May 28, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Active Travel Workplace Toolkit
To help improve health, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity, Sustrans has published a UK-wide Active Travel Workplace Toolkit to help organizations encourage their employees to walk, cycle and use public transport for their commute. (There are lots of great resources here – planning for AT, a step by step guide, plus many supporting documents!).

Boots Across Canada
Trans Canada Trail has entered into a partnership with Keen Canada for an innovative fund development program called Boots Across Canada. Keen Canada will give TCT a $5 donation for every pair of “boots” (or shoes or sandals or rollerblades) pictured in a photo on a trail that is uploaded to Keen Canada’s website by October 31. These funds will be distributed to provincial partners, based on the number of photos from each province.

Cycle Friendly Work Places
Businesses and Organizations should encourage making workplaces more cycle - friendly, as part of a travel plan to reduce car trips for commuting and business.
Employers may take a number of steps to make it easy and to encourage staff to travel to work by bike, or to use a bike for business travel. Includes a sample survey companies can use to audit the work-site to find out what changes are needed to encourage more people to cycle to work
Forty years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else but now 36% of the population choose the bicycle. Copehagenizing is possible anywhere. Check out the blog!

Fact Sheet: Costs of Complete Streets
While I can’t find a publication date, one of the references is from March 2009 – this document is recent. The National Complete Streets Coalition has consulted with practitioners across the county to develop a fact sheet on the costs of implementing a complete streets policy. The fact sheet touches on many of the issues involved in planning, designing, and operating streets that accommodate all users of all ages and abilities.

Manitoba appoints Active Transportation Advisory Group
Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau today appointed 11 people to the Active Transportation Advisory Group which will make recommendations for improving Manitoba’s active transportation policy and infrastructure.

Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation Newsletter
Find out the active transportation news from Canada's largest city.

Visualizing the transformation to a complete street
Shows before and then transforms to after (complete). Shows tags where changes have been made.

It’s A Crime To Walk To School
While it may not be the brightest idea to force your 6-year old child to walk down a suburban arterial street during the morning rush hour all alone, the underlying problem is that we have been designing neighborhoods where it’s unsafe for children to walk or play. We’re not defending this individual case, but condemning that children in Louisville literally can’t walk to school in many parts of the city.

The Good Play Space Guide: “I can play too”
This guide is about play and its benefits for everyone. Many children and adults who have a disability are not able to use public play spaces for a variety of reasons. The purpose of this guide is to examine the reasons why play spaces can limit access to some children and identify how improvements can be made to increase participation by all children in play.

The Melbourne Charter for Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Listed as a protective factor is “Sport and Recreation: participation and access”

America’s Streets Aren’t Ready for Aging Population
An article in the AARP Bulletin that speaks to the opportunities of complete streets in addressing the needs of older adults.

Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community
Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2009, 6: 289-298
This high quality review clearly confirms the value of physical activity in reducing the risk and rate of falls in older adults in the community. It is important that this population group is encouraged to maintain or initiate physical activity, particularly the types illustrated in the review, to sustain healthy independent living.

Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America: Research Report
AARP's Public Policy Institute says a wide survey of transportation planners and engineers found that a majority says they have not begun to prepare for the coming increase in Americans over 65 years old. Their report is packed with new information and calls for adoption of Complete Streets policies to address the needs of the estimated 64 million Americans who will be over 65 in 2025.

Expected values for steps/day in special populations
Preventive Medicine, 2009, article in press . Catrine Tudor-Locke, Tracy L. Washington and Teresa L. Hart
This review provides important specific information for professionals promoting physical activity in individuals and community groups living with chronic illness and disabilities. It gives clear and valid surveillance information on physical activity levels in special populations which can assist in planning and evaluating interventions specific to these groups.

National Health Survey Summary of Results – Australia
“Exercise” is mentioned 77 times in this 64 page .pdf
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the results of the 2007-08 National Health Survey. Approximately 22,000 people from all States and Territories and across all age groups were included. The survey was designed to obtain national benchmarks on a wide range of health issues

Sport and Recreation Community Building: Literature Review
The New South Wales Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation commissioned this literature review on strategic approaches that use sport and recreation to bolster community development

Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business
This research report published by the Clean Air Partnership in February 2009 shows that removing on-street parking to install a bicycle lane or widened sidewalk would likely increase not decrease commercial activity.

Determinants of participation in worksite health promotion programs: a systematic review
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:26
This systematic review investigates initial participation in worksite health promotion programs, the underlying determinants of participation, and program characteristics influencing participation levels


May 23, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Effects of On-Street Parking on Cyclist Route Choice and the Operational Behavior of Cyclists and Motorists
Providing safer, more efficient bikeways on roadways with on-street parking is needed to address the hazards that parked vehicles present. When a cyclist chooses to ride on the sidewalk, they are more likely to be involved in a collision. Alternatively, a bicyclist may choose a different route that is longer and/or more difficult to ride, which may make bicycling a less likely mode of transportation for commuting by bicycle in the future.

My Commute sucks…. And I’m not gonna take it anymore!
Transportation affects us all - drivers, cyclists, walkers, the young, the old, big city dwellers and small town neighbors. Whether you ride the train or brave the traffic, building stronger, safer communities starts with smart transportation investment.

Rethink your commute – Eco Mobile a Laval
The purpose of Éco Mobile à Laval is to help cut down on car use and promote public transit, walking and cycling as solutions for your day-to-day needs.

Action Strategies Toolkit - A Guide for Local and State Leaders Working to Create Healthy Communities and Prevent Childhood Obesity
The toolkit was created to support local and state leaders nationwide in their efforts
to promote healthy, active communities and access to affordable healthy foods. The
strategies in this toolkit include promising and evidence-based practices that advance
these goals and build upon the work in which policy-makers are already engaged.

Preventing Childhood Obesity: A School Health Policy Guide
Also from the RWJF, the goal of this guide is to offer the latest policy updates and recommendations about how to promote physical education and activity and healthy eating policies in schools. To accomplish this goal, the guide refocuses the research and policy recommendations in these chapters to provide specific models for schools to address the childhood obesity epidemic

Tooling up for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Child-Care Centers
Researchers with the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin evaluated use of a toolkit designed to help child-care centers prevent overweight among young children by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

Walking and Biking to School, Physical Activity and Health Outcomes
This brief summarizes research on active transport to school, physical activity levels and health outcomes. It also explores the factors that influence walking and biking to school, including the impact of SRTS programs.

What Role Can eHealth Play in Preventing Childhood Obesity?
This report addresses the potential role that evidence-based eHealth can play in reducing the incidence and prevalence of childhood obesity for at-risk children and families, especially those from low socioeconomic status (SES) and culturally diverse neighborhoods and communities.

Canadian Walking Master Class
Between May 12 and June 10, 2009, the Canadian Walking Master Class will be traveling across Canada, bringing a team of international walkability experts to five cities (Hamilton, Moncton, Kelowna, Metro Vancouver and Whitehorse). The Canadian Walking Master Class is a unique project that supports putting people at the heart of their communities and encourages decision making to ensure active, safe and sustainable places across Canada.

Life in metropolitan areas: Are suburban residents really less physically active?
This study is the first of its kind to cover all of Canada’s metropolitan areas. It differs notably from previous studies in that it examines the relationship between urban planning and various types of physical activities. It reveals that although the activities practiced differ by type of neighbourhood, total activity levels are quite similar wherever people live.

Recent research
A great compilation (from the USC Prevention Research Centre) of the latest physical activity research published. “Articles come from peer-reviewed journals and focus on topics such as effective physical activity interventions, psychosocial determinants of physical activity behavior, and environmental/community factors related to physical activity.”


May 14, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Cycling Vancouver
A cycling route planner, using Google Maps technology in conjunction with mapped data on Metro Vancouver cycling routes. Cyclists can search for routes that have such features as minimum elevation gains, minimum air pollution, and minimum distances.

Walkability Toolkit
The Walkability Toolkit has been created to serve as a resource for audiences interested in creating walkable communities focusing on pedestrian friendly environments. The toolkit is a compilation of a variety of Canadian articles including statistics that will enable you to provide sound research for your initiative.

Walking and Walkability: Research on Pedestrians & the Public Realm
The knowledge-base on pedestrian movement and the environment here at London Analytics is well-established and growing strongly; we developed the International Walkability Benchmark, and together with the Intelligent Space Partnership calibrated the world's first validated city pedestrian flow forecasting model.

What Makes a Neighbourhood Bikeable
This report details the results of four focus group sessions conducted by TransLink in partnership with the Cycling in Cities study from the University of British Columbia. The focus groups were conducted in order to gain a deeper understanding of what makes a neighbourhood bikeable.

PhysEd Source
A *NEW* online directory that aims to provide useful web links and other helpful resources for professionals in the field of physical education. The site is designed to provide links to highly informative physical education, physical activity and health resources from all over the world.
Whether you are looking for online resources that are provincial, national or international in nature, or you are seeking the latest in research from the field of physical education, is your place to start.

Walk On
walkON is a community partnership of Heart Health projects from Central West Ontario. We offer a menu of program activities to engage the community in the creation of environments that support walking.

Healthy Parks Healthy People: International Congress 2010
Melbourne April 11th – 16th 2010.
If you work in urban planning, community development, physical and mental health, tourism, education, recreation, ecology and park management (urban and protected area) then this is the conference for you!!

Obesity: An Overview of Current Landscape and Prevention-Related Activities in Ontario
Published 30 April 09. Physical Activity is mentioned throughout. The report provides a brief overview of the issue of obesity in Ontario and Canada and provides a listing of current initiatives that address and support activities related to its prevention. In addition, the report provides an overview of available tools that can help plan, assess and provide support to obesity prevention-related initiatives in Ontario.

The Cinderella of public health news: physical activity coverage in Australian newspapers, 1986-2006
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2009, 33: 189-192
Learn about how physical activity coverage in newspapers has changed over the last 20 years.

Physical Activity in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Migrant Groups to Western Society: A Review of Barriers, Enablers and Experiences
Sports Medicine, 2009, 39:167-177
This paper reviews the current literature outlining the barriers, challenges and enablers of physical activity for people in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups who have recently migrated to Western society, and suggests recommendations and strategies that may positively influence physical activity participation in CALD populations.

Workplace Wellness: A literature review for NZ Well@Work
The specific aims of this review were to explore the rationale for why wellness should be promoted in the workplace, to identify the benefits to employers and employees of WHP programs and/or interventions, and to understand ways to make wellness initiatives effective in the workplace (specifically those relating to healthy eating and physical activity).


May 8, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living


I Walk in My Street: A Guide to Planning Successful Pedestrian Streets in New York City
The pedestrian streets that began to crop up around New York in the summer of 2008 have been a long-time coming, and their arrival was widely celebrated. But care must be taken if their continuation and expansion is to be ensured; if their reintroduction is poorly managed, they could easily meet the same fate as the pedestrianizations of the 1970’s.

Making the Case for Active Transportation
Eight information bulletins have been developed by CFLRI for professionals and community members who want to build a case for active transportation in their community. Each bulletin includes evidence that supports the investment of time and resources for active transportation opportunities at the local level. They focus on designing communities for moving people and not cars. Recommended actions to increase and strengthen collaborative partnerships for active transportation are also included.

New Urban News
A professional newsletter for planners, developers, architects, builders, public officials and others who are interested in the creation of human-scale communities. If you click on “past articles” in the left hand column you will find some interesting articles.

Pedestrian Forum - Spring 2009
The latest edition of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Pedestrian Forum Newsletter is now available. The newsletter highlights efforts by the FHWA and its partners to improve the safety of walking and bicycling as a mode of transportation.

Valuing the health benefits of active transport modes
Land Transport New Zealand has released a report that explores the per-kilometer value for the health benefits of active transport modes, such as walking and cycling.


A healthy active childhood: giving children the best chance of a cancer-free future
This report published for World Cancer Day 2009: Explains the link between cancer and excess body weight, poor diet and physical inactivity, Calls on parents, teachers, and decision - makers to take action now to encourage healthy habits among children……

Design for Play - A guide to creating successful play spaces
The guide shows how to design good play spaces, which can be affordably maintained, which give children and young people the freedom to play creatively, and yet still allow them to experience risk, challenge and excitement.

Encouraging kids to live an active childhood
A factsheet.
Free play: Improving children's physical health
This briefing for the play sector highlights the official recommendations (England) on obesity that relate to free play, leisure opportunities and access to open space

Play and health: Making the links
This briefing for health improvement specialists, primary care teams and healthy schools coordinators, provides information on why play is crucial to children's health and explores possibilities for joint working between the health and play sectors.

Play for a change - Play, Policy and Practice: A review of contemporary perspectives
Play England has published a comprehensive review of the evidence underpinning current thinking on play. It provides a detailed analysis of research and literature published since 2001 that underpins contemporary understandings of the importance of play and how this relates to social policy and practice.

Using Child-friendly Maps to Promote Active Transportation
A feature article on the Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin.


2009 Weight of the Nation Conference
The CDC’s inaugural conference on obesity prevention and control will be held in Washington, DC July 27th – 29th. The event is designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies and is framed around four intervention settings: community, medical care, school, and workplace.


Cancer-related beliefs and behaviors in eight geographic regions
This report provides the first internationally comparable data of people's beliefs about screening, diagnosis and behaviors that increase cancer risk, such as smoking, drinking and being overweight.

Up and Running? Exercise therapy and the treatment of mild or moderate depression in primary care
The Mental Health Foundation calls for patients with depression to be offered exercise on prescription. Substantial evidence shows that exercise therapy can be an effective treatment for depression. Includes a report, booklets and FAQ’s.


Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community
Exercise interventions reduce risk and rate of falls. Research is needed to confirm the contexts in which multifactorial assessment and intervention, home safety interventions, vitamin D supplementation, and other interventions are effective.


2009 Annual Evidence Update - Obesity - Childhood obesity: surveillance and prevention (England).
The current update demonstrates of the growth of evidence within this field, with reviews now covering broader issues around the environment, policy and practice. Although the systematic reviews vary in their quality assurance and inclusion criteria, collectively the available evidence base remains weak, due to the inconsistencies and heterogeneity of available studies. To a certain extent this is indicative of the complexity of the obesity however, the evidence from these systematic reviews will continue to build a foundation for future research and help to inform practice and policy.

Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On
This report reviews progress on the delivery of Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government Strategy for England (published January 2008) and sets out priorities for the future. One Year On builds on the five themes from Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives, but demonstrates how we have developed our thinking over the last year to keep up momentum in tackling unhealthy weight. (Physical activity in mentioned throughout).

Primary care physicians' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding childhood obesity: a systematic review.
Obesity Reviews 2009 Mar; 10(2):227-36
From this review, it is obvious that there is a need for education of primary care physicians to increase the uniformity of the assessment and to improve physicians' self-efficacy in managing childhood obesity.


The 2007 Physical Activity and Sport Monitor
The CFLRI bulletins are now released in their entirety. There are eleven different bulletins including topics such as social norms, barriers, attitudes, beliefs, intentions etc.

Active Halton
Formally the Halton Active Living Network, is now Active Halton. The network is a group of individuals and organizations who have an interest in promoting the adoption of active lifestyles for all ages in the Halton community. Active Halton has an ambitious plan to increase the physical activity levels of Halton residents by 20% by 2012.

Modeling the lifetime costs and health effects of lifestyle intervention in the prevention and treatment of obesity in Switzerland
This study compared a lifestyle program for overweight or obese patients with the standard care. Patients on the lifestyle program attended dietitian sessions and supervised exercise sessions for the first three years. The lifestyle intervention consisted of regular physical activity and healthy eating, including a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.


May 4, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Education Resources
Developed in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education and Aboriginal teachers from across the province, the lesson starters can be used in a number of curriculum areas, such as language arts, geography, science, social studies, health, career education and drama.

"How times have changed" - active transport literature review
There are many studies which report on how children get to and from school and negotiate their neighbourhoods, but very few explore in detail the cultural context in which children’s independent mobility has been curtailed. This paper will explore a number of key areas which relate to children’s independent mobility.

A Kid’s Guide to Building Great Communities
This manual is designed to provide planners and educators with ideas, exercises and materials for use with children and youth – in a variety of settings. It is particularly useful for school settings as the topics fit easily into a number of areas of existing curriculum in subjects such as social studies, language arts, science and mathematics.

After-School Program Impact on Physical Activity and Fitness: A Meta-Analysis
American Journal of Preventive Medicine – article in press.
The limited evidence suggests that after-school programs can improve physical activity levels and other health-related aspects.

BHF: Active School Pack
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has released a new version of the popular Active School resource pack for Primary Schools.

Guidelines for using external providers for physical activity in Out of School Hours (OOSH) centres
Guidelines to assist NSW OOSH centres which plan to engage an external provider to deliver formal physical activity programs. The guidelines are also meant to assist management committees/coordinators to inform their decisions about whether or not to select an external provider. There are four parts to the Guidelines: Background, choosing a provider, responsibilities of the OOSH centre and further information.

Guidelines for using contracted external providers for physical education and school sport
Guidelines to help school Principals (or relevant people) decide whether or not they want to hire an external provider to enhance physical education and sport provision within their school. If they choose to engage an external provider, the guidelines may also be used by Principals to make decisions about which provider to select. There are four parts to the Guidelines: Background, choosing a provider, responsibilities of the school and further information.

Vancouver 2010 Education Resources
Teachers can access and share resources related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the three Vancouver 2010 pillars of sport, culture and sustainability….. (*Also be sure to click on the “About/EDU” link – lots of good info/resources there.)

Get Healthy Action Plan
From the new Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service from NSW Health - a free phone and web based service aimed at supporting adults to make lifestyle changes.

Get Healthy Goal Sheet
From the new Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service from NSW Health - a free phone and web based service aimed at supporting adults to make lifestyle changes. Incorporates SMART goal setting.

Healthy parks, healthy people - The health benefits of contact with nature in a park context: A review of relevant literature
The significance of the health and wellbeing benefits from interacting with nature, including in park settings, the implications for public health, and the need for collated up-to-date information on this topic cannot be over-estimated.

Teams in Action: Primary Health Care Teams for Canadians
The report found that teams look different across the country and that they could be made up of two or more health care professionals, usually from different disciplines, working together in a coordinated, integrated effort to provide a patient's basic health care.

The International Prevalence Study on Physical Activity: results from 20 countries
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:21
This study demonstrated the feasibility of international PA surveillance, and showed that IPAQ is an acceptable surveillance instrument, at least within countries. If assessment methods are used consistently over time, trend data will inform countries about the success of their efforts to promote physical activity.

Listen to Professor Fiona Bull speak about Healthy Active Workplaces
This website makes it easy to develop and implement a wellness program for your workplace. Whether you're just starting out or have had a program in place for some time, this site can help. (The Getting Started section includes a workplace environment audit tool).

Workplace BUG Guide (Bicycle User Group)
This guide features practical information about what workplace Bicycle User Groups do and how to start one, with case studies of existing groups included for inspiration.