July 30, 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:

Active Facts: Ramps & Channels to Link Bikes & Trains
In communities where bicyclists have been allowed to take their bicycles on transit, there is often a daunting barrier: stairs…. Nearly 40 colleagues from around the U.S, Canada, Denmark, the U.K., and Australia contributed ideas, resources, and comments to the project.

Creating a RoadMap for Producing & Implementing a Bicycle Master Plan
This guide will provide those contemplating the development of a BMP a compelling roadmap that will motivate them to follow a proven, step-by-step process for developing and implementing a successful BMP.

Family Dog Ownership and Levels of Physical Activity in Childhood: Findings From the Child Heart and Health Study in England
Am J. Public Health, First Look, published online ahead of print July 15, 2010

Children from dog-owning families spent more time in light or moderate to vigorous physical activity and recorded higher levels of activity counts per minute and steps per day than did children without dogs.

Influence of Schoolyard Renovations on Children's Physical Activity: The Learning Landscapes Program
Am J. Public Health, First Look, published online ahead of print July 15, 2010

Because few public elementary schools in the United States provide daily physical education or its equivalent for all students throughout the school year, noncurriculum approaches to increasing children's physical activity are important. Renovated schoolyards increase the number of children who are physically active, as well as their overall activity levels, and reduce sedentary behaviors.

Nature as a Second Language
Part of Alberta's Plan for Parks and the strategy to implement an inclusion strategy. This program supports the full participation of new Canadians through experiences, knowledge and skill development, and mentorship programs aimed at increasing environmental and recreational literacy among Alberta's newest residents.

Health-promoting factors and good health among Canadians in mid- to late life
Under the heading “Findings” click on the link to ‘full text’ to see the data tables.

National Physical Activity Plan for the United States
This link takes you to the document itself. The launch announcement was listed in an earlier info round up.

Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Weight
Information from the Canadian Medical Association.

Certificate in Sustainable Transportation: Planning and Livable Communities (autumn 2010)
Offered by the University of Washington. Designed for Urban and regional planners, traffic engineers, transportation engineers, freight analysts, environmental professionals and environmental advocates / Individuals responsible for planning and implementing sustainable practices related to transportation or community planning.


July 22, 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:

Bikeability and the Twenty-Minute Neighborhood: How Infrastructure and Destinations Influence Bicycle Accessibility
The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation at Portland State University has released a report that explores a methodology for assessing a neighborhood's bikeability based on its mix of infrastructure and destinations.

Public Health Perspectives on Household Travel Surveys: Active Travel Between 1997 and 2007
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 39, Iss 2, August 2010, Pages 113-121

The authors conclude that: transportation surveys can be used to assess the contribution of active travel to changes in physical activity levels assessed by public health surveillance and to identify subgroups for active travel interventions.

Walk This Way
As of August 31, 2010 Walk This Way hardcopy materials will no longer be available through PARC (Physical Activity Resource Centre). Remaining hardcopy materials will be available while supplies last. Walk This Way online materials will continue to be available through the PARC website,

Comprehensive School Health Roundtable Report, May 13-14, 2010
The May 2010 Comprehensive School Health Roundtable established a set of priorities for the next two years to inform Comprehensive School Health across Canada.

Keeping Kids Moving: Transportation Policy and Childhood Obesity: Making the Link
A two page fact sheet with references.

Trends in the Prevalence of Physical Activity – US Youth
Data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Study 1991 - 2009

Active Living and Chronic Heart Disease
This article explains the basics about Chronic Heart Disease and how it affects adults and children. It also outlines how an active lifestyle can help to prevent, or even reverse, this common condition.

MS ActiveNOW: Programs and Services Offered in Alberta
The MS ActiveNOW initiative and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Alberta and NWT Division offers a number of services to support persons living with MS to lead an active lifestyle through daily physical activity and exercise.

More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health: Study suggests walking may help prevent metabolic syndrome
“The research only shows a connection between more walking and better health -- it doesn't prove that simply walking more will make you healthier. Still, the findings suggest that ‘you don't have to be out there running marathons,’…….”

A Planning Guide for the Development of Rural and Remote Fitness Facilities
This planning guide will assist rural and remote communities considering the establishment of a fitness centre by providing lists and tips for organizing committees to consider as they move towards determining whether or not they can support a facility.

Shaping healthy active communities toolkit
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has developed a toolkit to help individuals and organizations who are interested in making their communities more supportive of physical activity through active, healthy community design.

48th International Making Cities Livable Conference on True Urbanism
October 2010 - The conference will focus on how to create healthy communities, and how to improve children's health and development by improving the built environment. We can all benefit from living in a walkable, bikable neighborhood in a city of short distances; children especially need independent mobility on safe streets, and daily access to nature and community.

The Effect of Light Rail Transit on Body Mass Index and Physical Activity
Using light rail regularly can actually make you lighter. Not the sitting and riding from home to work and back again, but all the walking in between.

2009 Survey of Physical Activity in Canadian Municipalities

Participation in Exercise, Recreation and Sport – Annual Report 2009
The Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey (ERASS) is a joint initiative of the Australian Sports Commission and the state and territory government agencies responsible for sport and recreation. It collects information on the frequency, duration, nature and type of physical activities that were participated in by persons aged 15 years and over for exercise, recreation or sport during the 12 months prior to interview.

Solving the Running Shoe Mystery: How to Find Your Ideal Running Shoe

The Walkable and Livable Communities Institute's Videos
Dan Burden visited Charlotte, North Carolina recently and shot several great videos of complete streets projects. Dan's videos highlight the very successful East Boulevard road diet, which converted a four lane arterial roadway into a complete street with planted medians, pedestrian refuges, and bike lanes.

Bicycle Riding, Walking, and Weight Gain in Premenopausal Women
Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(12):1050-1056
Bicycling, similar to brisk walking, is associated with less weight gain and an inverse dose-response relationship exists, especially among overweight and obese women. Future research should focus on brisk walking and greater time spent bicycling.

Workplace Travel Plan Resource
A Workplace Travel Plan can include promotion of ‘sustainable’ travel choices such as walking, cycling, using public transport and car-sharing, as well as reducing the need to travel by encouraging the use of video-conferencing and remote working.

July 8, 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:

A livable community survey of the Greater Kingsport, TN area: place to live, work, and play for a lifetime
Issue around walking and sidewalks come up many times in the document.

Active Transportation definitions
We all seem from time to time to need definitions/descriptions of common active transportation terms. On Dan Burdens new web-site if you place your cursor on the word ‘definitions’ in the blue navigation bar you will find links to many different terms.

Do The Health Benefits Of Cycling Outweigh The Risks?
On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting mode of transport.

Today’s home buyers looking for walkability
Today's home buyers aren't just looking for good schools and low crime rates when they evaluate a neighborhood, many brokers say. They're paying much more attention to what they can walk to…..

Implementing Safe Routes to School in Low-Income Schools and Communities: A Resource Guide for Volunteers and Professionals
Children from low-income families are twice as likely to walk to school as children from higher-income families, and they face a higher risk of being injured or killed as pedestrians. ….. By using this guide, parents, professionals and school and government leaders will be better positioned to overcome common challenges and build strong Safe Routes to School programs in low-income schools and communities. This guide can also be helpful to organizations and agencies that are already implementing Safe Routes to
School programs but want to expand their reach to low-income communities.

Physical inactivity in US adolescents: Family, neighborhood and individual factors
This brief presents findings from a Child Trends study that examines two measures of physical inactivity—sedentary behavior and nonparticipation in sports…..

The school effect on children's school time physical activity: The PEACH Project
Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Uncorrected Proof

This paper highlights a significant school effect on children's physical activity providing evidence that the school attended should be accounted for in future analysis and supporting the use of MLM in this field. Further investigation is required to explain the differences in physical activity found between schools.

Uptake and effectiveness of the Children's Fitness Tax Credit in Canada: the rich get richer
BMC Public Health 2010, 10:356

What works for the prevention and treatment of obesity among children: Lessons from experimental evaluations of programs and interventions.
This fact sheet synthesizes the findings from multiple studies that implemented random assignment experimental evaluations to examine the impacts of various intervention strategies on child obesity outcomes. Physical activity is one of the interventions discussed.

Chronic Disease Clock
The homepage for the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control (CCDPC). The numbers are being generated in real-time and are updating constantly. However, the numbers used in the generation of the Chronic Disease Clock are not to be used as evidence and are not actual data.

Chronic Disease Risk Factor Atlas
The Chronic Disease Risk Factor Atlas provides information on major chronic disease risk factors with national trends over time, age-specific prevalence estimates, and maps of the prevalence of risk factors in health regions across the country using data from the Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Surveys (2005 and 2003). Includes a section on Physical Activity.

A Healthy City in an Active City: A Physical Activity Planning Guide
This planning guide provides a range of ideas, information and tools for developing a comprehensive plan for creating a healthy, active city by enhancing physical activity in the urban environment. By developing, improving and supporting opportunities in the built and social environments, city leaders and their partners can enable all citizens to be physically active in day-to-day life.

Community Design Can Impact Physical Activity and Health Outcomes
Researchers from Rutgers University, two public interest groups and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined the linkages between sprawl (urban and suburban development patterns characterized by poor accessibility and lack of public open spaces) and health.

New Partnerships for Healthier Neighborhoods: Bringing Public Health and Redevelopment Together
While redevelopment law will vary from state to state, the basic concepts and scopes of engagement apply nationwide. Readers outside California should embrace the findings of the report and work within the redevelopment law in their state to promote public health goals.

How doctors can close the gap: Tackling the social determinants of health through culture change, advocacy and education
This policy statement and the recommendations contained within it are a synthesis of the ideas and proposals that emerged from a series of policy dialogues organised by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). The aims of these dialogues were to identify what role doctors can play in reducing health inequality in the UK by acting on the social determinants of health, and how they can best be trained to do this.

Physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults: a review.
J Aging Phys Act. 2009 Oct;17(4):479-500.

Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults' lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010
The link a .pdf of the report is in the right hand navigation column.

Parents Oblivious to Overweight Kids
As obesity rates hit record levels, a new study finds that many adults don’t recognize weight problems in their children.

The ABC of Physical Activity for Health: A consensus statement from the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Journal of Sports Sciences, Volume 28, Issue 6 April 2010, pages 573 – 591
DOI: 10.1080/02640411003671212

Parks, Playgrounds and Active Living
This synthesis summarizes the growing body of evidence concerning the role of parks in shaping active lifestyles across a variety of study populations, including children, seniors, lower-income families, specific racial and ethnic groups and other populations at high risk of being inactive.

Parks, Recreation Settings and Physical Activity
Despite its potential as a mechanism for increasing activity, little is known about what specific aspects (for example, facilities, amenities, park size, and proximity) of parks are
considered important to make parks and recreation settings more desirable for being active…..

ParticipACTION Tool Kit
To help inspire and inform Canadians, we've developed the 'ParticipACTION Tool Kit,' which contains free communications materials that organizations can use to promote physical activity and sport participation.

Stages of Change and the Stress – Exercise Participation Relationship
Psychology of Sport and Exercise Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript

These results suggest differential patterns of exercise engagement based on stage of change – with those in maintenance responding to stress with enhanced activity, while those in other stages were more likely to reduce physical activity. Implications for intervention design and theories of exercise behavior change are discussed.

Using Social Networking and Mapping Tools to Participate in Group Physical Activities
Whether you like to run, walk, hike, bike – or are involved in any number of physical activities – you can make good use of today’s technology to help you keep on top of all the action.

Walking Pace, Leisure Time Physical Activity, and Resting Heart Rate in Relation to Disease-Specific Mortality in London: 40 Years Follow-Up of the Original Whitehall Study. An Update of Our Work with Professor Jerry N. Morris (1910–2009)
Annals of Epidemiology Article in Press, Corrected Proof

They found that “higher levels of physical activity indexed by the various markers herein appeared to confer protection against a range of mortality outcomes.”

American Makeover TV
Enough with extreme kitchen remodels and plastic surgery - what really needs a makeover is the American city! Our towns, neighborhoods and public spaces have are overrun with ugly sprawl, with huge consequences for our health and environment.
American Makeover is a six-episode web series taking you to six cities across America in search of the antidote to suburban sprawl

Study: Sprawling cities experience hotter summer temperatures
Urban heat island effect -- which includes cutting down trees and replacing them with parking lots, roads and buildings or putting dark shingles that absorb heat onto buildings -- has more of an impact on cities. "Urban heat island effect accounts for most of the warming we've seen in the past several years," Stone said. "All these things that are related with urban growth are making cities hotter."……

Size Doesn’t Matter: Small city takes big steps to foster a healthy workplace
While many organizations are just now recognizing the benefits of encouraging a physically active workforce, the City of Kamloops was already ahead of game in 2002 and went one step further to implement a more holistic program that encompasses a variety of health and wellness components…….

Walking the Talk - Sports medicine company proves healthy workplaces aren’t just for big business
Even though KineMedics has only about 15 employees spread out between a head office and several satellite locations, management tries to create a healthy work environment through a number of measures……


July 5, 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:

Associations between Television Watching During Meals and Diet/Physical Activity in Preadolescents
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume 42, Issue 4, Supplement 1, July-August 2010, Page S118

Movement Skills and Physical Activity in Obese Children: Randomized Controlled Trial
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: POST ACCEPTANCE, 13 May 2010
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181e741e8

Parents’ Perceptions of Their Children's Weight, Eating Habits, and Physical Activities at Home and at School
Journal of Pediatric Health Care Article in Press

Promoting Optimal Monitoring of Child Growth in Canada: Using the New WHO Growth Charts
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.

Additional Cost of Chronic Disease in Manitoba
Full report:

PHAC Chronic Disease Infobase: Interactive Map
This interactive website allows you to map physical inactivity or energy expenditure rates across Canada or by Province (health region).

Healthy Aging in Canada: A New Vision, A Vital Investment From Evidence to Action
Canada is undergoing an unprecedented demographic shift that brings healthy aging to the forefront of the social policy agenda. This paper describes a strong new vision for healthy aging in Canada and suggests five key focus areas for action (the what).
It provides the rationale and evidence for investing in healthy aging (the why).
Lastly, it describes a framework for action and suggests some key opportunities for moving ahead (the how).

Strength Training Videos for Older Adults
From the CDC - Whatever your age, medical condition, or current level of activity, you are likely a perfect candidate for this gentle but powerful regimen of strengthening exercises.

A comparison of direct versus self-report measures for assessing physical activity in adults: a systematic review.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008 Nov 6;5:56.

The "fit but fat" concept revisited: population-based estimates using NHANES
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:47

Should health policy focus on physical inactivity rather than obesity?
Read a perspective from AusPAnet on this recent debate around health policy focus in the British Medical Journal.

Travel and the Built Environment: A Meta Analysis
The authors conducted a meta-analysis of the built environment-travel literature existing at the end of 2009 in order to draw generalizable conclusions for practice. We aimed to quantify effect sizes, update earlier work, include additional outcome measures, and address the methodological issue of self-selection.

Innovation to Motivation - Pilot study of a mobile phone intervention to increase physical activity among sedentary women Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript