December 17, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Welcome to the final Physical Activity Information Round-Up for 2010. We’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. From all of us here at the Centre, we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

People drive for many trips that are short enough for walking and cycling, partly because they are links in a multi-trip chain and partly due to barriers to non-motorized travel. The
portion of short trips by non-motorized modes can be increased by improved sidewalks  and paths, better crosswalks, bike lanes, traffic calming and traffic speed controls, bicycle parking, and improved traffic education and enforcement.

An info sheet from the city of Minneapolis.

A great new initiative in the USA.  The National Center for Safe Routes to School has launched a new feature which gives local Safe Routes to School programs the ability to collect Parent Survey responses online in both English and Spanish. The online Parent Survey option is a free service that streamlines the data collection and submission processes, and saves local programs administrative time and money. 

This booklet from Tasmania presents suggestions, hints and tips on physical activity for children aged 0-5 years.

(UK) The main aim of this research was to provide very robust and reliable information from partnership schools on the proportion of pupils receiving 2 hours of curriculum PE, and the proportion of pupils participating in at least 3 hours of high quality PE and school sport in a typical week.

Published November 2010, this guidance focuses on road design and modification, covering 20 mph limits, 20mph zones and engineering measures to reduce speed or make routes safer. Recommendations include - making routes commonly used by children and young people safer. This includes routes to schools and parks.

BioMed Central Public Health 2010, 10:653
Lifestyle interventions for patients at high risk of diabetes, delivered by a variety of healthcare providers in routine clinical settings, are feasible but appear to be of limited clinical benefit one year after intervention. Despite convincing evidence from structured intensive trials, this systematic review showed that translation into routine practice has less effect on diabetes risk reduction.

Physical Activity is mentioned 42 times in this 80 page document.

A guide to the issues involved in transferring ownership and management of public space from local authorities to community groups.  The report also highlights benefits of shared community open spaces, for physical activities, providing accessible green routes for walking and cycling including safe routes to school for children; reduce the urban heat island effect in summer through cooling and shading…..

Do you feel like you are not getting the true views and opinions of the public you are engaging with? Maybe you feel you see the same faces at all meetings and are not hearing from all the groups or individuals in your community. If so, and you are committed to tackling the health inequalities within your area, perhaps it is time to try something different.

The report indicates that health disparities play a significant role in health system costs. It states that ongoing spending on acute care and programs encouraging a healthy lifestyle is not enough to improve the overall health of Canadians, particularly those who live in or close to poverty.

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly Volume 28, Issue 1, January
Although literature has addressed medical and psychological barriers to participation, little is known about the social barriers that youth encounter. This qualitative study explored sociocultural barriers to physical activity from the perspective of 17 youth with CHD.

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly Volume 28, Issue 1, January
This study descriptively measured the universal accessibility of "accessible" fitness and recreational facilities for Ontarians living with mobility disabilities. The physical and social environments of 44 fitness and recreational facilities that identified as "accessible" were assessed using a modified version of the AIMFREE.

This plan “outlines five key strategies to drive improvements in our health system. Specific actions and clear performance measures support the strategies that will help us achieve our ultimate goal of becoming the best-performing publicly funded health system in Canada.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has unveiled Healthy People 2020, the nation’s new 10-year goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention, and “myHealthyPeople,” a new challenge for technology application developers. 

Published 30 November 10. This White Paper replaces Choosing Healthier Lives. It sets out the Government's long-term vision for the future of public health in England.

You’re standing in line at the grocery store checkout counter, waiting to pay for your potato chips, extra creamy ice cream and frozen chicken wings. Then you see it. A tabloid headline screams, “Lose 15 pounds in a week!”

Each year the OHPE invites organizations and individuals working in health promotion in Ontario and across the country to reflect on the past 12 months and muse about the coming year. This is the first part of the reflections piece and the final OHPE feature for 2010. The second half of the reflections will run on the January 7, 2010.

1966 film by Les Drew & Kaj Pindal, (9min 35s)

A webcast recording of a falls seminar.

International Journal of Obesity 2010 Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]
Reilly JJ, Kelly J.
A relatively large and fairly consistent body of evidence now demonstrates that overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence have adverse consequences on premature mortality and physical morbidity in adulthood

VicHealth’s strategy for health in sport is multi-pronged. We are focusing our attention on finding ways to enable the sports sector to lead and innovate, to increase participation rates in sport, and to create sporting environments that are healthy, safe and inclusive for all in our community.

"Dashing through the snow (on foot, not in a sleigh!) = 330 calories
Jumping for joy = 330 calories
Sawing down the Christmas tree = 270 calories
Sledding = 270 calories
Chopping wood = 240 calories
Shoveling snow = 240 calories
Shopping on December 24th = 150 calories..."

The casebook presents an impressive collection of stories that highlight the depth and breadth of knowledge transfer activities in Alberta.

2010 publication from the New York City Department of Design and Construction.  The guidelines are the City’s first publication to focus on designers’ role in tackling one of the most urgent health crises of our day: obesity and related diseases including diabetes.
Chapter 2 Urban Design: Creating an Active City
Chapter 3 Building Design: Creating Opportunities for Daily Physical Activity
 (Free to download – you just have to provide a bit of information – nothing personal though.)

GWL Realty Advisors, a Canadian consulting group, recently released a report that examines the growing interest in living in dense urban areas. The study uses census data and polls to look into why the market for apartments and urban properties in Canada is booming. The report suggests that short commutes and proximity to transit are factors attracting apartment dwellers to certain properties.

In September 2010, the Ontario Public Health Association (OHPA) hosted a discussion forum entitled “Taking Action on the Built Environment: Building Healthy Public Policy.” The purpose of the forum was to provide an opportunity for public health and other professionals working on the built environment to discuss how to shape and advance policies in order to create healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable communities.

Designed to build understanding of the transit oriented development (TOD) concept and good practice in the Queensland context. It has been written for practitioners, including urban planners, urban designers, transport professionals, local and state government officers and industry representatives and developers.


December 10, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Adolescents’ exercise-related attitudes predict subsequent Moderate to Vigorous PA independent of baseline behavior suggesting that youth MVPA promotion efforts may provide long-term benefits by helping youth develop favorable exercise attitudes.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
We found differences by sex in variables associated with objectively measured MVPA in preschoolers. A focus on extrinsic motivators such as parental PA for girls and intrinsic motivators for boys may be an important consideration when designing interventions and PA programs for this age group.

This handbook is a direct response to needs expressed by community workers who have noticed that advocacy is rapidly becoming an important aspect of their work. It provides an introduction, the basics of advocacy, a section on building and maintaining momentum, and tools and tips - such as sample media releases, letters to elected officials and to newspaper editors.

“What does all this mean for health-care finance? It means that addressing the underlying social problems that scientists now know cause so much ill health, can help to rein in health costs. Governments must therefore be holistic in their programming and budgeting, instead of obsessing on reducing one budget line without regard to how that may affect other expenses.”

The toolkit provides a range of easy-to-use resources to help your organization create sustainable physical activity programs for people experiencing or recovering from serious mental illness. Developed for use by community mental health agencies, consumer/survivor initiatives and any other organization working with individuals who have a mental illness, the toolkit can be adapted to your organization’s setting and needs.

A number of guidebooks and guidelines for a variety of settings.

Mental Health and Physical Activity Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Increases in physical activity and fitness were associated with significant enhancements in psychological well-being. Outcomes provide evidence for the psychological benefits of physical activity and highlight the importance of detailed cardiorespiratory fitness assessment to evaluate the complex relation between physical and mental health in future obesity interventions.

On May 12, 2009, the City of Vaughan officially launched the Active Together Physical Activity Strategy. The strategy is a component of Vaughan’s ten year Active Together Master Plan for the provision of Recreation, Culture, Parks, Facilities and Libraries. The plan has two main goals: to increase the physical activity of Vaughan residents by 10 per cent by 2020, and, to reduce the ‘screen time’ of Vaughan residents by 10 per cent.

Don’t hide from the winter weather — embrace it! You just need a few extra steps to keep yourself safe and warm during winter activities.

The paper highlights some of the areas where public health and recreation can work more effectively together to improve the communities where we live, learn, work and play.

Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Evidence was strongest for reduced disease symptoms (tender/swollen joints, pain) and disability and for improved self-efficacy and mental health. Interventions, research methods, and disease diagnoses were heterogeneous.

This presentation provides valuable insights for epidemiological approaches to health and environment, including exploring the relationship between the built environment and sedentary lifestyles and how manmade surroundings impact the overall health of our citizens.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Worksite programs can successfully initiate cardiovascular risk reduction among employees, but more intensive interventions are needed to make significant improvements in the health of higher risk obese employees.

December 3, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

The BFU program promotes active and sustainable colleges and universities.  The college campus is an ideal setting for bicycling and a natural fit for reaching institutional sustainability, health and livability goals.

If you want to influence transportation choices, this planning guide is written for you. You may be working on a very small or large program. This guide has been designed to help you focus on practical first steps and explore additional social marketing considerations. The guide's worksheets walk you through each step, provide quick access to the key questions to ask, and link to associated recommendations for further details.

The paper includes a review of literature and thirteen case studies of CWA tools that are compared using a framework based on the literature review.

The online information giant announced Monday that it is introducing a Bike Directions feature to its popular Google Maps site, allowing users to highlight bike-friendly trails and roads across most major Canadian cities. The cities are Ottawa, Gatineau, Que., Toronto, Waterloo, Ont. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Kelowna, B.C.

The report highlights the good value for money of Sustrans’ work, and how increasing levels of walking and cycling benefits economic prosperity as well as people's health, the environment and communities.

This article offers tips about starting a walking group in your community and discusses the many health benefits of walking.

This report from the London Assembly suggests that in some cases public policy interventions can persuade people to move from other modes of transport and walk. Furthermore, compared with the high cost capital investment needed for much transport infrastructure, such interventions are affordable and can offer excellent value for money.

All Star Snacks is a playbook for coaches and parents who are looking to support a healthy snack culture in children's community sports.  This resource can help community leaders ensure that active children enjoy healthy snack choices during sporting events.

This evaluation suggests that after school clubs would benefit from being staffed by qualified play personnel. It also implies that there are greater benefits to be gained by offering structured activities.

The development of the guidelines has its origin in work in Ontario in 2002-2005 that sought to make municipal planners and others more aware of several concerns about young people and today’s transport and land use and of the transport needs of children and youth.

Walking and biking are two of the easiest ways to be active. The National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has prepared a new research-based resource that specifically looks at the potential physical activity benefits of a SRTS program and describes strategies for measuring those benefits

Lots of great info, examples and resources here.

A comprehensive new report from Bridging the Gap and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that elementary schools across the (USA) commonly offer their students junk food and soda, serve meals that don’t meet current dietary guidelines, and provide little time for physical activity.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol. 91, Iss. 12, Pages 1856-1861
This is the first study to provide an objectively assessed activity spectrum in a variety of chronic physical conditions. We hope this study will increase the awareness of health professionals as to which chronic physical conditions are at increased risk for an inactive lifestyle, and will contribute to adaptation of patient management accordingly.

Specific to the programs offered in England – yet many good points here that could be applied to us.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:78
We conclude that improving access to greenspace for all in urban communities will require more than providing high quality resources such as parks, footpaths, activities and lighting.

The toolkit provides a range of easy-to-use resources to help your organization create sustainable physical activity programs for people experiencing or recovering from serious mental illness. Developed for use by community mental health agencies, consumer/survivor initiatives and any other organization working with individuals who have a mental illness, the toolkit can be adapted to your organization’s setting and needs.

The University of Calgary has just launched a new Open Access initiative through the University of Calgary press.  This is the first book. It will become one of the first interactive websites connecting seniors interested in training to become researchers and researchers wanting to extend their work with seniors as co-researchers.

Read about the links between physical activity and falls in older adults in this new survey.

Health & Place Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
A systematic literature search resulted in the inclusion of 31 articles. Results were inconsistent but most of the studied environmental characteristics were reported not to be related to PA. More studies in different contexts utilizing longitudinal designs, standardized, reliable and validated PA and environmental measurements and investigating possible moderating effects are definitely warranted.

Click on "5071" at the end of the bolded text in the middle of the page.
The CHMS collected key information relevant to the health of Canadians by means of direct physical measurements such as height, weight, body composition, physical fitness, blood pressure and physical activity. These indicators were collected from March 2007 to February 2009 from a representative sample of Canadians aged 6 to 79 years in 15 sites across the country.

The Master Plan provides an ambitious framework for guiding the development, delivery and continuous improvement of Recreation’s products, services and facilities.

Scroll down near the bottom of the webpage for the link to the booklet.
This booklet is intended as a simple guide to the physical activity projects from across the UK submitted to be showcased at the 10th BHFNC Annual Conference, ‘The cure for all ills is not to sit still: Raising the profile of physical activity across the UK’. This year’s booklet focuses on projects that have engaged primary care professionals such as GPs and Practice Nurses in project design and /or delivery.

Ian Janssen, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity.
Dr. Janssen’s research program will address three theme areas….

PulsE is a quarterly eBulletin that provides information about newly published systematic reviews of public health and health services interventions. The reviews are drawn from a range of open access sources….

Overall support for changes in street use allocation was greater in the Bloor Annex neighbourhood than Bloor West Village. However in both neighbourhoods, the majority of merchants believed that changes to accommodate an increase in pedestrian or cyclist infrastructure would increase or would not change their daily number of customers.

Learn about effective ways to engage with the public around development schemes.

Planet Health Cymru provides a ‘one stop shop’ to aid collaborative working, detailing key information, tools, documents and examples of current practice for use by practitioners working in planning, transport, urban design, development, architecture, public health as well as anybody who has a responsibility in improving the nation’s health.

American Journal of Public Health November 2010, Vol 100, No. 11 | 2288-2295
DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.180828
Conclusions. Routine activity during the day at work or home may be related to reduced invasive breast cancer risk. Domains outside of recreation time may be attractive targets for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior among postmenopausal women.

You can click on ‘download’ to save a copy of the document for free.
Aimed at women, this booklet describes the risks of heart disease specific to women and provides advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

We all know by now that we should be getting 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days. Yet for all the proselytizing, wheedling and cajoling, only about 5 percent of the population has bought into the program. …..

Preventive Medicine Volume 51, Issue 5, November 2010, Pages 384-386
Conclusions: Declining levels of physical activity at work may help explain the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canada.

Labour Economics Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
This study is the first to present evidence of the return to leisure sports in the job hiring process by sending fictitious applications to real job openings in the Swedish labor market. In the field experiment job applicants were randomly given different information about their type and level of leisure sports. Applicants who signaled sports skills had a significantly higher callback rate of about 2 percentage points, and this effect was about twice as large for physically demanding occupations.

November 19, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

This article touches on the relevance of the social determinants model to Aboriginal health and highlights recent NCCAH activities to illustrate how a social determinants framework can influence policy, research and practice. It concludes with next steps, and provides links to related resources.

Alta Planning + Design, a national firm specializing in multi-modal transportation, greenways, bike sharing, and related fields, is joining forces with the Durham, North Carolina office of Greenways Incorporated…. The combined group will operate under the name ‘Alta/Greenways’……

The LIFE CYCLE Best Practice Handbook provides a collection of over cycling best practices from around the world. It offers food for thought for European traffic planners and others seeking solutions for reducing the personal, social and economic costs of insufficient physical activity in their communities.  Be sure to look at the links to other resources in the left hand column as well.

Welcome to LIFE CYCLE, a source of practical ideas to inspire life-long cycling habits.

We’re launching an exciting project that will combine the transportation expertise of the National Complete Streets Coalition with a powerful public health framework for creating healthier environments…… The ‘Policy’ piece of the three step process is pretty obvious: adoption of Complete Streets policies help create the political will to change the built environment to create a safe environment for active travel.

As more and more studies are being released it is becoming very apparent that the children in nature movement is sweeping the world by storm. These studies are proving that early childhood development can be facilitated with the use of these playgrounds.

Minister Algukkaq announced support for nine new initiatives for research on physical activity and childhood obesity through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

There are lots of resources here! Be sure to check out the (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database.  “We believe that out-of-school time supports and opportunities are essential to healthy learning and development.  Therefore, our out-of-school time work strives to promote quality, accessibility, and sustainability of out-of-school time (OST) programs and activities across the nation. Our OST resources support the work of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.”

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Uncorrected Proof
Maternal permissive parenting was associated with higher levels of physical activity than authoritative parenting, but associations differed by child gender and type of physical activity. Maternal logistic support was associated with girls' physical activity, while paternal logistic support was associated with boys' physical activity. Health professionals could encourage parents to increase logistic support for their children's physical activity.

This article explains some of the differences between physical activity and physical education. It outlines the different benefits each provides and helps you understand your role as a parent in supporting physical activity and physical education in your child’s school.

Whether traveling on foot, by bicycle, or on the bus, students deserve to feel safe as they make their way to school each morning. A new report from the National Center for Safe Routes to Schools shows how Safe Routes to School programs can make the areas around schools more secure for students.

This presentation looks at the PLAY deficit, the implications and the need to take action to support the return of PLAY to the public policy agenda.  Presentation from the 2010 Alberta Recreation and Parks Association Conference & Energize Workshop

Operating in the United States, Canada and Israel, Trips For Kids® (TFK®) has opened the world of cycling to over 60,000 at-risk youth through mountain bike rides and Earn-A-Bike programs.

The Lancet, Article in Press, Corrected Proof
This is the third in a Series of five papers about chronic diseases.  In this report we present an assessment of public health strategies designed to tackle behavioural risk factors for chronic diseases that are closely linked with obesity, including aspects of diet and physical inactivity, in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa. England was included for comparative purposes.

Read the OECD Report on the scale and characteristics of the obesity epidemic, and influences and interventions that make a difference.  Scroll half way down the page to download the executive summary and see the County Facts for Canada.

Policy change at the federal, state and local level is essential to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. Unfortunately, no single policy change will sufficiently achieve this goal; a range of policies that work to improve both healthy eating and active living among children and families will be necessary….We will update this section frequently to bring you the latest information about policy action related to childhood obesity.

The case reports presented here have been provided by the health promotion
practitioners who have provided their insights and lessons learnt into how to initiate  physical activity interventions built around the 10,000 steps-a-day theme.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Uncorrected Proof
A 1-year moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise program prevents declines in the physical aspects of QoL in postmenopausal women. Exercise may have a potentially important advantage for breast cancer prevention compared to other lifestyle or biomedical interventions.

Principles and Approach for Successful Private/Not-for-Profit Partnerships in Physical Activity and Sport.  The aim of the Partnership Protocol is to assist not-for-profits in the fields of sport and physical activity to find, implement and sustain effective partnerships with the private sector, while respecting their own missions and mandates

The term “complete streets” can evoke a bustling urban or town center, with streets that sport colored bike lanes, tree-lined sidewalks, and other investments in infrastructure. How to apply this term to rural roads, however, is not as clear. Currently, transportation specialists are rethinking the term in relation to the unique challenges on rural roads, and recommending new design standards that promote safer (and sometimes cheaper) rural roads for all.

The Great Recession has highlighted a fundamental change in what consumers do want: homes in central cities and closer-in suburbs where one can walk to stores and mass transit. Such 'walkable urban' real estate has experienced less than half the average decline in price from the housing peak..."

ProMOTION Plus, British Columbia's organization for girls and women in physical activity and sport, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.