April 23, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Adult Active Transportation: Adding Habit Strength to the Theory of Planned Behavior
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 36, Issue 3, Pages 189-194 (March 2009)
They conclude: Habit strength is a moderator of the intention–behavior relationship regarding bicycle use, with intention becoming less relevant when bicycle use increases in habit strength. Future determinant and intervention studies on physical activity may benefit from including a measure of habit strength—for instance, by identifying the differential effects of informational and environmental interventions.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Pathfinder
Over the past few decades, the topics of pedestrian safety and bicycle transportation have moved increasingly to the forefront. This guide provides a list of bicycle and pedestrian transportation resources. (A great listing of papers, resources. Clicking on a resource will take you to their library catalogue BUT it also provides a link to the actual document in most cases).

Cycling reduces absenteeism at the workplace
In February 2009, TNO, a Dutch contract research organization, published research directly studying the relation between commuting by bicycle, work performance and absenteeism. FINDINGS: Employees regularly cycling to work are ill less often. A 1% increase in regular commuting by bicycle would translate into savings of approximately 27 million Euro (£24M) per annum for employers, as calculated by TNO.

Health Economic Appraisal Tool (HEAT) for cycling
This tool estimates the economic savings resulting from reduced mortality due to cycling i.e.: if x people cycle y distance on most days, what is the economic value of the improvements in their mortality rate?

Ireland's first National Cycle Policy Framework
This document sets out the National Cycle Policy Framework, 2009-2020.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Case Study Compendium
A large 258 page document. The case studies, or success stories, cover pedestrian and bicycle projects and programs from across the US and abroad, including engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, planning, health promotion, and comprehensive safety initiatives. They are intended to provide ideas and spur thinking about potential activities communities can undertake to further support bicycling and walking.

Reclaiming city streets for people Chaos or quality of life?
This new handbook sets out some case studies where road space has been reallocated for other uses. New, attractive and popular public areas can be created on sites that were once blocked by regular traffic jams. If these are properly planned, they need not result in road traffic chaos, contrary to what might be expected.

Valuing the Benefits of Cycling: A Report to Cycling England

Why Bicyclists Hate Stop Signs
In this essay University of California physics professor Joel Fajans and Access transportation journal editor Melanie Curry to write that requiring cyclists to follow the same complete-stop rules as motorists defies science.

Treatment of Childhood Overweight and Obesity
2009 Ontario Medical Association Background Paper and Policy Recommendations.

Walking and Cycling to School: Predictors of Increases Among Children and Adolescents
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 36, Issue 3, Pages 195-200 (March 2009)
They conclude: Social factors and physical environmental characteristics were the most important predictors of active commuting in children and adolescents, respectively.

Centre for Health Communication and Participation
Established within the Australian Institute for Primary Care at La Trobe University in April 2009, the Centre's mission is to improve communication with and participation by consumers and carers, through evidence-informed policy and decision making. (Typing Physical Activity into the search engine yields 989 hits.)

Five Ways to Well-Being
The New Economics Foundation (NEF) centre for well-being has developed a set of five evidence-based actions that, if practiced regularly, can improve personal well-being. Physical Activity is one of the five J

NEF’s Well-Being Web-site
The centre for well-being at nef seeks to understand, measure and influence well-being. In particular we ask the question 'what would policy making and the economy look like if their main aim were to promote well-being?'

Center for Planning Excellence – Land Use Toolkit
Toolkit functions as a shared resource from which parishes and municipalities can adopt a complete development code or select cafeteria-style from individual tools that meet their specific needs. This website contains both the complete Toolkit, and a separate User Guide.

45 and Up Study
The 45 and Up Study is the largest study of healthy ageing ever undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere. Over 250,000 men and women aged 45 and over across NSW have been recruited – about 10% of this age group – and will have their health followed over the coming decades.

Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging: Training and Demonstration Projects
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that two universities are being recognized for improving the quality of life of older residents through community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth.

Estimating Older Adults' Preferences for Walking Programs via Conjoint Analysis
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 36, Issue 3, Pages 201-207.e4 (March 2009)
The results suggest that the characteristics of walking programs, such as whether they involve participation in a formal group, substantially influence their perceived acceptability and the likelihood of participation. The results also suggest that, independent of other program attributes, modest financial incentives increase the likelihood of program participation by sedentary older adults, and thus are a potential means to increase the effectiveness of walking programs.

Retirement and Physical Activity: Analyses by Occupation and Wealth
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 36, Issue 5, Pages 422-428 (May 2009)
Older adults close to retirement age show the lowest level of physical activity. Changes in lifestyle with retirement may alter physical activity levels. This study investigated whether retirement changes physical activity and how the effect differs by occupation type and wealth level.

Public transit, obesity, and medical costs: Assessing the magnitudes
Preventive Medicine 46 (2008) 14–21
While no silver bullet, walking associated with public transit can have a substantial impact on obesity, costs, and well-being. Further research is warranted on the net impact of transit usage on all behaviors, including caloric intake and other types of exercise, and on whether policies can promote transit usage at acceptable cost

2008 Alberta Recreation Survey
In the fall 2008, over 2,200 Alberta households responded to questions about their participation in recreational activities they took part in over the past 12 months. Walking for pleasure, gardening and attending fairs and festivals are the top three leisure or recreational activities…..

Measurement of the Food and Physical Activity Environments: Enhancing Research Relevant to Policy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight
This supplement is organized into four main sections:
* history of measurement of food and physical activity environments,
* the state of the science of measuring these environments,
* measurement of food and physical activity environments of populations at increased risk of obesity and related health conditions, and
* summaries of discussions and recommendations from four workshop breakout groups.

Physical Activity and Health Alliance
Welcome to the Physical Activity and Health Alliance online community website for practitioners engaged in physical activity and health across Scotland.

Premier's Council for Active Living (New S Wales)
To assist and support leaders in the public, private and community sectors to make decisions that will facilitate and encourage active living, PCAL has summarized in this Active Living Statement the key evidence demonstrating the benefits of active living and the individual and social costs of a sedentary lifestyle.

Quantifying the positive health effects of cycling and walking
This (WHO) project aimed at facilitating the harmonization of methodological approaches to provide guidance for practitioners, focusing in particular on approaches to the economic valuation of positive health effects related to cycling and walking.

Translating Physical Activity Recommendations into a Pedometer-Based Step Goal: 3000 Steps in 30 Minutes
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 36, Issue 5, Pages 410-415 (May 2009)
Moderate-intensity walking appears approximately equal to at least 100 step·min–1. However, step counts per minute is a poor proxy for METs, and so 100 step·min–1 should be used only as a general physical activity promotion heuristic. To meet current guidelines, individuals are encouraged to walk a minimum of 3000 steps in 30 minutes on 5 days each week. Three bouts of 1000 steps in 10 minutes each day can also be used to meet the recommended goal.

Western Australia’s Physical Activity Plan 2007-08 / 2010-11
This discussion document sets the scene for a Strategic and Action Plan for Physical Activity. The aim of the plan is to give clear direction for the promotion of physical activity in Western Australia. This document is intended to stimulate discussion within sectors and among others with an interest in physical activity. It sets out the key issues and suggests some strategic directions in Western Australia.

Canadian Cochrane Network announces FREE access to the Cochrane Library for all Canadians
The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. It includes reliable evidence from Cochrane and other systematic reviews, clinical trials, and more. Cochrane reviews bring you the combined results of the world’s best medical research studies, and are recognized as the gold standard in evidence-based health care.

Using financial incentives to achieve healthy behaviour
BMJ 2009; 338:b 1415
For those developing incentive schemes, the literature provides some guidance on effective components. Schemes targeting habitual behaviors such as smoking or physical inactivity may be more effective if they provide valued incentives for initial as well as sustained behavior change, delivered intermittently and as part of effective behavior change programs. For schemes aimed at initiating relatively simple behaviors in low income populations such as clinic attendance and participation in vaccination programs, small incentives delivered immediately seem most effective.

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