July 30, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Rosanne will be taking some time off to photosynthesize in the sun :) Info Round Up will return August 14th.

Alberta Centre of Active Living

Effective chronic disease prevention interventions for Aboriginal populations

Active Commuting and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Archives of Internal Medicine 2009;169(13):1216-1223
In what may be the first large U.S. study of health and commuting, the researchers found only about 17 per cent of workers walked or bicycled any portion of their commute. Those active commuters did better on treadmill tests of fitness, even when researchers accounted for their leisure-time physical activity levels, suggesting commuter choices do make a difference.

Association for Commuter Transportation in Canada
Link to their first newsletter. “We aim to provide timely and meaningful news to TDM practitioners and other transportation-related professionals across the country working to promote suite sustainable modes of transportation - by transit, in carpools, by bike, on foot, or through telework.”

International Scan Summary Report on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility
In May 2009, a team of 12 transportation professionals with expertise in bicycling and walking from the United States (U.S.) visited five countries in Europe to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. The scan team identified numerous possible approaches to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility in the U.S.

Michigan Smart Commute
A new Michigan web resource has arrived on the scene, complete with tools, information and inspiration to help community leaders encourage residents to 'Smart Commute' (walk, bike, carpool, or use public transit).

Victoria Walks
This Australian website has an extensive array of resources and tools to assist people to work together to make their neighbourhoods better for walking.

Child Friendly Communities: Position Statement
From the Planning Institute of Australia. Planners have the ability to help create child friendly cities and communities that can contribute positively to the development of a child's, happiness and wellbeing. With the increasing focus on Australia’s ageing population, it is important that policy makers and planners do not neglect the interests of children when managing the structure and form of Australian cities. The physical, social and economic dimensions of urban environments impacts on a child’s life by shaping their ability to form social relationships and by influencing their physical, mental and emotional health.

The Influence of the VERB Campaign on Children's Physical Activity in 2002 to 2006
American Journal of Public Health, published online 16 July 09
The authors conclude that health messages can be successfully marketed to children by applying the same savvy marketing strategies that are used to sell products to children. As in product marketing, when children are reached by an engaging message, their interest is piqued and their attitudes and behaviors can be affected if the choice for action is appealing and easy. Whereas the advertising made physical activity an appealing choice, by promoting physical activity and giving children ideas on how to ‘‘sample the product’’ in their backyards and playgrounds, the intention was for the choice to seem easy and more accessible.

Ophea's PlaySport is an English/French website with all kinds of great activities designed to teach kids games by playing games! PlaySport games encourage fun, free play while helping kids develop the skills needed to not only participate in all kinds of sports, but also to be healthy and active citizens throughout their lives.

Renewed elementary H&PE curriculum for Ontario
A renewed elementary H&PE curriculum for Ontario will be released this Fall. Mandatory implementation of this policy will be required by elementary schools by Fall 2010. A renewed curriculum for secondary schools will also be released in 2010 with mandatory implementation in 2011. The vision of the renewed curriculum is that students will be physically and health literate and have the comprehension, commitment and capacity to lead and promote a healthy active life in an ever-changing global society.

Study Suggests Parents Lack Confidence Necessary to Implement Healthy Behavior Changes for Children
A study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that parents often lack confidence in implementing and enforcing the behavior changes necessary to reduce their child's risk of obesity.

Public Health Agency of Canada – Chronic Disease Infobase - Profiles
If you get a runtime error message click refresh. Once the main page comes up choose Alberta from the left hand nav column…. Lots of stats there including Leisure Time PA

PHAC Chronic Disease Infobase (homepage)
Chronic Disease Infobase profiles the epidemiology of major non-communicable diseases in Canada, including the most current cancers; and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases; by province/territory and by regional health unit. Every page that is generated retrieves data from the database on the fly, which means that every time you come back to Chronic Disease Infobase, you may get new information; since the database is updated as data become available.

PHAC Chronic Disease facts and figures
Links to many different data sources on many different chronic diseases here.

Power to Prevent: A Family Lifestyle Approach to Diabetes Prevention
Physical Activity is mentioned 236 times in this 253 page document.
It is a diabetes prevention program aimed at African Americans at increased risk for diabetes, This curriculum provides resources and activities that can help people enjoy a way of life that includes healthy eating and increased physical activity. It is designed to give people who want to adopt healthier habits a range of useful information to support their personal decisions to change their lifestyles. The program provides information on diabetes prevention; ideas for tasty and healthy eating; tools for making changes one step at a time; and suggestions for physical activities that are within reach, easy to do, relaxing, and fun.

Creating Caring Communities: A guide to establishing intergenerational programs for schools, care facilities and community groups.
This resource contains practical information and resources to support educators, care providers and community agencies in coordinating successful intergenerational (IG) programs that promote learning, understanding, and mutual respect between generations.

CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
The CDC's DNPAO takes a public health approach to address the role of nutrition and physical activity in improving the public's health and preventing and controlling chronic diseases.

CDC Public Health Image Library
A free collection of photos, illustrations, and other media. I searched using "walking" and "exercise".... Got some strange false positives but also some useable photos. Might be worth book marking :)

Core Competencies for Health Promotion Practitioners
This is a set of health promotion core competencies for health promotion practitioners, organisations, employers, and educators. It identifies competencies for health promotion at beginner practitioner level.

Health promotion spending in US budget
Sweeping healthcare legislation working its way through Congress is more than an effort to provide insurance to millions of Americans without coverage. Tucked within is a provision that could provide billions of dollars for walking paths, streetlights, jungle gyms, and even farmers' markets. The add-ons -- characterized as part of a broad effort to improve the nation's health 'infrastructure' -- appear in House and Senate versions of the bill.

Obesity, Physical Activity and Weight Control Glossary
From the National Institutes of Health this glossary defines words that are often used when people talk or write about obesity, physical activity, and weight control. It is written for people who are overweight or obese, or interested in learning more about obesity, physical activity, nutrition, and weight control.

Specific associations between types of physical activity and components of mental health
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Volume 12, Issue 4, July 2009, Pages 468-474
These findings further our knowledge of the mental health benefits of physical activity, demonstrating the greater positive effects from sporting activity. They also suggest the potential worth of specific health recommendations for physical health and for mental health separately in different population subgroups.

Wheeling Walks
Wheeling Walks is a theory- and media-based community campaign that uses paid advertising to encourage walking among sedentary older adults.

F as in Fat 2009 How Obesity Policies are Failing in America
Adult obesity rates increased in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009, a report released by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In addition, the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.

Prediction of Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Obese Individuals
Obesity (2009) 17 4, 706–712. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.599
Participation in leisure-time physical activity is explained primarily by a person's intentions to perform this behavior. The results also suggest that people are more able to translate their perception of control into action if they perceive the built environment as favorable, although this additional gain in prediction is small relative to intention.

Are Obesity and Physical Activity Clustered? A Spatial Analysis Linked to Residential Density
Obesity (2009) Published online 23 April 2009.
The aim of this study was to examine spatial clustering of obesity and/or moderate physical activity and their relationship to a neighborhood's built environment. Overall, the study indicates that the relationship between the urban environment and obesity is not direct.

Effectiveness of the 2006 Commonwealth Games 10,000 Steps Walking Challenge
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2009, 41: 1673–1680
These results demonstrate initial effectiveness of the challenge linked to an international sporting event. Long term sustainability only applied for a small number of participants.

iStep Log Study
The 10,000 Steps team would like to invite all iPhone and iPod Touch users to participate in an exciting study looking at the usefulness and usability of the iStepLog app developed specifically for 10,000 Steps members.

National Physical Activity Guidelines for Ireland
These guidelines provide clear, concise and user friendly guidance to support the public, professionals and policy makers to Get Ireland Active. They present a unique opportunity to create a shared vision and framework to support everyone to be as active as they can and enjoy the innumerable benefits.

Total mortality after changes in leisure time physical activity in 50 year old men: 35 year follow-up of population based cohort
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2009; 43: 482.
These findings, from a well-designed, high quality study, highlight the fact that it is never too late to start being physically active as those who increase activity levels in middle age and older have a similar reduced rate of mortality to those who were active as younger adults and maintained their activity, at least in men. This message should be communicated to populations as a motivator for initiating and maintaining physical activity.

Assessing urban and rural neighborhood characteristics using audit and GIS data: derivation and reliability of constructs
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:44
Measures to assess neighborhood environments are needed to better understand the salient features that may enhance outdoor physical activities, such as walking and bicycling for transport or leisure. The purpose of this study was to derive constructs to describe neighborhoods using both primary (neighborhood audit) and secondary (geographic information systems) data.

The Built Environment and Walking: Position Statement
From the Australian Heart Foundation. The built environment can either facilitate or discourage walking: land use systems, transportation systems and urban design coalesce to create a pedestrian environment that impacts upon people’s decisions to walk. There are two key conduits for increasing walking: encouraging more walking for transport, and/or encouraging more walking for recreation.

Civilised Streets
A briefing presenting a future that is about removing the dominance of the car – creating civilised streets that work for all.

This way to better residential streets
For the past 50 years we have thought only of the car, in effect providing parking spaces and access routes for drivers between home and the outside world. Things have to change – we must not let the car dominate when a well designed street can help create sustainable communities, enable people to get around, promote walking and cycling, civic pride and identity, provide safe play for children and allow the community to interact.

Australian Womensport and Recreation Association
The Australian Womensport and Recreation Association Inc (AWRA) is an enthusiastic and dynamic national volunteer association "to provide leadership and advocacy for Australian women and girls in sport and active recreation". AWRA is linked with the International Association for Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women.

Count Us In: Developing Physical Activity Programs for Women
This guideline has been developed on findings from a three year research project titled 'Count Us In: Developing Physical Activity Programs for Women' conducted by Victoria University, Australia. The guidelines are targeted for program providers in private, community and leisure organisations, located in metropolitan and regional areas.

Do walking strategies to increase physical activity reduce reported sitting in workplaces: a randomized control trial
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:43
Interventions designed to increase workplace physical activity may not automatically reduce high volumes of sitting, a behaviour independently linked to chronic diseases such as obesity and type II diabetes. This study compared the impact two different walking strategies had on step counts and reported sitting times.


July 15, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

3 Videos of the Trondheim (Norway) Bicycle Escalator/Elevator
Basic Information
More Details
A Family’s First Attempt

Active Travel Publications
A range of Active Travel information sheets and publications are available to download. There are lots of great resources here – be sure to check it out!

Activity Guide for Recreation Leaders: Asset-Building Nutritional and Physical Activity Program Ideas for Children Ages 6 to 12
This provides 32 ready-to-use asset-building activities, eight activity sheets, eight newsletters, and six handouts that encourage elementary-age children to eat healthy and be physically active.

Healthy lives, brighter futures: The strategy for children and young people’s health
Physical activity and exercise is mentioned quite a few times and chapters 4 and 5.

Researchers Develop Text Message System to Encourage Physical Activity Among Teens
Researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have devised a system that monitors the physical activity levels of teens and can send cell phone text messages to encourage them to be more active......

Why play?
Why play? is the latest in the series of information leaflets including Why Walk?, Why Cycle?, Get Cycling and Cycling with Children, and explains why active outdoor play is essential for children, including facts and suggestions.

A Back Injury Prevention Guide for Health Care Workers
The practical suggestions in this guide are focused on orderlies, attendants, nurses, nursing assistants and others who actually lift and move patients and residents.

Ambitions for health: a strategic framework for maximising the potential of social marketing and health-related behaviour.
This framework sets out plans to make sure that policy development and public health interventions are informed by an understanding of what motivates people. It constitutes the (UK) Government's response to It's Our Health!, and sets out how social marketing and other behavioural change activities will be used to put the consumer at the heart of health improvement and delivery.

Health Inequities Educational Video from BC Health Authority
The video features commentary from Vancouver Coastal Health staff and stories from local residents about how the social determinants of health impact their lives.

Obesity Among U.S. Adults Continues to Rise
The proportion of U.S. adults who are obese increased to 26.1 percent in 2008 compared to 25.6 percent in 2007.

Building health: creating and enhancing places for healthy, active lives - what needs to be done?
Some people are determined to keep fit and physically active, and will find ways to be active even when special facilities and physical space are either non-existent or inappropriate. But most of us are physically active only when certain social and environmental conditions are in place. Health promotion is about making healthy choices the easy choices. Building Health is a timely report which clearly outlines the current problems and, more importantly, makes practical recommendations for building for health and active living.

Get active, getting there!
This new public information leaflet introduces the benefits of walking and cycling for health, transport and pleasure.

Physical Activity Resources
From the South East Public Health Observatory (UK). Lots of information here, including many different resource publications.

Reasons for Urban Trail Use Predict Levels of Trail-Related Physical Activity
Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(4), July 2009.

This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails. Reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature) for recreational trail use.

Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England, February 2009
The NHS Information Centre’s third report on obesity, physical activity and diet includes, for the first time, information on attitudes towards and knowledge about leading a healthy lifestyle for both adults and children. This includes information on how much physical activity should be done, barriers towards doing more physical activity, knowledge of the recommended daily number of portions of fruit and vegetables and attitudes towards a healthy diet.

Walking the way to Health
WHI (Walking the way to Health Initiative) is for everyone with an interest in walking for health. We offer information, support and encouragement to complete beginners, existing walkers and health and leisure professionals.

'Tell us something we don't already know or do!'
- The response of planning and transport professionals to public health guidance on the built environment and physical activity
Journal of Public Health Policy, 30(1): 102-116, 2009.

Researchers analyzed planning and transport practitioners' perceptions and responses to government public health guidance aimed at modifying environmental factors to promote physical activity. Researchers found that evidence-based public health guidance is a new voice in urban and town planning, although much of the advice is already reflected by the 'accepted wisdom' of these professions.

Active Travel Workplace Toolkit
The Active Travel Workplace Toolkit is a UK-wide resource designed to help organizations encourage their employees to walk and cycle to work, thus helping improve health, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.

LEAN works! Leading Employees to Activity and Nutrition
CDC's LEAN Works! Leading Employees to Activity and Nutrition" is a FREE web-based resource that offers interactive tools and evidence-based resources to design effective worksite obesity prevention and control programs, including an obesity cost calculator to estimate how much obesity is costing your company and how much savings your company could reap with different workplace interventions.


July 10, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Air Pollution and Activity During Transportation by Car, Subway, and Walking
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 37, Issue 1, Pages 72-77 (July 2009)
Driving cars was associated with less physical activity but not necessarily less exposure to PM2.5 than riding subways or walking in an urban environment. These effect sizes and variances can be used to design larger experiments assessing the health effects of urban transportation

Economic Value of Walkability
This paper describes ways to evaluate the value of walking (the activity) and walkability (the quality of walking conditions, including safety, comfort and convenience). Walking and walkability provide a variety of benefits, including basic mobility, consumer cost savings, cost savings (reduced external costs), efficient land use, community livability, improved fitness and public health, economic development, and support for equity objectives. Current transportation planning practices tend to undervalue walking. More comprehensive analysis techniques, described in this paper, are likely to increase public support for walking and other nonmotorized modes of travel.

The Effect of On-Street Parking on Cyclist Route Choice and the Operational Behaviour of Cyclists and Motorists (US)
The models indicate that on-street parking has a significant impact on motorist and cyclist position; a bike lane combined with a buffer space is the only way to completely remove cyclists from the door zone, and operationally, a bicycle lane is more effective than a wide outside lane. They also note that the empirical models indicate that travel time is the most important attribute for commuters in choosing their routes. These factors also impact bicyclists’ route choice: traffic volume; speed limit; on-street parking characteristics; bicycle route continuity; number of stop signs, red lights, and cross streets; and roadway terrain.

Footfalls: Obstacle Course To Livable Cities
This study provides Detailed analysis of walking conditions in Indian cities. This analysis indicates that walkability is overlooked and undervalued in transport planning, and that improved walkability is justified for equity and efficiency sake. It provides specific recommendations for improving walking conditions to address a variety of planning objectives.

Google Transit
Plan a trip anywhere in the world using transit. This is great!! And the street maps of the cities they provide are good too.

Valuing the Health Benefits of Active Transport Modes
This report seeks to provide a per-kilometre value for the health benefits of active transport modes (such as walking and cycling) that is compatible with the Land Transport New Zealand Economic Evaluation Manual. The first two sections of the report begin by explaining the scope of the project and the background. Section 3 investigates the evidence of the connection between physical activity and health outcomes. Section 4 clarifies the role of active transport modes as physical activity, and reports the New Zealand-specific data about active transport mode engagement. Section 5 gives a brief comparative summary of the literature review of cost-benefit analyses and valuation techniques used overseas to value the health benefits of active modes.

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.

An Injury Prevention Perspective on the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(3).
The purpose of this paper is to initiate discourse on the value of including injury prevention and control as part of public health strategies to increase physical activity among youth. This article describes the connection between injury prevention and physical activity, proposes the benefits of using an injury prevention framework when developing physical activity interventions, and recommends that an injury prevention perspective on the childhood obesity epidemic be used to guide future research.

Data base of Multicultural Health Publications
Compiled by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC.

Patterns of Physical Activity Among Overweight and Obese Adults
Prev Chronic Dis 2009;6(3).The authors found differences in physical activity patterns by demographic characteristics, day, and time of day. Weekend mornings may be an opportune time to promote additional physical activity.

Healthy Lifestyles for people with learning disabilities: Physical Activity & Diet
A discussion of current research including an annotated bibliography.

New WHO Physical Activity web-site

Active Living Case Studies
In response to the increasing evidence linking urban planning to low levels of community participation in physical activity, the New South Wales Premier's Council for Active Living (PCAL) has developed a web-based resource Designing Places for Active Living.

The Built Environment and Health: A Review
In general, a planning and development scheme that concentrates growth and creates mixeduse, pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods has been found to be associated with improved health outcomes for many of these impact areas, particularly for physical activity, obesity and associated conditions.

iCANwalk is a collaboration of partners who support the development of walkable communities. We believe that together, we can build sustainable, walkable communities that will improve the health of our citizens, our children and our environment.

National Geographic Virtual World – The New Suburb?
Interactive site plus resources.

Unequal Opportunities, Unequal Outcomes
In 2008, CAAWS conducted a series of cross-Canada focus groups with low socioeconomic status (LSES) mothers and community physical activity promoters to identify barriers that prevent and/or limit participation of LSES mothers in physical activity within their communities. The findings are contained in a comprehensive report that also includes solutions to improve accessibility, availability and affordability of physical activity and sport programs for LSES mothers.