April 1, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Cool Pedestrian Environments: Pedestrian Mobility & Accommodation
At some point during every trip, and on most days, we are all pedestrians. Walking is the universal mode of transport, available to persons of all ages and income levels and in every geographic setting: large, small, urban, suburban, and rural. Though it is the most basic mode, providing for pedestrian safety and mobility is a complex task…. This website is a resource for pedestrian planning, design, and safety documents, and includes web links to other resources.

Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility in Europe
Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths accounted for 14 percent of U.S. highway fatalities in 2008. The Federal Highway Administration…. sponsored a scanning study of five European countries to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility.

The scan team gathered information on strategies and approaches in the areas of engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. The team learned that many of the countries studied have established an urban street user hierarchy that gives the highest priority to walking, biking, and public transit.

Walking as a suspicious activity
Long Branch, N.J., police answered a call about a suspicious-looking person walking in a suburban neighborhood in a light rain. The man had stopped on the sidewalk to look at a house for sale. The officer, asked the aging pedestrian, his curly salt-and-pepper hair partly covered by a hood, his purpose in the neighborhood. 'Walking,' the man said. She asked his name. 'Bob Dylan.' She asked for identification. He had none. The officer put Dylan, 68, in the back of the squad car and took him back to a nearby hotel parking lot, where the legendary musician's tour buses were parked, so he could present valid ID..."

Are children and adolescents less active if parents restrict their physical activity and active transport due to perceived risk?
Social Science & Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Alison Carver, Anna Timperio, Kylie Hesketh and David Crawford

The findings demonstrate that constrained behaviour exhibited by parents may result in lower levels of active transport and of MVPA outside school hours. In particular, this was true for children and adolescent girls. Social interventions to improve perceived safety and physical interventions involving redesign of the built environment to improve actual safety may help to ease parental restriction of their children’s active transport and physical activity in their neighbourhood.

CDC Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit
Use this new toolkit to help promote physical activity in young people.

Effect of a Two-Year Obesity Prevention Intervention on Percentile Changes in Body Mass Index and Academic Performance in Low-Income Elementary School Children
American Journal of Public Health April 2010, Vol 100, No. 4

The authors conclude: School-based interventions can improve health and academic performance among low-income schoolchildren.

Online resources for identifying evidence-based, out-of-school time programs: A users guide
Child Trends produced this Guide to assist funders, administrators, and practitioners in identifying and navigating online resources to find evidence-based programs that may be appropriate for their target populations and communities.

Understanding parental physical activity: Meanings, habits, and social role influence
Psychology of Sport and Exercise Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Kyra Hamilton, and Katherine M. White

Parents had clear understandings of what constitutes PA and engaged in various activities which were integrated with or independent of the children. Being active with children, however, was not always constructed favorably in which many parents described the difficulties of being active with their children.

Best practice guidelines for mental health promotion programs: Older adults 55+
Note this is a “web-resource”.
This web resource is the second in a series of guides to promoting positive mental health across the lifespan. It provides health and social service providers (“practitioners”) with current evidence-based approaches in the application of mental health promotion concepts and principles for older adults and is intended to support practitioners, caregivers and others involved in developing programs in incorporating best practice approaches to mental health promotion initiatives that are directed towards older people (55 years of age and over).

Physical Activity Resources and Changes in Walking in a Cohort of Older Men
American Journal of Public Health April 2010, Vol 100, No. 4

We evaluated the influence of physical activity resources and neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (SES) on walking among community-dwelling older men. Uncovering reasons that proximity to parks and trails is not associated with maintenance of walking activity among men in low-SES neighborhoods could provide new insight into ways to promote physical activity.

2009 Australia Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, Seventh National Physical Activity Conference, Sixth National Sports Injury Prevention Conference, Be Active '09
Journal of Science and medicine in Sport Volume 12, Supplement 2

This Journal has published abstracts from the October 2009 sports medicine, sports science, sports injury, and physical activity promotion conference.

Application of the Transtheoretical model to physical activity in older adults with Type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease
Psychology of Sport and Exercise Article in Press
Alison Kirk, Freya MacMillan and Nikki Webster

Findings support the theoretical predictions of the TTM and the use of this model in older clinical populations.

Disparities in Data on Healthy People 2010 Physical Activity Objectives Collected by Accelerometry and Self-Report
American Journal of Public Health April 2010, Vol 100, No. S1

We compared findings on physical activity from national accelerometry data and Healthy People 2010 self-report data to identify differences in disparities by sociodemographic characteristics, gender, age, race/ethnicity, education level, and disability status

Dissemination of effective physical activity interventions: are we applying the evidence?
Health Education Research 2010 25(2):185-198

For physical activity researchers and practitioners, we have effective intervention approaches and analytic tools available for use, such as the Community Guide. However, it is now widely recognized that the mere existence of scientific knowledge is not sufficient to ensure effective application.

This study was undertaken to better understand the importance of studying context as a crucial step in the dissemination of physical activity interventions, focusing particularly on the evidence-based reviews in the Community Guide… One-size does not fit all as illustrated by our study. We must learn about context and capacity before attempting to actively disseminate the Guide's recommendations…..

Global Consultation on the "Toronto Charter for Physical Activity"
The consultation will close on 16th April 2010

The Built Environment and Location-Based Physical Activity
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 38, Iss 4, April 2010, P 429-438

Findings are consistent with studies showing that certain attributes of the built environment around homes are positively related to physical activity, but in this case only when the outcome was location-based.

Fixing the Great Mistake: Autocentric Development
According to a Feb. 25th StreetFilms entry, "'Fixing the Great Mistake' is a new Streetfilms series that examines what went wrong in the early part of the 20th Century, when our cities began catering to the automobile, and how those decisions continue to affect our lives today."

"In this episode, Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White shows how planning for cars drastically altered Park Avenue. Watch and see what Park Avenue used to look like, how we ceded it to the automobile, and what we need to do to reclaim the street as a space where people take precedence over traffic."

Perceived characteristics of the neighborhood and its association with physical activity behavior and self-rated health
Health & Place Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Willibald J. Stronegger, Sylvia Titze and Pekka Oja

Results suggest that local infrastructure facilities should be designed so as to ensure accessibility by both walking and cycling.

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