June 26, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Bike Belles
This website aims to dispel the myths and barriers that sometimes prevent girls from cycling.

Cycling awareness
From the London Telegraph…. “Cyclists were encouraged to slow down thanks to this crater-sized 'hole' in the middle of a towpath. But the hole is an optical illusion, a three-dimensional drawing of a canyon, in an attempt to make careless cyclists hit the brakes rather than ride dangerously and ignore pedestrians..."

Cyclist Harassment A Misdemeanor in Columbia (MO)
Harassment of bicyclists, including shouting threats and honking for the purpose of frightening a cyclist (is now) a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by $1,000 fine or a year in jail.

Town Hall Presentation
10-minute video featuring Dan Burden of Walkable Communities, Inc.;

Way To Go, Seattle!
Way to Go, Seattle! is the City’s umbrella for all of our various, coordinated efforts to increase walking, biking, transit use, carpooling and other eco ways to get around. We’re your resource for Seattle’s “drive less” programs, as well as useful tools and tips to help you get around without driving.

The site is divided into two sections. One section is designed for teachers and hosts a variety of resources to use in the classroom to educate children about bone health. The second section is for children and provides interactive games and quizzes to enhance their learning of bone health.

The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a strong policy statement that encourages pediatricians to advocate for policy changes to enable children to safely walk and bicycle in their communities.

AICR Annual Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer
November 5th & 6th 2009. This year’s topics include: Challenges of conducting dietary clinical trials; Nutrition and behavior in cancer survivorship; Phytochemicals in herbs, spices and fruits; Bioenergetics and cancer; Turning cancer prevention policy into action and Physical activity and cancer.

International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health
May 5th – 8th 2010. The 3rd in a series of Congresses organized to better understand the research, public policies and programs pertaining to the complex relationships between physical activity and health.

Knowledge Transfer: Some Assembly Required
September 30th - October 2nd 2009. Hosted by the Health Research Network of Alberta. With the help of our expert speakers and each other, we will explore and gain an appreciation for complexity theory and complex adaptive systems and what this tells us about knowledge transfer or translation (KT), learn what tools and techniques can help facilitate KT, learn how to develop KT plans and how to assess them, and discover how we might measure the success of our KT efforts.

Institute of Wellbeing
Launched June 11th, 2009. Their signature product - the Canadian Index of Wellbeing -will track Canada’s progress and provide a set of indicators in eight interconnected categories that will enable us to see whether we are better or worse off than we used to be, whether we will leave the world a better or worse place for the generations that follow, and what we need to change to achieve a better outcome.

Guidance for Occupational therapy and physical activity interventions to promote the mental wellbeing of older people in primary care and residential care
This guidance is for all those involved in promoting older people's mental wellbeing. It focuses on practical support for everyday activities, based on occupational therapy principles and methods.

Youth Beyond Blue
A new youth mental health website to help raise awareness of symptoms of depression and anxiety, and to help youth get help. See factsheet #7 and #12 for information related to physical activity.

A Systematic Review of the Evidence Base for Developing a Physical Activity and Health Legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
This systematic review sets out the lessons learned from the best available international evidence. It will enable us to work with greater confidence towards securing a true and lasting health and physical activity legacy from the 2012 Games.

BCPRA Physical Activity Strategy Seasonal Newsletter
Spring 2009 version of the BC Recreation and Parks Association newsletter. While visiting their website, you can also learn about how your community can support inactive adults with regular physical activity.

Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain
With regards to physical activity and exercise, this guidance recommends advising patients to stay physically active and to carry on with normal activities as far as possible.

Weighing it Up
The Australian Government's response to obesity, including several physical activity recommendations.

City Dwellers Worldwide Healthier than Suburban Counterparts
"No matter which country you are in, new research finds those who live in an urban neighborhood are twice as likely to be physically active the those in the suburbs. According to a San Diego State University study published in this month's American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the biggest single factor influencing physical activity around the world is accessibility to sidewalks.

Public Spaces & Public Life Perth 2009
The surveys document urban change over time and provide empirical evidence of the significant improvement in city life that result from the increase of public space quality. This study analyses the evolution of public space in Perth city centre, contrasting survey data collected in 2008/09 with their seminal study of 1993/94.

Determinants of participation in worksite health promotion programmes: a systematic review.
International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2009, 6:26
this review found that worksite health promotion programs that provide 1) incentives; 2) offer a multi-component strategy: and 3) focus on multiple behaviors rather than on physical activity only have a higher participation level.

Improving Diet and Physical Activity with ALIVE: A Worksite Randomized Trial
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 36, Issue 6, Pages 475-483 (June 2009)
An RCT, conducted in 2006, of a 16-week e-mail program offered individually tailored, small-step goals; a personal homepage with tips; educational materials; and tracking and simulation tools.

Workplace Wellness Programs: Benefits
A USA Today news article titled: Cost-conscious companies re-evaluate wellness programs. “Companies, desperate to slice fat from their budgets during this recession, increasingly are targeting workplace wellness programs ……”

June 19, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Association for Commuter Transportation of Canada (ACT Canada)
ACT Canada is a Canadian national association that was created to meet the needs of Transport Demand Management professionals in Canada. Recently launched...... the Association serves its members by providing quality tools, resources and services. ACT Canada fosters partnerships and offers networking and professional development opportunities to its members.

Make it Happen: Pedestrian Safety. A Guide for Communities
On page 7 of this report from Safe Kids Canada, children’s ability to judge vehicular speed is discussed.

The burden of chronic disease on business and US competitiveness: excerpt from the 2009 almanac of chronic disease
Lots of current statistics here.

Keeping America Healthy: Essential Elements of Successful Programs
This report provides a detailed analysis of successful population health improvement programs in general and within four specific settings: schools, communities, workplaces, and the health care system.

Supporting Healthy Communities Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This policy brief outlines many of the specific ways that state and local policy-makers can use funding from the economic recovery act to create safe places for physical activity and improve access to healthy foods in communities. This brief is especially targeted towards decision-makers serving vulnerable communities, including lower-income, rural, and racial and ethnic minority populations.

Supporting Healthy Communities – Charts

CFLRI Lifestyle Tips - Encouraging Seniors to be More Active
It’s not about how young you are—it’s about how young you feel! And you’re never too old to benefit from physical activity…….

CFLRI Research File – Encouraging Seniors to be More Active
Older adults face multiple barriers to becoming and staying physically active and are less likely to meet public health goals for physical activity…….

Policies for healthy ageing : an overview
The first section briefly defines what is meant by healthy ageing and discusses similar concepts – such as “active ageing”. The paper then groups policies into four different types and within each, it describes the range of individual types of programs that can be brought to bear to enhance improved health of the elderly.

CFLRI Announces 2007 Sport Monitor Bulletins
CFLRI announces the 2007 sport monitor is now release in their entirety

June 12, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

A Citizen's Guide to Better Streets
This Citizen’s Guide is intended to show people who are passionate about creating better streets and walkable communities how they can influence highway professionals to address transportation in ways that place the most value on people and on places.

Accessible Pedestrian Signals – A Guide to Best Practices
In the past ten years, changes in intersection design and signalization (see Chapter 3) have affected the traditional street crossing techniques used by blind pedestrians, making the pedestrian phase harder to recognize without seeing the visual pedestrian signal….

Bicyclist- and Pedestrian-Only Roundabouts
Learn more about a new type of roundabout increasing in popularity that is solely dedicated to bicycles and/or pedestrians on shared-use paths. It includes case studies on how this type of roundabout can improve mobility and reduce injury and fatality rates.

Bike It!
Bike It is a nationwide (Scotland) scheme which aims to increase the number of young people cycling to school and on other journeys.

Ped and Bike Safety International Scan
From May 8, 2009 through May 24, 2009, a group of transportation professionals from the U.S. will be traveling to 5 European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, U.K.) to identify best practices around pedestrian and bicycle safety. This blog will serve as a text and photo journal of the trip.

Physical Activity and Transportation Benefits of Walkable Approaches to Community Design
A new study from the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) calls for municipal governments to make walking and cycling the top priority in their transportation plans, rather than cars. Focusing on Metro Vancouver, the study found that adults are 2.5 times more likely to walk when they live in well-connected neighborhoods with features that are pedestrian-friendly. It also found that adults who live in walkable neighborhoods drive 58% less on average than those who don’t.

Safe Routes to School – Scotland
Great information here.

StreetsWiki is a community-created, online encyclopedia for transportation, urban environmental, and public space ­issues. It's a place for ordinary people, planners, and academics to write and read about our cities and how we can make them more livable.

Sustrans is the UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Our vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. Every day we are working on practical, innovative ways of dealing with the transport challenges that affect us all.

Scotland Hands-Up Survey 2008
Sustrans recently carried out the first ever ‘National Hands Up Survey' in Scotland of how pupils travel to and from school. The survey is unique in the scale and geographic spread with approximately 400,000 pupils (about two thirds of all school children in Scotland) participating across 29 of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland.

Determining Daily Physical Activity Levels of Youth With Developmental Disabilities: Days of Monitoring Required?
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 26(3), July 2009
This study examined sources of variability in physical activity (PA) of youth with developmental disabilities (DD), and determined the optimal number of days required for monitoring PA.

Friendship in Inclusive Physical Education
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 26(3), July 2009
Social interaction and development of friendships between children with and without a disability are often proposed as potential outcomes of inclusive education. Physical activity specialists assert that exercise and sport environments may be conducive to social and friendship outcomes.

Exploring the Commonalities Between Adaptive Resources and Self-Enhancement in Older Adults' Comparative Judgments of Physical Activity
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 20, No. 8, 899-919 (2008)
This study examines the extent to which optimism, control beliefs and motivation, and downward social comparison contribute independently to the maintenance of older adults' positive self-evaluations in a functional domain.

Impact of a Community-Based Falls Prevention Program on Maintenance of Physical Activity Among Older Adults
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 21, No. 3, 480-500 (2009)
This study examines the 9-month impact of a 12-week falls prevention program (called Stand Up!) which included balance exercises and educational components on maintenance of physical activity among community-dwelling seniors.

Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Disorder in Relation to Walking in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 21, No. 1, 155-171 (2009)
Neighborhood conditions may shape walking behavior in older adults, especially conditions that reflect physical neglect or social threat. Promotion of walking behavior in older adults may require improvement of the safety and upkeep of the neighborhood environment.

Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia
This inquiry into obesity in the Australian population, focusing on future implications for Australia’s health system, has revealed that there are high personal and economic costs associated with this increasing prevalence. The Committee has heard there is a vast array of direct and indirect costs to - not just the health system - but individuals, families, communities, and employers.

Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Habits in US Adults, 1988-2006
The American Journal of Medicine Volume 122, Issue 6, Pages 528-534 (June 2009)
Generally, adherence to a healthy lifestyle pattern has decreased during the last 18 years, with decreases documented in 3 of 5 healthy lifestyle habits. These findings have broad implications for the future risk of cardiovascular disease in adults.

PBIC Launches Updated Image Gallery
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center announces the launch of the updated and redesigned pedestrian and bicycle image library. A searchable collection of free, high-quality images relating to walking and bicycling. Visitors to the site may use the images in any non-commercial projects including web pages, presentations and reports. There are no per-image costs, royalties, or extra payments for the images, but users must adhere to the Usage Guidelines posted on the site

Open space strategies Best practice guidance
This document offers clear, practical guidance to local authorities and their stakeholders on how to prepare an open space strategy. For local authorities that have already completed an open space strategy, it also gives guidance on delivering, monitoring and reviewing a strategy. There are also examples of strategies in action from around England, reflecting different themes.

Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes
Although the evaluation of smart growth programs concentrates primarily on statewide performance from 1990 to the early 2000s, the findings and recommendations will be useful for formulating growth management policies in today’s context of high energy costs, historic housing market volatility, and increasing pressures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many smart growth objectives are precisely the outcomes posited to address these current challenges facing state and local policy makers.

June 5, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

2009 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card
Disturbingly, despite the academic and health benefits of physical activity, for the third consecutive year, the 2009 Report Card assigned an F for Physical Activity Levels. Only 13 per cent of Canadian children and youth are meeting the minimum recommendation of 90 minutes of physical activity a day.

After-School Program Impact on Physical Activity and Fitness: A Meta-Analysis
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume 36, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 527-537
The limited evidence suggests that after-school programs can improve physical activity levels and other health-related aspects. Additional studies are required that provide greater attention to theoretical rationale, levels of implementation, and measures of physical activity within and outside the intervention.

Canada Gets Active
CPRA is working on a new project titled Canada Gets Active. Modeled after Kingston Gets Active (KGA), and in conjunction with the initiative, the main objective of Canada Gets Active is to increase Physical Activity involvement of Canadian children by increasing their access to and participation in community recreation facilities. All Letters of Interest submissions must be received by 12:00 NOON EST on July 15th 2009

Effect of a school-based intervention to promote healthy lifestyles in 7–11 year old children
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:5
The intervention produced positive changes in physical activity levels and body composition. It appeared to have little or no effect on consumption of fruit and vegetables. Schools are a suitable setting for the promotion of healthy lifestyles although more work, particularly focussed on dietary change, is needed in a variety of schools and social settings.

Feasibility, design and conduct of a pragmatic randomized controlled trial to reduce overweight and obesity in children: The electronic games to aid motivation to exercise (eGAME) study
Biomed Central BMC Public Health 2009, 9:146
The aim of the Electronic Games to Aid Motivation to Exercise (eGAME) study is to determine the effects of an active video game intervention over 6 months on: body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, waist circumference, cardio-respiratory fitness, and physical activity levels in overweight children.

Friendship groups and physical activity: qualitative findings on how physical activity is initiated and maintained among 10–11 year old children
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:4
Friendship groups affect both the initiation and maintenance of youth physical activity. Children belong to several groups and engage in different activities with different groups. Simple strategies that aim to promote physical activity via the different friendship groups could be an effective means of promoting increased physical activity in young people.

The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds
American Academy of Pediatrics
This report offers guidelines on how pediatricians can advocate for children by helping families, school systems, and communities consider how best to ensure that play is protected as they seek the balance in children’s lives to create the optimal developmental milieu.

Independent mobility in relation to weekday and weekend physical activity in children aged 10–11 years: The PEACH Project
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:2
Note: Independent mobility = children travelling unaccompanied.

Objectively measured physical activity, physical activity related personality and body mass index in 6- to 10-yr-old children: a cross-sectional study
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:25
The results of this study demonstrate that Normal Wt children spent on average 20 min per day more in Moderate to VigorousPA. PA patterns were similar in NW versus Over Wt children, although at different levels. Greatest differences in PA according to weight status were found in the afternoon during after school hours. This is the first study to show distinct PA related personality traits in OW children compared to NW peers.

Participation in organised sports does not slow declines in physical activity during adolescence
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:22
Although participation in organised physical activities during early adolescence is associated with more physical activity throughout secondary school, participation in such activities does not protect against declines in physical activity over time.

Pilot evaluation of a walking school bus program in a low-income, urban community
Biomed Central BMC Public Health 2009, 9:122
A WSB program is a promising intervention among urban, low-income elementary school students that may promote favorable changes toward active transport to school.

WHO Growth Charts – Early years
The new UK-WHO growth charts for children from birth to 4 years of age are now available. The new charts combine UK90 and WHO data. Clear instructions explain how to measure, plot and interpret the chart. New features include an adult height predictor, a body mass index (BMI) conversion chart, and guidance on gestational age correction.

09 Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) Education Forum
A listing and links to all of the presentations from the 2009 Parks and Recreation Ontario Forum. There are many good presentations here (accessibility, age friendly communities, High Five, healthy eating and much more).

Physical activity inversely associated with the presence of depression among urban adolescents in regional China
Biomed Central BMC Public Health 2009, 9:148
This study, conducted among Chinese adolescents, strengthened the evidence that physical activity was inversely associated with depression. Our study has important implications for health officers and public health professionals to pay much attention to the relationship between physical activity and depression in Mainland China.

Physical Health in Mental Health - Final Report of a Scoping Document
A January 2009 publication from the Royal College of Psychiatrists London. Chapters 9 and 10 look at health promotion including activity and inactivity.

Socioeconomic differences in lack of recreational walking among older adults: The role of neighbourhood and individual factors
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:1
Intervention and policy strategies to reduce socioeconomic differences in lack of recreational walking among older adults would be most effective if they intervene on both neighbourhood perceptions as well as individual cognitions.

Computer-tailored physical activity behavior change interventions targeting adults: a systematic review
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:30
The evidence of effectiveness for computer-tailored physical activity interventions is inconclusive. They have potential to reach large groups of people however there is uncertainty whether reported effects are generalizable and sustained.

Distinct trajectories of leisure time physical activity and predictors of trajectory class membership: a 22 year cohort study
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008, 5:57
There is a need for continued efforts to increase overall population levels of LTPA, particularly among socially disadvantaged groups with respect to income and education, who are most likely to experience unfavorable trajectories of LTPA.

HABITAT: A longitudinal multilevel study of Biomed physical activity change in mid-aged adults
Central BMC Public Health 2009, 9:76
HABITAT will provide unique information to improve our understanding of the determinants of physical activity, and to help identify "people" and "place" priority targets for public policy and health promotion aimed at increasing physical activity participation among mid-aged men and women.

Healthy Canadians–A Federal Report on Comparable Health Indicators 2008
Physical activity is mentioned 34 times in this new 2009 publication.

Objectively measured physical activity of U.S. adults by sex, age, and racial/ethnic groups: Cross-sectional Study.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:31
Physical activity levels measured objectively by accelerometer demonstrated that Hispanic men are, in general, more active than their white and black counterparts. This appears to be in contrast to self-reported physical activity previously reported in the literature and identifies the need to use objective measures in situations where the contribution of light intensity and/or unstructured physical activity cannot be assumed homogenous across the populations of interest.

The association between health enhancing physical activity and neighbourhood environment among Swedish adults – a population-based cross-sectional study
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:8
The findings suggest that the environment is differentially related to walking and total health enhancing physical activity. This should be explored in future research to disentangle the complex relationship between different levels and aspects of physical activity and their relationship with the environment.

Measurement of the Food and Physical Activity Environments - Enhancing Research Relevant to Policy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 36, Issue 4, Supplement 1, Pages A1-A6, S81-S190 (April 2009)
To reduce obesity levels and address the related issues of inadequate physical activity levels and diet quality, research interest is broadening from individual-level behavioral interventions to environmental modifications that can be addressed by public policy. The food environment and physical activity–related aspects of the built (i.e., human-made) environment are of particular interest, given their potential impact on individual-level behavior as it relates to energy balance, weight, and health outcomes.

Neighborhood Environments and Physical Activity Among Adults in 11 Countries
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 36, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 484-490
Results suggest neighborhoods built to support physical activity have a strong potential to contribute to increased physical activity. Designing neighborhoods to support physical activity can now be defined as an international public health issue.

Improving Diet and Physical Activity with ALIVE: A Worksite Randomized Trial
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 36, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 475-483
An RCT, conducted in 2006, of a 16-week e-mail program offered individually tailored, small-step goals; a personal homepage with tips; educational materials; and tracking and simulation tools.