January 28, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

8 - 80 Cities, (formerly Walk & Bike for Life)
8 - 80 Cities is a Canadian based non-profit organization with an international outlook. (Their) goal is to contribute to the creation of vibrant cities and healthy communities, where residents live happier and enjoy great public places. (They) promote walking and bicycling as activities and urban parks, trails and other public spaces as great places for ALL.

The 8/80 rule:
Step 1: Think of a child that you love and care for who is approximately 8 years of age. This could be a child, grandchild, sister, brother, cousin etc.
Step 2: Think of an adult, approximately 80 years of age who you love and care for. This could be a parent, grandparent, friend etc.
Step 3: Ask yourself: Would you send that 8 year old along with the 80 year old on a walk, or a bike ride on that infrastructure? If you would, then it is safe enough, if you would not, then it is not safe enough.

CFLRI 2008 Physical Activity Monitor: Getting Kids Active Bulletins are now available
Three new bulletins have been released: Main location for PA, Barriers to PA and Awareness of PA guides for children.

Kids Can Play Bulletin #1: Activity Levels of Children and Youth
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute's Canadian Physical Activity Levels Among Youth (CANPLAY) study measures physical activity levels of
children and youth by using pedometers to measure daily steps. Most of the analyses in this bulletin are based on combined data collected in Years Three and Four (2007 - 2009) of data collection, unless otherwise stated.

Parks and recreation programs declining as obesity, health concerns rise
"Research is now showing there's a close correlation between public health and recreational opportunities, both close to home and in state parks,"….. snip

Free2BMe Physical Activity for Kids and Teens
Our goal is to provide opportunities for children and youth to participate in physical activity and fitness programs, to develop skills and knowledge towards health and wellness while asserting autonomy and independence in a fun and social environment.

CPHA Centenary Web site
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) marks its centenary in 2010. This voluntary, non-governmental organization was formed 100 years ago by a small group of doctors who were concerned about the state of public health in Canada.

Mythbusters is a series of two-page articles that summarize the best available evidence to challenge widely held beliefs about issues in Canadian healthcare.

Older Adults' Perspectives on Home Exercise after Falls Rehabilitation: Understanding the Importance of Promoting Healthy, Active Ageing
Health Education Journal, v68 n3 p207-218 2009

This study helps us to acknowledge that from an older adult's perspective, independence is highly valued, and encourages us to consider how we can then adopt this as a motivator for participation in healthy, active ageing. When working with older people, professionals need to adopt a holistic approach to their health, using a person-centred approach to promote positive, active ageing.

Prevention of Falls in Older Persons
From the American Geriatrics Society and British Geriatrics. A multi-factorial fall risk assessment is recommended for older adults who have had a fall, who have been identified as having gait and balance problems, or who report difficulties with gait or balance. Includes information on recommended evaluations and interventions, and the key role of evidence-based strength and balance training.

CFLRI 2008 Physical Activity and Sport Monitors Bulletins are now available.
Eight new bulletins have been released, including such topics as PA Levels of Canadians, Beliefs about the benefits of PA and Social norms for walking.

CFLRI Lifestyle Tips: Seasonal Variations in Physical Activity
Cold weather is no excuse to be inactive. In fact, Canadian winters offer a wide range of exciting activities that you can’t do in the warmer seasons. Try some of these … snip

CFLRI Research File: Seasonal Variations in Physical Activity
It’s fun to get outside and be active on a lovely summer day, but just how much more active are we when the weather is good and how much does season affect our activity levels?..... snip

Healthy Planning Guide
This guide is intended to help public health and planning departments collaborate on strategies to promote healthier communities. Each page links health risks to aspects of the built environment, outlining ways to ensure that neighborhoods are designed to support health equity and community well-being.

Janaury 22, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

America Walks’ Position Statement: Walking is More Than Local
Investment and policy decisions that encourage or discourage walking are made at the local, regional, state and federal levels. Likewise, the public health, environmental and quality of life impacts of walking or not walking extend beyond local borders……

Go here to see their other position statements.

Calm Traffic before Traffic Calming
A film taken from a streetcar traveling down Market Street in San Francisco in 1906, a few days before the earthquake/fire destroyed the area. “It's worth taking 7 minutes of your life to watch (but one or two minutes is good enough) ... no paved roads, no driving rules, no traffic lights, no pedestrian crosswalks. But it all works because the pace is slower." -- John Cinatl

Congestion Road Tax and Physical Activity
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 171-177

The results from this study on the influence of a congestion road tax on levels of physical activity, though inconclusive, suggest that policy changes such as a congestion road tax might promote improvements in physical activity levels in individuals with motorized vehicles.

Mobile phone use while cycling: Incidence and effects on behavior and safety
Ergonomics, Volume 53, Issue 1 January 2010 , pages 30 – 42

Although perhaps mainly restricted to flat countries with a large proportion of cyclists, mobile phone use while cycling has increased and may be a threat to traffic safety, similar to phone use while driving a car. In this study, the extent of the problem was assessed by observing the proportion of cyclists using mobile phones, sending questionnaires to accident-involved cyclists and an experimental study was conducted on the effects of mobile phone use while cycling.

A One of a Kind Walking, Biking School Opens in Canada
With the dawn of the new year, a newly opened elementary school in Ontario is heralded as the nation's first school that requires nearly all of its students to get to and from school using their own two feet.

Healthy Eating/ Physical Activity/Healthy Weights DRAFT Guidance Document
From the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion. The purpose of these documents is to summarize current evidence to assist boards of health in the implementation of the Ontario Public Health Standards. An online consultation is currently underway with Public Health Units and will conclude January 31, 2010. We anticipate the release of the final Guidance Documents on March 31, 2010.

Mapping the Walk to School Using Accelerometry Combined with a Global Positioning System
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 178-183

(Their) results provide evidence that the journey to school is purposeful and contributes to higher total physical activity and MVPA in children. Combining accelerometer and GPS data may aid our understanding of the environmental context of physical activity.

Physical Literacy for Preschoolers – It’s All About Me Me Me! ... A Multi- Movement Approach to Teaching Preschool Recreational Activities
This presentation from the 2009 Recreation Nova Scotia Annual Conference, focuses on the importance of multi-movement learning opportunities for preschool-aged children to promote Physical Literacy and examines the different teaching styles that can accommodate learning styles and developmental stages of preschool-aged children in a ‘child-centered’ recreational learning environment.

Play Matters: A study of the Best Practices to Inform Local Policy and Process in Support of Children’s Play
In municipalities across America, engaged citizens and civic leaders are actively seeking innovative ways to improve the accessibility, quality, and quantity of play and play spaces for children. To help cities build awareness & political capital and develop a policy on play, KaBOOM! identified 12 relevant and innovative best practices in play.

Launch of Updated Canadian Best Practices Portal for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention
On January 20, 2010, a new and improved version of the Canadian Best Practices Portal, went live. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Portal is a virtual front door to community and population health interventions related to chronic disease prevention and health promotion that have been evaluated, shown to be successful, and have the potential to be adapted and replicated by other health practitioners working in similar fields.

Development of the Community Healthy Living Index: A tool to foster healthy environments for the prevention of obesity and chronic disease
Preventive Medicine Volume 50, Supplement 1, January 2010, Pages S80-S85

This paper presents a new, comprehensive tool for communities to assess opportunities for active living and healthy eating. The Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) covers five major sectors where people live, work, learn, and play: schools, after schools, work sites, neighborhoods, and the community-at-large. CHLI and the accompanying procedures enable community teams to assess programs, the physical environment, and policies related to healthy living, and to plan improvement strategies.

Physical Activity Research Updates from the USC Prevention Centre
A listing of past and current research published in the area of Physical Activity. This is a GREAT resource.

Special Issue of Preventive Medicine: Active Communities for Youth and Families: Using Research to Create Momentum for Change
Preventive Medicine Volume 50, Supplement 1, Pages S1-S126 (January 2010)

The 15 papers presented at the Active Living Research conference and published in this issue are divided into the following subsections covering various aspects of promoting physical activity in communities:
• Translating Research to Policy Award
• Parks and Recreation
• Youth and Schools
• Transportation and Land Use
• Measurement Advances

National Geographic New Suburban Design
Explore this interactive learning tool that compares the differences between urban sprawl type design and new urbanism.

Neighborhood determinants of self-efficacy, physical activity, and body weights among Canadian Children
Health & Place, Article in Press
Z. Davidson A, Simen-Kapeu and P.J. Veugelers (U of A Researchers)

Both infrastructural investments such as in recreational facilities, sidewalks and parks, as well as health education to promote self-efficacy may increase PA and prevent overweight among children.

New Urban News
They have created a one-stop location for news, resources, and case studies on designing walkable, complete streets

Urban sprawl and health: Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean healthier
A Healthy Public Policy Information Sheet from Alberta Health Services.

January 15, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian
Health Measures Survey
Fitness levels of children and youth have declined significantly and meaningfully since 1981, regardless of age or sex. Significant sex differences exist for most fitness measures. Fitness levels change substantially between ages 6 and 19 years……. snip

Meeting the Challenge of Childhood Obesity
The State Education Standard is the policy journal of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Written for lay leaders and professional educators alike, the journal explores major education issues through the lens of policy development and implementation. All articles are free to download as a .pdf.

Leisure-time physical activity and risk of type 2 diabetes in patients with established vascular disease or poorly controlled vascular risk factors
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice Article in Press
B.G. Brouwer et al

Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of T2DM in patients with manifest arterial disease, or poorly controlled risk factors. The combination of physical activity and non-obesity is associated with an even lower risk of the development of type 2 diabetes than the sum of their independent, protective effect.

Canadian Health Measures Survey Results Released
The CHMS captured key information relevant to the health of Canadians by means of direct physical measurements, such as body measurements, cardio-respiratory fitness, musculoskeletal fitness and blood pressure.

Fitness of Canadian adults: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey
Based on results of the fitness tests and anthropometric measurements, many Canadian
adults face health risks due to suboptimal fitness levels….. snip

Kinetic Notions will now feature Kinetic Notions, a new weekly column offering a thought-provoking look at life and physical activity.

ParticipACTION: Baseline Research on the Resurgence of Canada's Physical Activity Social Marketing Leader
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:89

An open access journal. The set of ParticipACTION papers in this issue establish benchmarks and provide baseline and initial impact data for the evaluation and monitoring of ParticipACTION, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. As a set, they describe a comprehensive approach to setting up evaluations of national social marketing efforts to promote physical activity.

The relationship of physical activity and overweight to objectively measured green space accessibility and use
Social Science & Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Andrew P. Jonesa, Emma Coombes and Melvyn Hillsdon

The findings suggest that the provision of good access to green spaces in urban areas may help promote population physical activity.


January 11, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Cycling resources from Australia (Queensland Department of Transport).
This series of notes is designed to assist planners and engineers provide for cycling in their local area. (The ink takes you to a main page with links to many different documents/resources)

Integrating Bicycling and Public Transport in North America
This paper provides an overview of bike-transit integration in large American and Canadian cities. It begins with an analysis of national trends in bike-and-ride programs such as the provision of bike racks on buses, accommodation of bikes on rail vehicles, and bike parking at rail stations and bus stops. Most of the paper, however, is devoted to case studies of bike-transit integration in six large American cities (San Francisco, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, and New York) and two Canadian cities (Vancouver and Toronto).

Seattle Crosswalk: Tap foot, Lights blink, Cross street
A unique pedestrian-activated crosswalk that blinks as people cross. Includes video.

Bad crosswalk round about design
A 3-minute video of pedestrians and bicyclists trying to cross what appears to be the exit of a very busy roundabout. The phrase "you can't get there from here" comes to mind...

Effective elements of school health promotion across behavioral domains: A systematic review of reviews
Most school health education programs focus on a single behavioral domain. Integrative programs that address multiple behaviors may be more efficient, but only if the elements of change are similar for these behaviors. The objective of this study was to examine which effective elements of school health education are similar across three particular behavioral domains.

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America
This study measures the nationwide participation rates of girls and boys in exercise and organized team sports. The central focus is on how the intersections among families, schools and communities are related to children’s involvement and interest in athletics and physical activity.

Safe Routes to School Putting Traffic Safety First: How Safe Routes to School Initiatives Protect Children Walking and Bicycling
From the safe routes to school national partnership (USA)

Pathways Between Physical Activity and Quality of Life in Adults With Multiple Sclerosis
Health Psychology Volume 28, Issue 6, November 2009, Pages 682-689

The observed pattern of relationships supports the possibility that physical activity is indirectly associated with improved QOL through pathways that include fatigue, pain, social support, and self-efficacy in individuals with MS.

Sport and Physical Activity in the Life of a Man with Cerebral Palsy: Compensation for Disability with Psychosocial Benefits and Costs
Psychology of Sport and Exercise Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Cadeyrn J. Gaskin, Mark B. Andersen, and Tony Morris

The life history of (this subject) illustrates the benefits and costs of trying to compensate for disabilities through sport and physical activity. In (his) life, sport and physical activity both promoted and impeded (his) psychosocial development.

Effects of a physical training and nutritional intervention program in frail elderly people regarding habitual physical activity level and activities of daily living—A randomized controlled pilot study
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Elisabeth Rydwika, Kerstin Frändinb and Gunnar Aknerc

The present study adds data on physical activity level and ADL and indicates that physical training increased the habitual physical activity level in frail elderly people and that this increase remained over time for six months. Increase in physical activity and degree of home-based exercises were moderately related to improvements in ADL. The nutrition intervention did not add any extra benefit. Studies with larger sample sizes and targeted interventions towards behavioral and environmental factors are necessary before any further conclusions can be drawn.

CDC's Recommended Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States
This manual describes 24 recommended strategies by the CDC to encourage and support healthy eating and active living. In addition, a single measure is provided for each strategy to help communities track their progress over time.

Telephone intervention promoting weight-related health behaviors
Preventive Medicine Article in Press
Youngmee Kim, Joanne Pike, Heather Adams, Di Cross, Colleen Doyle and John Foreyt

The Nutrition and Physical Activity (NuPA) study was designed to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and weight management for a working population.

Effective Techniques in Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Interventions: A Meta-Regression
Health Psychology Volume 28, Issue 6, November 2009, Pages 690-701

Meta-analyses of behavior change (BC) interventions typically find large heterogeneity in effectiveness and small effects. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of active BC interventions designed to promote physical activity and healthy eating and investigate whether theoretically specified BC techniques improve outcome.

Randomised controlled trial of a pedometer-based telephone intervention to increase physical activity among cardiac patients not attending cardiac rehabilitation
Patient Education and Counseling Article in Press
Susan Furber, Lyra Butler, Philayrath Phongsavan, Andrew Mark and Adrian Bauman

The findings that the pedometer-based telephone intervention was successful in increasing physical activity levels in cardiac patients who did not attend a CRP could result in major health benefits for this group of people.

Effects of recommended levels of physical activity on pregnancy outcomes
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Article in Press
Katarina Melzer PhD et al

Active women have better aerobic fitness as compared to inactive women. The risk for operative delivery is lower in active women compared to inactive, when controlled for birthweight, maternal weight gain, and parity. Further studies with larger sample size are required to confirm the association between physical activity and pregnancy outcomes.

Workplace physical activity and nutrition interventions
This evidence module provides an overview of the best evidence currently available about workplace health promotion programs to promote physical activity, healthy diet or both and prevent overweight and obesity. It synthesises findings and recommendations from multiple systematic reviews and recent reports.