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Healthy Eating/ Physical Activity/Healthy Weights DRAFT Guidance Document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.

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