October 30, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

ACS journey to work results for the 70 largest US cities
This is a great table with lots of data. The tables show the share of commuters for 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and their percent change over time

ACS journey to work results for the 50 US states
Use the tabs at the bottom for bicycle commuters and walking commuters. The sheets also include the amount of federal dollars spent on bicycle and pedestrian project between 2000 and 2008.

American Community Survey Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000 to 2008
Overall, the results of the 2008 ACS travel data show that bicycling to work is becoming more popular. Locations that had relatively high shares of bicycle commuting in 2000 showed no signs of leveling off. In fact, those communities increased their shares of bicycle commuters at above average rates.

Creating a RoadMap for Producing & Implementing a Bicycle Master Plan
This document will serve as a starting point for discussion and as a guide to developing a BMP. Readers are encouraged to change, add, or ignore steps as necessary to meet local needs. Many of the suggested steps can be done simultaneously, while others may require a more linear process.

Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research
In this project, leading academic researchers and advocates working at the intersection of transportation policy, equity, and public health identify opportunities for creating transportation systems that promote health and equity. This report synthesizes their insights and offers concrete recommendations for change.

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
This guide is primarily a reference for improving pedestrian safety through street redesign and the use of engineering countermeasures as well as other safety-related treatments and programs that involve the whole community.

The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature
Environmental Health 2009, 8:47
Evidence is beginning to accumulate that purpose-built bicycle-specific facilities reduce crashes and injuries among cyclists, providing the basis for initial transportation engineering guidelines for cyclist safety. Street lighting, paved surfaces, and low-angled grades are additional factors that appear to improve cyclist safety.

No Excuse Zones
Based on a series of test rides, zones around the CBDs of major cities were mapped to measure the distance a healthy person can cycle within half an hour. The maps are surprisingly far reaching and provocatively suggest that if a person lives within this zone and works in the CBD, then they should try cycling to work a few days a week and enjoy the benefits. While only cities in Europe and Australia have been zoned to date there are many good resources on this site to check out.

Research to Learn More about Bicycling
Surveys such as: retailers and advocacy, a review of bicycle safety campaigns, Do trails lead to sales? and more.

UK Cyclist Awareness tests
These are good! You may remember the one with the ape and the basketball but there are others that are new.

Everyone Jump: Kids Changing Diabetes
A resource, music CD and Educational Challenge that raises awareness of the importance of regular physical activity and proper nutrition in preventing type 2 diabetes. Everyone Jump 2009/2010 is available to all public and Catholic schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Ontario and Saskatchewan.\


How to Engage Inactive Communities in Physical Activity: Top Tips from the BHFNC 8th Annual Conference
This booklet includes both generic tips, relevant to practitioners working across a broad range of communities and/or groups, and specific tips for engaging key target groups, for example people with disabilities, girls and young women, older adults, people with mental ill-health, black and minority ethnic communities and socially deprived communities.

NCBW / ALRC Environmental Scan for Active Community Implementation
Communities looking to become more walkable and bike-friendly have a host of tools, projects and programs available to help them on the path towards their goals… This document is a guide to these resources, suggesting their utility for different needs and user groups.

NCBW / ALRC Roadmap for Active Community Implementation
Designed to be a guide to using and implementing the wide range of active living tools, resources, projects and programs that put communities on the path toward fashioning themselves as active living environments.

Finding Balance Alberta
This website is dedicated to helping seniors prevent a fall before it happens so they can stay active and independent.

The Built Environment and Physical Activity Levels: The Harvard Alumni Health Study
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37: 293-298.
It has been theorized that people who are more physically active self-select neighborhoods more conducive to physical activity and these results support this idea as change in sprawl index over time did not lead to more physical activity. From this study alone, the importance of the built environment on physical activity cannot be confirmed yet studies with larger numbers of people who move from one type of neighborhood to another may provide clearer evidence.

Meta-Analysis of Workplace Physical Activity Interventions
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37: 330-339.
These findings document that some workplace physical activity interventions can improve both health and important worksite outcomes. This latest evidence can assist in making the case to organizations of the importance of physical activity in this setting.

October 23, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Centre for Sustainable Transportation
This edition of the newsletter highlights the past spring and summer activities on the Centre, as well as local events in and around Winnipeg.

The Top 10 Facts on Bicycling and Walking in the United States
Although these are US statistics, they are helpful because, in most cases, equivalent Canadian numbers do not exist.

Active After-school Communities
An Australian initiative that provides primary school-aged children with access to free, sport and other structured physical activity programs in the after-school time slot of 3.00pm to 5.30pm.The program aims to engage traditionally inactive children in sport and other structured physical activities, and through a positive and fun experience, develop a love of sport that inspires them to join a local sporting club

BMI report cards: will they pass or fail in the fight against pediatric obesity?
Research does not suggest that BMI report cards will be effective in reducing rates of pediatric overweight and obesity. Instead, recent findings show that the potential for harm may outweigh possible benefits. States and countries that mandate the use of BMI report cards should make evaluation of these policies a priority."

Built4kids - A good practice guide to creating child-friendly built environments
An Australian resource developed to help create built environments with and for children and young people. It can be used by local councils, government agencies, planners, schools, architects, developers and other professionals.

Environmental correlates of children's active transportation: A systematic literature review
This systematic review investigated the environmental (physical, economic, socio-cultural and political) correlates of active transportation (AT) among young people aged 5-18 years to better inform the promotion of active living.

Keeping children safe: rethinking how we design our surroundings
Injury is the leading cause of death among children in North America, many of them traffic-related injuries that can be traced back to poor community design decisions, like locating a school on the wrong side of a busy street, says Dr. Andrew Howard in a paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

How to Engage Inactive Communities in Physical Activity: Top Tips from the BHFNC 8th Annual Conference
This booklet provides practical ‘tips’ for engaging inactive communities in physical activity. It includes generic tips relevant to practitioners working across a broad range of communities and/or groups, and specific tips for engaging the following key target groups: People with disabilities, girls and young women, older adults, people with mental ill-health, black and minority ethnic communities and socially deprived communities.

Sport in the Neighborhood resources
A guide is designed to help implement a grass-roots sport and physical activity program in a local community. There are many resources here including reports, brochures, factsheets, templates and useful links.

The Key to Getting Services Right for People with Disabilities
This presentation goes step by step through a demographic study undertaken by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation to reach out to those who are disenfranchised through disability - developmental, intellectual, physical, cognitive, emotional, mental and social.

BC Food Security Gateway
The Food Security Gateway is designed to be a “one stop” Web resource for food security practitioners and others in British Columbia who want to make “healthy eating the easy choice” and build food-secure communities.

A user’s guide to advocacy evaluation planning
Developed for advocates, evaluators, and funders who want guidance on how to evaluate advocacy and policy change efforts. This tool takes users through four basic steps that generate the core elements of an advocacy evaluation plan, including what will be measured and how.

Australian Public Service Social Inclusion Policy Design and Delivery Toolkit
While not specifically related to physical activity – this web resource is a gold mine of information J

Challenges of evidence-based policy-making
In the real world, policy is developed in a fluid environment, is subject to competing vested and political interests, and can be driven by pressure to act quickly to solve headline-grabbing problems. Ideally, we need systems that are informed by evidence at each stage of policy development, from when an issue is first identified, to the development of the most appropriate response, and subsequent evaluation of its effectiveness.

Health and Wellness related maps for British Columbia
A partnership between the University of Victoria and the BCStats agency, with support from the BC Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport has resulted in a the creation of a website that gives the ability to construct a variety of health and wellness related maps for BC, and compare the relationship between wellness indicators.

The National Collaborating Centres for Public Health: Strengthening public health by learning from each other

Active Aging Week – Resources from ICAA
Links to numerous fact sheets, handouts and other resources as part of its celebration of Active Aging Week.

Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines
From CNIB - Readability shouldn’t be an afterthought when producing materials.
It should be the first step in making your merchandise, service, location or information accessible to everyone.

Continuing Care in the Edmonton Region: A Research Inventory
The inventory, prepared by the Alberta Centre on Aging at the University of Alberta, includes information on funding sources as well as summaries of the results and conclusions of each research project.

Dynamic exercise programs (aerobic capacity and/or muscle strength training) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4, 2009
Based on the evidence, aerobic capacity training combined with muscle strength training is recommended as routine practice in patients with RA.

How to select an age-friendly fitness facility
From ICAA this is a comprehensive checklist to assist in comparing and rating local facilities, with sections on facilities operations, equipment, programming and staff.

Canadian Health Measures Survey
The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) aims to collect important health information through a household interview and direct physical measures at a mobile clinic.

Could this be the fittest generation?
[O]n the eve of their golden years, could this be the most active generation of 50-year-olds Canada has ever seen? Health experts are anticipating the definitive answer early next year, when Statistics Canada releases fitness data from a project called the Canadian Health Measures Survey, the most comprehensive study ever to look at fitness levels among Canadians of all ages.

Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey (ERASS)
Australia - First conducted in 2001, the ERASS collects information on the frequency, duration, nature and type of activities that are participated in by persons aged 15 years and over for exercise, recreation and sport during the 12 months prior to interview. Participation means active ‘playing’ participation, and does not include coaching, refereeing and being a spectator or activities related to work, household chores or gardening duties. (Note: the 2008 report was in the round up earlier this year; this link lets you see each of the yearly reports).

Intensity and timing of physical activity in relation to postmenopausal breast cancer risk: the prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study
BMC Cancer 2009, 9:349
A high level of recent, but not historical, physical activity of moderate-to-vigorous intensity is associated with reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk. More precise recall of recent physical activity than activity in the distant past is one possible explanation for our findings.

Let’s get moving - a new physical activity care pathway for the NHS: commissioning guidance
The commissioning guidance sets out an evidence-based behaviour charter model Let’s Get Moving encouraging local commissioning of physical activity interventions in primary care.


October 15, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Closing the Nutrition & Physical Activity Gap in Victoria: Victorian Aboriginal Nutrition & Physical Activity Strategy
This strategy is not merely about preventing disease. It takes a holistic view of nutrition and physical activity, incorporating the social determinants of health (from Australia).

Active Transportation: Making the Link from Transportation to Physical Activity and Obesity Research Brief
This research brief summarizes the latest peer-reviewed research that demonstrates the potential impact of infrastructure investments and other transportation programs on walking and bicycling for transportation, and on related health outcomes.

Active Travel: The Role of Self-Selection in Explaining the Effect of Built Environment on Active Travel Research Brief
This research brief highlights research that shows that creating more traditionally designed communities may lead to increase in active travel and self-selection has a role to play.

Idaho Walk Smart: Walk Safe, Walk Smart, Walk Often
This booklet contains three chapters addressing general safety guidelines, and two special chapters addressing the unique challenges children and seniors face as pedestrians.

Active Education: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Academic Performance Research Brief
This research brief summarizes the latest peer-reviewed research on the relationship between physical activity and academic performance among children and adolescents.

Children and Bike Riding: Tips for Parents

Helping children reach and maintain a healthy weight
From the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Physical activity is addressed.

Influence of the Social Environment on Children's School Travel in Walkable Neighborhoods
Presentation from the 2009 Active Living Research Annual Conference

Tired of hanging around: Using sport and leisure activities to prevent anti-social behaviour by young people
This study focuses on the role of sport and leisure activities in preventing anti-social behaviour in young people aged 8 to 19 years. These activities are part of the actions that local councils and their partners can use to tackle and prevent anti-social behaviour.

Act Now BC: Healthy Eating for Seniors Handbook and Videos

Dietitians of Canada Senior Friendly¹ fact sheets

Getting to Grocery: Tools for Attracting Healthy Food Retailers to Underserved Neighborhoods
Bringing a grocery store into an underserved neighborhood not only makes fresh produce and other healthy food more accessible, it can provide living-wage jobs, raise the value of surrounding property, and anchor and attract additional businesses to the neighborhood.

The Senior Chef: Cooking for One or Two
Recipes in the Senior Chef have been selected so that you may be assured of serving nutritious, economical and easy to prepare meals.

Seniors Nutrition Research and Resources
An excellent website with a great deal of information about current seniors nutrition research and resources.

Obesity in Canada: Snapshot
A report from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool
ENACT is a concrete menu of strategies designed to help you improve nutrition and activity environments on a local level. These strategies have been organized into seven environments that were carefully selected for their importance in individual and community health.

Each ENACT strategy presents useful information based on current research and practice and includes model policies and programs, hands-on tools, articles and other publications, and resources. The strategies are structured to be interactive so that implementation can become a reality.

Powering Participation: Successful initiatives to boost sports participation and club membership
Case studies presenting the approach selected sports have taken to power participation and membership in non-traditional ways. They offer successful examples of how New Zealand sports are adapting to the changing environment.

Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Urban and Suburban Zoning Codes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Smart Growth Program has released a report that explores 11 "essential fixes" that address the barriers local governments may face in implementing smart growth. Topics include mixing land uses, addressing parking requirements, modernizing street standards, managing storm water, adopting smart annexation policies, and more. Each essential fix describes actions that a community could take to overcome smart growth challenges.

October 8, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road: To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want
“If you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed ‘bikeability indexes’—just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female,” says Jan Garrard, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

Seeking and Valuing Win-Win Built Environment Investments for Healthy and Sustainable Travel
This study aims to identify and evaluate win-win built environment improvement strategies that would simultaneously promote sustainable and healthy travel behavior. Furthermore, the paper presents a quantitative assessment of the economic return of promising built environment improvement strategies by estimating and comparing the associated health benefits against construction costs.

Evaluation of a Walking School Bus for Promoting Physical Activity in Youth
Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2009, 6: 560-567.
Results revealed that school-wide prevalence of walking to school at least half of the time was 27% higher in the intervention schools than in the control school. The interventions students were significantly more active than control students, doing an average of 78 versus 67 minutes of physical activity each day.

Get Set 4 Life - Habits for Healthy Kids Guide
This Guide provides practical information on children’s health and covers techniques and tips for teaching children healthy habits that could last a lifetime. Key areas of health and age appropriate development covered in the booklet include: healthy eating, regular exercise, speech and language, oral health and more.

Leadership for Healthy Communities Action Strategies Toolkit: A Guide for Local and State Leaders Working to Create Healthy Communities and Prevent Childhood Obesity
The strategies outlined in this document are divided into several policy areas in order to increase awareness of the promising and evidence-based policy options to reduce childhood obesity.

Presentations from the August Safe Routes to School National Conference
A number of the PDF versions of the presentations are available for download. We are updating these presentations daily as we receive them from the speakers- please check back regularly.

School-based physical activity programs for promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6-18
Given that there are no harmful effects and that there is some evidence of positive effects on lifestyle behaviours and physical health status measures, ongoing physical activity promotion in schools is recommended at this time.

Implementing Exercise: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go?
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease Volume 16, Issue 6, November 2009, Pages 536-544
This article reviews what is known regarding the implementation of exercise and provides suggestions as to how exercise counseling might become a routine part of the care of patients with chronic kidney disease.

Including People with Disabilities in Coordinated Transportation Plans
It provides ideas and suggestions for increased involvement by people with disabilities, who have a perspective essential to the success of coordinated planning.

Healthy Futures for BC Families — Policy Recommendations for Improving the Health of British Columbians
The Report contains 45 recommendations covering such areas as early childhood development, housing, food security, income security, transportation and supportive environments. Physical activity is also mentioned.

Measure Up! Campaign: Phase One Evaluation results
The evaluation for Phase One of the Measure Up campaign was conducted through a series of surveys with the target audience.

Does a home based strength and balance programme in people aged 80 years provide the best value for money to prevent falls?: A systematic review of economic analyses of falls prevention interventions
British Journal of Sports Medicine On-line first
The authors found single factor interventions to be most cost effective.

Moving beyond 'rates, roads and rubbish': How do local governments make choices about healthy public policy to prevent obesity?
Semi structured interviews were conducted with representatives of local government in Australia. Factors most likely to facilitate policy change were those supported by external funding, developed from an evidence base and sensitive to community and market forces. Barriers to change included a perceived or real lack of power to make change and the complexity of the legislative framework.

Activity-Promoting Video Games and Increased Energy Expenditure
The Journal of Pediatrics Volume 154, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 819-823
The authors conclude that activity-promoting video games have the potential to increase movement and energy expenditure in children and adults.

BC Healthy Living Alliance: Physical Activity Strategy
BCHLA has four initiatives to take British Columbians from the TV to the trails. Knowing that small steps lead to big results, and that their actions can influence their children and aging parents, adults are the primary target.

The Community Guide: Promoting Physical Activity
Information on campaigns and informational approaches to increase physical activity, including community-wide campaigns; mass media campaigns; classroom-based health education focused on providing information; and much more.

Interventions on Diet and Physical Activity: What Works
Implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
Interventions on diet and physical activity: what works" (What Works) provides policy-makers and other stakeholders with a summary of tried and tested diet and physical activity interventions that aim to reduce the risk of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCD).