November 26, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living


Objective versus subjective measures of the built environment, which are most effective in capturing associations with walking?
Health & Place, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 14 November 2009
The results showed that objective measures of the built environment had stronger associations with walking than subjective measures.


Associations between physical activity, fitness, and academic achievement
Volume 155, Issue 6, December 2009, Page A1
These results suggest that physical activity and fitness can be beneficial to school performance.

Take Action: A guide for those working towards getting children and youth more physically active
This guide is intended to help you take the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity recommendations further and turn the research into action. This is for all of us who are working towards getting children and youth more physically active—from NGOs to public health to sport organizations and municipal recreation departments,


Alberta Diabetes Atlas 2009 – Launch
The Alberta Diabetes Atlas provides information on the number of people living with diabetes in Alberta, their related health conditions, and the health services they use.


Advocacy update: top ten reasons parks are important: the values of public parks and recreation in America.
This list of values encompasses the range of why public parks and recreation are an essential part of the national heritage, and the value provided to all citizens.

The Excellent City Park System.: What Makes it Great and How to Get There
Identifies seven factors as key to city park excellence. These factors are explored in detail in this publication and are also embellished with vignettes of “excellent practices” from cities around the country.

Neighborhood Land Use Diversity (LUD) and Physical Activity in Adjacent Parks
Health & Place, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 14 November 2009
This paper investigated whether parks were more likely to be used for PA if surrounded by greater LUD, as well as the interaction of LUD with the number of facilities in the park for predicting use of the park for PA.


Does a population-based multi-factorial lifestyle intervention increase social inequality in physical activity? The Inter99 study
Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.064840
The authors conclude: A population-based multi-factorial lifestyle intervention did not influence social inequality in physical activity

Global health risks: mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks
It is interesting to note that physical activity ranked as the fourth most important risk factor contributing to global deaths…… This report provides some interesting data on physical inactivity, particularly its risk contribution in developing countries as well as middle income and developed countries. For this reason it is an important report, because it profiles the relative importance of physical inactivity, independent of, and at least as important (or slightly more important) than obesity to global death.

Promotion of Physical Activity in the European Region: Content Analysis of 27 National Policy Documents
Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2009, 6: 805-817
This paper provides a useful snapshot of the current state of physical activity policy in Europe. It is promising that a recent increase in physical activity policy development has occurred in the region. It is also promising that many policies contain recommended components and actions.

Thematic Network "Educational and Social Integration of Persons with a Handicap through Adapted Physical Activity ".

THENAPA II: "Ageing and disability - a new crossing between physical activity, social inclusion and life-long well-being"
The aim of our project is to collect and bring together on European level, the information concerning physical activity and sport for older adults and to make possible the identification and the fulfillment of relevant educational programs in the students’ curricula.

November 19, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Dangerous By Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths (and Making Great Neighborhoods)
The report can be considered a report card on pedestrian safety at the national, state, and major metropolitan area levels. For those of us who must frequently make the argument that sidewalks and Complete Streets are not a luxury, but a necessity, the Dangerous by Design report provides ample cause to show that a very modest amount of investment can yield impressive returns in pedestrian safety.

The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature
Environmental Health 2009, 8:47 21 Oct 2009
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.

Children & Cities: Planning to Grow Together
This article concerns the role of children in our communities. A review of research shows that children play a limited role in the decision making processes that shapes their environment. What is more, as they have become increasingly dependent on parental cars for activities and travel, children are loosing touch with their immediate neighbourhoods, a trend reflected in the declining number of children who walk or bike to school.

Childhood Obesity: It's Everyone's Business
An action-oriented toolkit designed to help employers address childhood obesity and its implications on health care costs for the current and future work force. It includes examples of how employers can use existing programs or facilities to fight childhood obesity in their communities. There are many links to different resources here.

Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia
This publication presents results from the survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities conducted in April 2009. While the publication primarily provides information about the participation of children aged 5 to 14 years in cultural, sporting and other leisure activities, details on children's use of the Internet and mobile phones are also presented.

Embedding the Play Strategy
From Play England this guidance will help local decision makers put children’s play at the heart of their local communities. The guidance shows how planning and investing in local play space – and considering children’s needs within the wider environment – can benefit children, families and whole communities.

2009 ARPA Conference Presentations
All of the presentations are of very high quality and represent some of the hottest topics in recreation, so be sure to check them out. Great Neighborhoods, Children in Nature, Community Gardening and much, much more.

Gateway Rural Health Research Institute
Canada's Centre of Excellence for Community Driven Rural Health

Building Capacity in local government for integrated planning to increase physical activity: evaluation of the VicHealth MetroACTIVE program
Health Promotion International, 2009 Advance Access published October 13, 2009
These results show integrated planning to be a feasible strategy for developing a coordinated approach to increasing physical activity, and to engaging a range of council services and functions. Strategies to promote leadership, cultural and structural change within councils should also be facilitated to allow local governments to fulfill their potential to build communities for active living and to promote an increase in physical activity.

Physical Activity Resource Center for Public Health (PARC-PH)
The PARC–PH was developed in order to satisfy the need for a comprehensive center that can provide up–to–date physical activity assessment and intervention information as well as guidance to interested researchers and community members.

November 12, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

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.

DPA Action Tracker (ActNow BC)
An interactive tool for students in Grades 10 – 12….. the Action Tracker helps you keep track of your Daily Physical Activities and create a printed report for your teacher or school administrator.

Daily Physical Activity for Families Booklets
Four different booklets for specific age groups. The Daily Physical Activity For Families booklets are designed to help you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Each booklet includes basic information about Daily Physical Activity (DPA), safety tips, and age appropriate suggestions for getting more physically active

Physical Activity within the Health Promoting School: A Partnership Approach


Efficacy of Two Tailored Interventions Promoting Physical Activity in Older Adults
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 37, Issue 5, Nov 2009, Pg 405-417
The results indicate that tailoring can be an effective tool in attaining and enhancing awareness, initiation, and maintenance of physical activity among older adults. Targeting environmental determinants in addition to psychosocial determinants, however, did not result in an additional increase in physical activity behavior

Physical activity and memory functions: Are neurotrophins and cerebral gray matter volume the missing link?
NeuroImage Article in Press, Corrected Proof
While mediating factors will need to be further elucidated, these findings indicate that even low-level physical activity exerts beneficial effects on memory functions in older individuals.

Seniors Policy Handbook: A Guide for Developing and Evaluating Policies and Programs for Seniors
Prepared by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Committee of Officials for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors (Canada) and published in June 2009, the purpose of this handbook is to help policy analysts and program planners consider the perspective of seniors, the diversity of the seniors’ population, and the needs and issues facing seniors today and in the future.

Beneficial effects of exercise: shifting the focus from body weight to other markers of health
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43:924-927
These data demonstrate that significant and meaningful health benefits can be achieved even in the presence of lower-than-expected exercise-induced weight loss. A less successful reduction in body weight does not undermine the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise. From a public health perspective, exercise should be encouraged and the emphasis on weight loss reduced.

Cost Analysis of Internet vs. Print Interventions for Physical Activity Promotion
Psychology of Sport and Exercise – article in press
The authors conclude: Relative to print-based interventions, Internet-based interventions may be a more cost efficient way to reach a large number of sedentary individuals.

Exercise is Medicine
Their vision: For physical activity to be considered by all health care providers as a vital sign in every patient visit, and that patients are effectively counseled and referred as to their physical activity and health needs, thus leading to overall improvement in the public's health and long-term reduction in health care cost.

Leisure-Time Physical Activity is Associated with a Reduced Risk for Metabolic Syndrome
Annals of Epidemiology Volume 19, Issue 11, Nov 2009, Pg 784-792
These results suggest that increasing levels of leisure-time physical activity, in terms of duration or intensity, are linearly associated with a reduced risk for metabolic syndrome.

Let’s Get Moving - introducing a new physical activity care pathway
The new Let's Get Moving (LGM) physical activity care pathway is based on the principles of the NICE public health guidance 2006: Four Commonly Used Methods to Promote Physical Activity, which endorses the delivery of brief interventions for physical activity in primary care as both clinically and cost effective in the long term.

The physical therapist’s role in physical activity promotion
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43:99-101
Because of their training and experience, physical therapists are ideally placed to promote the health and well being of individuals and the general public through physical activity and exercise prescription. Therefore, physical therapists, general practitioners and other caregivers alike should become aware of the physical therapist’s potential in promoting safe and healthy physical activity……..

Potential strategies to improve uptake of exercise interventions in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Journal of Hepatology Article in Press, Corrected Proof –
The management of non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) concerns lifestyle modification and exercise; however, adherence is poor. Factors such as lack of confidence to exercise, poor understanding of the benefits of exercise, and a fear of falling all influence engagement in physical activity. To increase exercise in NAFLD it is important to understand the barriers to performing it.

When will we treat physical activity as a legitimate medical therapy...even though it does not come in a pill?
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43:80-81
There is no action (except abstaining from smoking) that could improve health more than being physically active, yet it remains an afterthought in clinical medicine and federal funding priorities. We continue excitably to search for health in a pill, yet we already have the readily available behavior of regular exercise that would provide enormous benefits.….

Key stakeholder perspectives on the development of walkable neighbourhoods
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 43-50
Evidence supports the link between the built environment and physical activity. This study investigated factors that influence the decisions made by key stakeholders as they relate to neighbourhood development. Seventeen stakeholders including public health and municipal employees, city councillors , and the private sector (e.g., land developers, food retailers) , participated in interviews.

The effectiveness of exercise in the management of post-natal depression: systematic review and meta-analysis
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of exercise in the management of post-natal depression. Conclusion: It was uncertain whether exercise reduced symptoms of post-natal depression.

Exercise for the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of low back pain in the workplace: a systematic review
The authors' conclusions about the evidence of benefits of exercise interventions were based on the results of small RCTs and some non-randomised trials. Although the results of the trials showed benefits of exercise in the workplace, the conduct of the majority of the trials makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of these interventions.


November 6, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Cycle Tracks: Lessons Learned
A cycle track is an exclusive bicycle facility that combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane. This document describes the lessons learned from the European experience with cycle tracks, including implementation, safety concerns and design features of cycle tracks in Europe.

“Caution! Kids at Play?” Unstructured Time Use among Children and Adolescents
This paper looks at the allocation and purpose of unstructured time for children and adolescents with respect to environments, activities, expectations and outcomes, and argues for a balanced approach.

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Guidelines for Early Childhood Settings
The page looks blank but scroll down and you will see the description and the 4 resources. You will also notice an entire PA and Nutrition Section (of which this is a subsection) in the left hand nav column.

Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Physical Activity
This article looks at regular physical activity as leading to important physical, social, psychological, and academic competencies and healthy outcomes among children and adolescents.

AMELIA: making streets more accessible for people with mobility difficulties
An important aspect of making streets more liveable is ensuring that they are accessible to everybody. This is part of the process of reducing social exclusion. There is a wide range of characteristics that are associated with being socially excluded: for example, having a disability which includes being in a wheelchair, having learning difficulties, and being visually impaired; being elderly; being a member of an ethnic minority; having a low income; being unemployed; not having access to a car; and being a single parent

Bringing Health to the Planning Table - A Profile of Promising Practices in Canada and Abroad
This report profiles case studies of 13 Canadian communities where collaborative approaches to improve health outcomes have been a key consideration in planning decisions related to the built environment. With one case study from each province and territory, it provides a pan-Canadian perspective. Two international examples highlight similar work happening abroad.

Health policy guidelines for organizations
Includes a Physical Activity Policy. This booklet is designed to assist organizations in developing, implementing, promoting, monitoring and reviewing their health policies. It contains sample position statements and clauses that may serve as a guide to organizations developing a health policy.

Creating Age Friendly Environments A resource for developers, designers, engineers, project managers, planners and architects.
Age friendly design supports active living, good health and social connectedness for all ages. Three key areas that need to be addressed in bringing about Age Friendly Environments are Transport, Urban Planning and Design and Housing.

As baby boomers flock to get fit, gyms prepare for aging exercisers
Over the next decade, the 18- to 49-year-old fitness market will grow by 0.6% and the 50-plus market will grow 25% yet most fitness clubs still cater to the younger market. To attract and keep baby boomers, the clubs will need to make some changes……

Building community capacity to increase participation in regular and social physical activity
A factsheet.

The health and economic benefits of reducing disease risk factors Research Report
July 2009
It is a large report and will take a bit of time to download. Physical activity is specifically mentioned 31 times and exercise is mentioned 33 times.

Preventive Medicine Volume 49, Issue 4, Pages 275-352 (October 2009)
Themed Issue: Forum on Physical Activity Research and Funding

A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities
This guide is intended to assist residents, parents, community association members, and others in getting involved in making communities safer for pedestrians. The guide includes facts, ideas, and resources to help residents learn about traffic problems that affect pedestrians and find ways to help address these problems and promote pedestrian safety. The guide includes information on identifying problems, taking action to address pedestrian concerns, finding solutions to improve pedestrian safety, and resources to get additional information.