Found in Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2008;17(5):1214–21
In conclusion, these findings provide support for a modest adverse effect of adiposity on risk for bladder cancer. In contrast, our results do not suggest a relation between physical activity and bladder cancer.

CHN FAQ’s now on ACAL web-site
… in English, French, as .pdf for easy printing.

Television, Physical Activity, Diet, and Body Weight Status: the ARIC Cohort
Found in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008, 5:68
Their results support the hypothesis that time spent watching TV is associated with deleterious effects on physical activity, diet, and BMI.


Leisure time physical activity differences among older adults from diverse socioeconomic neighborhoods
It’s the 11th article in this journal issue.

Physical Activity and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study
Found in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2009;18(1):289–96.
“Conclusions: Physical activity was associated with reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk, particular to ER-negative tumors. These results, along with heterogeneity in the physical activity-breast cancer relation for subgroups of menopausal hormone therapy use and adiposity, indicate that physical activity likely influences breast cancer risk via both estrogenic and estrogen-independent mechanisms.”

Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and endometrial cancer risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study
Found in International Journal of Cancer Published Online: 9 Oct 2008

Prospective study of physical activity and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer
Found in Breast Cancer Res. 2008; 10(5): R92. Published online 2008 October 31
“Our findings suggest that physical activity acts through underlying biological mechanisms that are independent of body weight control.”

Capacitycheck is a method of appraising and developing urban design skills. It can help professionals to free themselves from their silos; politicians to become effective champions of design; communities to be empowered; students to learn how to work in an urban context; and landowners and developers to discover the value of making places.

Impact of Urban Sprawl on Overweight, Obesity, and Physical Activity in Sydney, Australia
Found in Journal of Urban Health published online 04 December 2008.
They found: Living in more sprawling suburbs increases the risk of overweight/obesity and inadequate physical activity despite the relatively low levels of urban sprawl in metropolitan Sydney. Modifications to the urban environment to increase physical activity may be worthwhile.