Thursday

May 28, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
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

Copenhagenize.com
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.

CHILDREN
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.

MENTAL HEALTH
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”

OLDER ADULTS
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.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
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

RECREATION
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

URBAN DESIGN
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.

WORKPLACE
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

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