May 21, 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:


Core Crew Tours
The Core Crew arranges CORE-porate Tours for businesses of all sizes, encouraging groups of Downtown (Edmonton)workers to get active this summer….. Employers can use this tour as a team-building activity and to promote the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle


Do Canadian Children Meet their Nutrient Requirements through Food Intake Alone?

Do Canadian Adolescents Meet their Nutrient Requirements through Food Intake Alone?

Do Canadian Adults Meet their Nutrient Requirements through Food Intake Alone?

These articles from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004) not only present the results of the nutrient assessment against the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for these three sub-populations, but also show the proper application of the DRIs in the interpretation of survey results. You will find useful information on how to use the Adequate Intake and the Estimated Average Requirement in the assessment of groups.

Recipes for Change: Healthy Food in Every Community
This paper outlines organizational practices and public policies to expand access to healthy foods in support of healthy eating and better overall health.


Active Alberta: A Recreation, Active Living and Sport Policy
The Government of Alberta has developed a new draft policy with the objective of maximizing the impact of provincial funding to achieve measurable impacts on Albertans' activity levels, health and quality of life.

Addressing the Intersection: Preventing Violence and Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living
Healthy eating and active living has become a national priority, but when people don't feel safe in their communities, they are less likely to use local parks, access public transportation or let their children walk to school or play outside. Until now, very little research on the impact of community violence on healthy eating and activity--and potential solutions--has been done. The final product makes a compelling case for embedding safety strategies into community efforts to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

May 14, 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:

Google Maps Adding Bike Directions
Google Maps is starting to provide biking directions. Google Maps users looking for directions between two points will have the option of selecting "bicycling" in addition to walking, driving, and public transportation options when customizing their trip guidance.

Health economic assessment tool for cycling (HEAT for cycling)
This tool estimates the economic savings resulting from reduced mortality due to cycling, i.e.: if x people cycle y distance on most days, what is the economic value of the improvements in their mortality rate? The CDC is currently working on a North American version.

"Health in All Policies" in Practice: Guidance and Tools to Quantifying the Health Effects of Cycling and Walking
This project is providing guidance and an illustrative tool for cycling for practical application. Results show that substantial savings can be expected. Such tools illustrate the importance of considering health in transport policy and infrastructure planning….

Calgary geocache challenge
Calgary’s parks are now filled with hidden treasure and the city is hoping residents will come play hide-and-seek. As part of the City of Calgary Parks 100th anniversary celebration, a citywide geocache challenge is underway....

The importance of being parsimonious: Reliability of a brief community walkability assessment instrument
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 755-758

This research presents the Leyden Walkability Instrument (LWI), a brief survey checklist designed to measure the perceived walkability of a neighborhood or community where a respondent lives.

When Ontario bikes, Ontario Benefits: A Green Paper for an Ontario Bicycling Policy Share the Road Cycling Coalition March 2010
With the advent of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and the application of this tax to bicycles and bike parts the Ontario government will realize an additional $20 million annually. This amount represents the provincial component of the tax according to data from the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC).

We recommend that the government of Ontario redirect this $20 million in revenue to an
Ontario Bicycling Investment Fund (OBIF). The OBIF would create a means by which the Ontario government could begin to address the active transportation/cycling deficit which currently exists in our province.

Annual Evidence Update on Childhood Obesity - Available now
The National Library for Public Health has published the third Annual Evidence Update on Childhood Obesity: surveillance and prevention. In the last year, a number of related strategies and reports have been published along with 28 systematic and literature reviews, providing a snapshot of the preventative interventions for childhood obesity and international surveillance activities.

Community Use of School Facilities Policy
In this policy schools are encouraged to make their facilities available for use by their community outside of school hours for appropriate purposes, provided this does not interfere with the school’s provision of quality learning programs for its students.

Games Smart
A new resource from Queensland designed to assist primary school teachers to promote physical activity.

Low Aerobic Fitness and Obesity Are Associated with Lower Standardized Test Scores in Children
The Journal of Pediatrics Volume 156, Issue 5, Pages 711-718.e1 (May 2010)

New evidence a boost for advocacy for physical education

Physical educators are deeply concerned that without supportive policy in place physical education is often the first subject to be moved aside to accommodate the newest priority.

However, reductions in school physical education can put the health and well-being of young people under threat, this new research adds weight to the argument that reduced fitness and increased obesity can harm academic performance.

Opening School Grounds to the Community after Hours. A toolkit for increasing physical activity through joint use agreements.
This USA toolkit helps communities and school districts work together to develop joint use agreements increasing access to recreational facilities on school grounds.

Positive psychology, walking and well-being: Can walking school buses survive a policy of school closure?
World Transport Policy & Practice Volume 15. Number 4. March 2010

In summary, children are telling us that they prefer active modes of transportation. Experiences of happiness appear to coincide with these travel choices. We know that walking, cycling and happiness have the capacity to contribute to childrens health and to healthy communities. Policies and practices that support walking and cycling for children, youth and adults enable us to foster a legacy of sustainable happiness. These policies should include those that assess more holistically the benefits of keeping local schools open.

Promoting Healthy Communities and Preventing Childhood Obesity - Trends in Recent Legislation
This report documents the increasing interest in adopting policies designed to promote healthy communities and prevent childhood obesity….. it summarizes state legislation enacted in two broad policy categories—healthy eating and physical activity, and healthy community design and access to healthy food—divided into 16 topic areas. The report provides an overview of healthy eating and physical activity legislation enacted in 21 States and captures healthy community design and access to healthy food laws in 30 states.

Saving Money and Time with Active School Travel
A report from Ontario.

Spatial clustering and the temporal mobility of walking school trips in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 646-655
Findings demonstrate that walking tends to cluster within the urban and inner-suburban GTA, and in areas with low household income……. The evidence suggests that interventions to increase active school transportation need to acknowledge spatial and temporal differences in walking behavior.

Social Determinants of male health
Physical activity is mentioned in the healthy routines section. A website for the Australian National Men's Health Policy.

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and ParticipACTION share new
research to inform Canadians of physical activity levels required
Research shows even small increases in activity can bring benefits

Fact Sheet – New Physical Activity Recommendations

Articles supporting CSEP data
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:38 to 7:43 (11 May 2010)
The articles supporting the Cdn Physical Activity Guidelines news can be found in the open access journal - International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (IJBNPA)

Eurobarometer Survey on Sport and Physical Activity highlights large disparities among Member States
A special Eurobarometer Survey on Sport and Physical Activity was carried out in late 2009. The results show that while a majority of European citizens play sport or do some other form of physical exercise at least once a week, a worrying 25% of respondents say that they are almost completely inactive. Men play more sport and also exercise more than women. Health-related concerns are the most common reason for exercising.

Keep Active Minnesota
The purpose of this study is to determine whether a new phone and mail based coaching/support program that has been developed is more effective in helping people stay physically active than existing programs that are currently available to all HealthPartners members.

A healthy city is an active city: a physical activity planning guide
With this guide, city leaders can create a plan for physical activity, active living and sport in their city or community. It describes how the approach relates to the Healthy Cities movement, why people need active living opportunities and who to involve; how to create, implement and evaluate the plan; and what tools, good examples and other sources to use.

Characteristics of urban parks associated with park use and physical activity: A review of qualitative research
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 712-726

Our synthesis of qualitative research suggests that perceptions of the social environment entwine inextricably with perceptions of the physical environment. If so, physical attributes of parks as well as perceptions of these attributes …may influence physical activity patterns

The Economic Benefits of Open Space, Recreation Facilities and Walkable Community Design
This research synthesis reviews the sizable body of peer-reviewed and independent reports on the economic value of outdoor recreation facilities, open spaces and walkable community design. It focuses on “private” benefits that accrue to nearby homeowners and to other users of open space.

Perceived characteristics of the neighborhood and its association with physical activity behavior and self-rated health
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 736-743
A high level of satisfaction with the individual’s local infrastructure may support the residents to engage in higher levels of physical activity for transportation, whereas the preferred mode of transportation may be gender-specific: men tend to use the bicycle while women walk. Our results suggest that local infrastructure facilities should be designed so as to ensure accessibility by both walking and cycling.


May 10, 2010

Note: to link to most research papers in the Info Round up cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage:

Factors Associated With Communication-Based Sedentary Behaviors Among Youth:
Are Talking on the Phone, Texting, and Instant Messaging New Sedentary Behaviors to be Concerned About? doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.02.012

Journal of Adolescent Health Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Scott T. Leatherdale Ph.D.

Sedentary behavior research typically only examines screen time activities and not communication time activities, such as talking on the phone, texting, or instant messaging….. Future research on sedentary behavior should include measures of communication time.

Reaching Staff, Parents, and Community Partners to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Head Start, 2008
Lowering the prevalence of childhood obesity requires a multilevel approach that targets the home, school, and community. Head Start, the largest federally funded early childhood education program in the United States, reaches nearly 1 million low-income children, and it provides an ideal opportunity for implementing such an approach. Our objective was to describe obesity prevention activities in Head Start that are directed at staff, parents, and community partners.

The Additional Cost of Chronic Disease in Manitoba
Researchers at the University of Manitoba compared the costs of healthcare for people with arthritis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke over a two-year period. The report compares what it costs the province to provide healthcare to individuals with one of these conditions with individuals who do not have the condition.

Exercise and Asthma
This article explains how to exercise with asthma, describes symptoms of exercise from asthma and tells you what to do in an asthma attack.

Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts
The publication outlines why they are important; how Canada is doing in addressing them; and what can be done to improve their quality. The purpose of the document is to provide promote greater awareness of the social determinants of health and the development and implementation of public policies that improve their quality.

Minding Our Bodies: Physical Activity for Mental Health toolkit
CMHA Ontario has launched an online Minding Our Bodies: Physical Activity for Mental Health toolkit for organizations seeking to create 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 an organization's setting, needs and interests

Workplace Mental Health Promotion guide
The purpose of this resource is to provide workplace intermediaries with a high-quality, research-based, practical tool to improve the health of individuals and organizations.
The promotion of mental health within a workplace positively affects those with and without mental illness. The focus of this resource is on creating mentally healthy workplaces that promote positive mental health and well-being for all employees. Throughout the guide, additional information, tools and case studies are provided to illustrate the concept more clearly.


ARPA assumes responsibility for Lifestyle Information Network (LIN)
At its April 16th meeting, the ARPA Board of Directors ratified the final transition details that would effectively have a new LIN Board (comprised of ARPA selected representatives) undertake governance and operational responsibility for LIN. Staffers, Agnes Croxford and Chris McCreery have been working with ACE Communities on the Benefits Catalogue as well as the fine-tuning of our Google Search appliance and without a doubt have strengthened our collective team.

Focus Groups in Small Communities
In small communities, researchers must consider characteristics of the facilitator and recorder, recruitment strategies, the importance of stressing confidentiality even when discussing seemingly nonsensitive topics, and the effect of disseminating results. Addressing these elements as part of a CBPR approach is advantageous because community partners know the ways in which the community talks about an issue and understand the subtle social impact of asking, answering, and interpreting locally specific questions.

What You Need to Know About Older Adults
This presentation from the Parks and Recreation Ontario 2010 Educational Forum and National Exchange provides an overview of what older adults are looking for in facilities and programs and how to market to this population group.

Active Halton Prescription Pad
This prescription form is intended to encourage and assist doctors in prescribing physical activity for their patients. It includes information on the recommended level of effort, duration and frequency.

Knowledge translation to fitness trainers: A systematic review
This study investigates approaches for translating evidence-based knowledge for use by fitness trainers. Specific questions were: Where do fitness trainers get their evidence-based information? What types of interventions are effective for translating evidence-based knowledge for use by fitness trainers? What are the barriers and facilitators to the use of evidence-based information by fitness trainers in their practice?

Maintaining physical activity among older adults: 24-month outcomes of the Keep Active Minnesota doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.04.002
Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Brian C. Martinson, Nancy E. Sherwood, A. Lauren Crain, Marcia G. Hayes, Abby C. King, Nico P. Pronk, and Patrick J. O'Connor

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy at 6-, 12-, and 24-month follow-up of Keep Active Minnesota (KAM), a telephone and mail-based intervention designed to promote physical activity (PA) maintenance among currently active adults age 50 to 70.… The intervention was effective at maintaining PA in both the short-term (6 months) and longer-term (12 and 24 months) relative to usual care.

Physical Activity Messages: Making them Stick
The recently developed Health Communication Review Tools is presented as a framework for message creation and delivery. It explains how to interpret and apply 12 essential criteria to create social marketing messages that stick.

Community-based knowledge transfer and exchange: Helping community-based organizations link research to action
Implementation Science 2010, 5:33

Community-based organizations (CBOs) are important stakeholders in health systems and are increasingly called upon to use research evidence to inform their advocacy, program planning, and service delivery efforts…… we have developed a strategy for community-based knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) that helps CBOs more effectively link research evidence to action.

New CPHI data - Exploring Urban Environments and Inequalities in Health
These data briefs will provide new analyses of health service utilization (hospitalization) and self-reported health data by five socio-economic status groups for each of the 33 CMAs.

The data presented in the data briefs was selected on the basis of its use in the Reducing Gaps in Health report and its documented relationship with the urban environment as revealed by a review of the literature.