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.

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