February 26, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Canadian Tax Exempt Transit and Cycling Benefits
A Cost Estimate of Proposed Amendments to the Income Tax Act to Exempt Certain Employer-Provided Transportation Benefits from Taxable Income.

Who owns the roads? How motorised traffic discourages walking and bicycling
Injury Prevention 2009; 15: 369-373
This article examines the impact of vehicle traffic on walking and bicycling activity. It indicates that real and perceived danger and discomfort imposed by traffic discourages walking and bicycling, and interventions to reduce traffic speed and volume can improve public health by increasing walking and bicycling activity.

APPLE Schools: Alberta Project Promoting active Living and healthy Eating
APPLE Schools aim to make the healthy choice the easy choice by changing the school environments. The easy choice for students will be healthy lunches and snacks and an active lifestyle. We aim to create and sustain supportive physical and social environments that foster lifelong health and learning.

Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transport Planning: Guidelines and Literature Review.
The project began in November 2007 and is to continue until March 2010. Its main objective is to develop sets of guidelines for municipal transportation and land-use planners, one set for each of Canada’s ten provinces.

The Guidelines are being developed as tools for achieving transportation and land-use arrangements that meet the needs of children and youth — and everyone else.

Neighborhood, Route, and School Environments and Children's Active Commuting
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 38, Issue 3, March 2010, Pages 268-278

Objectively measured neighborhood and route factors are associated with walking and cycling to school. However, distance did not moderate the associations found here. Creating safe environments by improving urban design may influence children's commuting behavior. Intervention studies are needed to confirm the findings from this observational cross-sectional study.

Pan-Canadian Online Survey to Determine a "Communities Perspective" on Children/Youth and their Connection with Nature
This survey will only be available online until the end of day on March 12th, 2010.
An online survey designed to seek input on strategic matters pertaining to children and youth and their perceived lack of engagement/connection with nature (the out-of-doors). The survey should take between 20-30 minutes to fully complete. The survey does not have to be completed in one session.

Programs for Children and Youth in a Community Context
Participants in a recent Child Trends Roundtable explored how evidence-based programs might be integrated into community initiatives to strengthen outcomes for children…. Insights from this Roundtable provide valuable guidance to policymakers and foundations considering investments in similar initiatives and to communities seeking to build or improve a system of services for disadvantaged children and youth.

A cross-sectional study of the number and frequency of terms used to refer to knowledge translation in a body of health literature in 2006: a Tower of Babel?
The study of implementing research findings into practice is rapidly growing and has acquired many competing names (e.g., dissemination, uptake, utilization, translation) and contributing disciplines. The use of multiple terms across disciplines pose barriers to communication and progress for applying research findings. The authors of this article sought to establish an inventory of terms describing this field and how often authors use them in a collection of health literature published in 2006.

Guidance for Developers of Health Research Reporting Guidelines
A reporting guideline gives a set of recommendations regarding the information that should be included in the report of a research study. The authors of this article hope this guidance on how to develop a reporting guideline, including an 18-step checklist, will fill a gap in the literature and be of help to potential and practicing developers.

This strategy assumes the involvement of an executive group to facilitate the guideline development and the expectation of having a face-to-face meeting as part of the reporting guideline development.

Mental Health and Physical Activity
A new edition of Mental Health and Physical Activity (MENPA) has been released. MENPA is an academic peer-reviewed journal that promotes high-quality research in understanding the link between mental health and physical activity.

The potential role of physical exercise in the treatment of epilepsy
Epilepsy & Behavior Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Ricardo Mario Arida, Fulvio Alexandre Scorza, Sérgio Gomes da Silva, Steven C. Schachter and Esper Abrão Cavalheiro

The beneficial effects of exercise for people with epilepsy, including reduction of seizure susceptibility, improvement of quality of life, reduction of anxiety and depression, and better social integration, have increasingly been reported. We present data from human and animal studies supporting the role of exercise as a therapy for epilepsy complementary to standard treatments.

Where We Want To Be: Home Location Preferences And Their Implications For Smart Growth
Updated 20 January 2010

February 19, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living


Walking and Biking Through Minnesota Winters
Information from a course to highlight and explore best local, national and international practices for encouraging year-round non-motorized (walking and cycling) transportation. The course included specific exploration of design, maintenance, and operations practices in similar winter climates, and was convened as a starting point for upcoming conversations exploring improvements to our year-round walking and cycling infrastructure and maintenance practices.


Childhood Obesity – It’s Everyone’s Business: Separating Fact from Fiction
Includes a list of statements about childhood obesity. Each is identified as either
“fact” or “fiction,” with an explanation of the evidence for the statement.

Encouraging Walking and Bicycling through School Policies

Promoting Optimal Monitoring of Child Growth in Canada: Using the New WHO Growth Charts
Developed collaboratively by the Dietitians of Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, The College of Family Physicians of Canada and Community Health Nurses of Canada. The statement is intended for use as a practice guideline for health professionals. The desired outcome is the promotion of consistent practices in monitoring growth and assessing patterns of linear growth and weight gain in infants, children and adolescents to support healthy child growth and development.

School Travel Planning Newsletter
News and information about the Canadian school travel planning project.

Coalitions Linking Action & Science for Prevention (CLASP)
More than 30 organizations from across Canada are forming partnerships in a $15.5-million series of initiatives designed to prevent chronic disease. The seven collaborative coalitions are to address such issues as childhood obesity, screening for chronic disease by family doctors, and the unique needs of First Nations communities.

CLASP Phase 1 Report
This report provides a detailed description of the CLASP Phase 1 consultation process as well as an outcome summary from each of the workshops, and an overview of the highest priority opportunities for collaborative action as identified by workshop participants.

The Economic Costs of Overweight, Obesity and Physical Inactivity Among California Adults – 2006.
On July 9, 2009, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) released this report. The study found that the cost of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity had climbed to $41 billion in 2006, nearly double the amount reported in 2000.

Exercise Testing for the Prediction of Cardiac Events in Patients with Diabetes
To assess research evidence on the safety and prognostic value of exercise testing for the prediction of cardiac events in patients with chronic diseases including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and arthritis.

Getting It Right: Case Studies of Effective Management of Chronic Disease Using
Primary Health Care Teams
Collectively, the five case studies describe a recipe for success for the design and implementation of effective, team-based primary health care for people living with chronic illness.

An Economic Framework for Analysing the Social Determinants of Health and
Health Inequalities
Reducing health inequalities is an important part of health policy in most countries. This paper discusses from an economic perspective how government policy can influence health inequalities, particularly focusing on the outcome of performance targets in England, and the role of sectors of the economy outside the health service – the ‘social determinants’ of health - in delivering these targets.

Can I use this evidence in my program decision? Assessing Applicability and Transferability of Evidence (2007)
Link to Background Paper and Link to Tool
A summary of the current literature, including a process to help you evaluate the feasibility and generalizability of evidence to your public health practice. The associated tool (available separately) helps you make decisions about program priorities in your own community.

Community Health Improvement Resources (CHIR)
A web-based resource for planning, implementing and evaluating interventions to improve the health of a community. You may access information, tools and resources for health conditions and risk factors. Designed for use by public health practitioners and community stakeholders.

Health Disparities Calculator
The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) is a statistical software designed to generate multiple summary measures to evaluate and monitor health disparities (HD). HD*Calc was created as an extension of SEER*Stat that allows the user to import SEER Data

Research Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPS)
A listing of physical activity intervention programs.

Active People Survey 3
From Sport England the Active People Survey 3 began on 15 October 2008 and ran for 12 months until mid October 2009.

Disparities in Data on Healthy People 2010 Physical Activity Objectives Collected by Accelerometry and Self-Report
American Journal of Public Health - published online ahead of print
Sandra A. Ham Barbara E. Ainsworth

Conclusions. Disparities in physical activity differ from previous findings. Increased understanding of these disparities should be used to design better and more cost-effective physical activity interventions. Physical activity surveillance methods should be revised to make use of data collection methods that are more valid than self-report.

Health Survey for England - 2008: Physical activity and fitness
The 2008 Health Survey for England focused on physical activity and fitness. Adults and children were asked to recall their physical activity over recent weeks, and objective measures of physical activity and fitness were also obtained. A secondary objective was to examine results on childhood obesity and other factors affecting health, including fruit and vegetable consumption, drinking and smoking.

National policy to local practice: Working together to deliver physical activity programs
Keynote, workshop and poster presentations now available to download.

Ontario Society of Physical Activity Promoters in Public Health (OSPAPPH)
The OSPAPPH aims to be the unified voice representing public health practitioners with the mandate of promoting physical activity in their respective communities.

Active Design Guidelines
The Active Design Guidelines provides architects and urban designers with a manual of strategies for creating healthier buildings, streets and urban spaces, based on the latest academic research and best practices in the field.

Physical Activity at Midlife in Relation to Successful Survival in Women at Age 70 Years or Older
Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 170 No. 2, January 25, 2010

Data from the ongoing cohort Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) was used. A total of 13,535 participants who were free of major chronic diseases at baseline in 1986 and were aged 70 years or older were included in the study. ……..This research demonstrates regardless of body weight, physical activity, including walking, at midlife may increase the probability of preserving optimal health in women. Maintaining a healthy body weight and high physical activity levels simultaneously at midlife is likely to increase the odds of successful survival.

February 5, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

There will not be a Physical Activity Information Round-Up next week. The Roundup will resume on February 19, 2010.

Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2010 Benchmarking Report
Many of the benchmarks featured in this report contribute to making communities more bicycle and pedestrian friendly by changing the built environment, culture, attitudes, and behaviors.

Canada Walks
Our Mission: to change the current social paradigm so that walkable communities are the cultural and social norm in Canada.

On the Move in the Community: Canada’s first active transportation conference
Montreal June 3rd and 4th, 2010.
The conference will bring together forty local and international speakers and specialists. These experts in the field will present winning formulas that have proven successful in public awareness campaigns and cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly urban planning endeavors.

Pedestrian Forum: Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America
VOL. 49, Winter 2010
The latest edition of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Pedestrian Forum Newsletter. It highlights efforts by the FHWA and its partners to improve the safety of walking and bicycling as a mode of transportation.

Obesity: Recent Trends in Children Aged 2-11y and 12-19y: Analysis from the Health Survey for England 1993 – 2007
Comparing the HSE (2000-2007) data set shows a significantly healthier picture than the data up until 2004. The overall picture is positive for all age groups and genders. There are some gender differences with 12-19y females faring significantly worse than their 2-11y counterparts and with males where there is little difference between the two age groups.

Parks and open space: For the health and wellbeing of children and young people
See the contribution parks and open space can make to the health & wellbeing of young people, part of the Action for Young Australians program.

Urban Thinkers: Empowering people to walk and cycle
Urbanthinkers is a sustainable transportation think tank based in East Vancouver, BC with over a decade of international experience. We believe that walking and cycling to school can be fun, safe and invigorating – and that student leaders themselves will generate the shift away from a current over-reliance on driving to school.

Prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: targeting risk factors
A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) focuses on targeting disease risk factors such as physical inactivity.

Effects of Park Improvements on Park Use and Physical Activity: Policy and Programming Implications
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 37, Iss 6, Dec 2009, Pages 475-480

Improvements to parks may not automatically result in increased use and physical activity, especially when programming decreases. Multiple factors contribute to park use and need to be accounted for in future community-level interventions. Further, improving perceptions of safety alone is unlikely to result in increased park use.

Participation in Sport by People with a Disability
This fact sheet presents information on disability and participation in sport by people with a disability. It also compares their participation rates with people with no disability and examines whether participation rates vary with sex, age and the type of disability. December 2009 from Australia

Adjusting step count recommendations for anthropometric variations in leg length
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport- Article in Press
Michael W. Beets, Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Christopher A. Fahs, Sushant M. Ranadive and Bo Fernhall

“In conclusion, notable differences in the total number of steps to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity were observed when accounting for variations in leg length. These estimates developed herein provide preliminary evidence that adjusting for anthropometric differences can provide the public with a closer approximation of their individualised steps min threshold required to meet recent physical activity recommendations.”

Blueprint for an Active Australia
The Blueprint for an Active Australia provides key actions, based on evidence of effectiveness, that can increase physical activity levels in Australia from 2010 to 2013. This document draws on available evidence that supports the need for implementation of a comprehensive range of actions at national, state and local levels. These actions address the barriers to physical activity and create opportunities for all Australians to be active in their homes, neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces and communities.

Evaluation of the Ramblers Family Walking Programme – Furness Families Walk4Life
Overall, the project was successful at engaging young families, who reported positive experiences of the program. The evaluation report highlights 34 implications for future practice. These recommendations, (which may be useful for other organizations looking to implement a walking intervention) have been broken down into clear and concise categories.

Let's get physical: The economic contribution of fitness centres in Australia
Find out the potential health and economic savings relating to fitness centres.

Physical Activity Resource Centre (PARC) New website
The PARC website has a new look and a new web address. The new and improved PARC website features include:
• Streamlined navigation to make it easier to find the content you need
• Downloadable workshops that are easier to navigate
• Brighter, cleaner design

The Cochrane Library publication frequency
Effective January, 2010, Cochrane has made the much-anticipated change to monthly publications of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR).

This site provides current research evidence relevant to public health in a searchable online registry. If you use Health-Evidence, you don’t need to go to Cochrane because all the research in the Cochrane database that is relevant to public health is listed in Health-Evidence.

NICE Guidelines (narrowed by topic to public health)
Based on high-quality systematic reviews; several new topics are added every year.

Pubmed – using the Clinical Queries tool
Clinical Queries uses some “behind the scenes” search strategies to help you find the best evidence for your question.

Pubmed without Clinical Queries tool
You may end up with a lot of hits, but you can use limits (language, human, dates, methods) to narrow down the number.

TRIP (Turning Research into Practice)
Searches across evidence-based resources (synopses, guidelines and systematic reviews); originally clinically based, but expanding to include community prevention.

Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual
The manual builds on similar efforts in Germany, the UK, Australia, and the US….. it introduces the concept of the pedestrian realm as an integral part of the overall street composition, and shows how this and the traveled way are combined to provide a balanced street network for all modes of transport. In this regard the manual is perhaps one of the most progressive in the world.

Risking Success Through Flexible Design
"What comes to mind when you picture a livable community? Many people probably imagine scenes of bicyclists riding the streets, children walking to school, perhaps riders hopping on streetcars to go to work or run errands, friends meeting in front of storefronts, or diners sitting at outdoor cafes. Roadway congestion and lengthy distances to destinations probably do not spring to mind."

What Works in Worksite Health Promotion - Systematic Review Findings and Recommendations from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 38, Issue 2, Supplement 1, Pages A1-A8, S223-S302 (February 2010)

“An important milestone has been achieved through the publication of the Task Force review of workplace health promotion programs in this issue. The thoughtful and rigorous analysis of the literature determined that well-designed, evidence-based, and theory-grounded programs can bring about health improvement, risk reduction, lower levels of healthcare use, and improved worker productivity….”