August 27, 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: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

Rise of Foot Powered Travel in America
A graphic from the US that shows the increase in walking and cycling, coincident with increasing investment in AT infrastructure.

Shared path widths
How wide should paths shared between pedestrians and cyclists be? This poster provides practical guidance on the design and management of non-motorized facilities.

Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State, and International Data
American Journal of Public Health online ahead of print 19 August 2010

Together with many other studies, our analysis provides evidence of the population-level health benefits of active travel. Policies on transport, land-use, and urban development should be designed to encourage walking and cycling for daily travel.

Physical Activity Duration and Steps Are Associated with Lower Total and Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Overweight Girls, but Not Boys
Journal of the American Dietetic Association Vol 110, Iss 9, Suppl 1

The results suggest that both number of steps and PA intensity may have a more significant impact on blood lipids in overweight girls than boys.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association
Volume 110, Issue 9, Supplement 1, Pages A1-A144 (September 2010)
This supplement contains information on papers from the ADA Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, ADA Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. There are many here that deal with physical activity – check out the table of contents!

Preventing Chronic Disease September 2010 Issue
The September issue of this online journal from the CDC is now available. Includes and article titled: “Effects of Perceived Neighborhood Characteristics and Use of Community Facilities on Physical Activity of Adults With and Without Disabilities”

Accelerometer use in a physical activity intervention trial
Contemporary Clinical Trials Article in Press – Uncorrected Proof

The authors found that until more information validating the use of accelerometry in clinical trials becomes available, properly administered self-report measures of PA should remain part of the assessment battery.

Bright Ideas, Let’s Get Moving
One click - access to 2500+ physical activity ideas. This tool improves access to hundreds of high quality activities ranging from skill-based lessons, full-games, warm ups, cool downs, and more!

Choosing Where We Live: Attracting Residents to Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods; A Briefing Book for City Planners and Managers
This report identifies various housing market segments and describes ways to make transit oriented development more attractive in response to their specific needs and preferences. It includes recommendations for improving walking and cycling condition, transit service quality, neighborhood livability (quiet, cleanliness and safety), school quality and accessibility, parking management, and urban housing affordability.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, Recommended Practice
This free new report by the Institute of Transportation Engineers provides practical guidance on the application of Context Sensitive Solutions to create roadways that better integrate diverse planning objectives and meet community needs.

August 20, 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: . Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

Understanding Health and Wellness from the Perspective of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, including First Nations, M├ętis, Inuit and Innu, have a wide range of perspectives when it comes to health and wellness.

Associations Between Intrapersonal and Neighborhood Environmental Characteristics and Cycling for Transport and Recreation in Adults: Baseline Results From the RESIDE Study
JPAH Volume 7, Issue 4, July, 2010 pp 423 – 431
These latest findings from the RESIDE study, a longitudinal study in Perth examining associations between neighborhoods and health, cross-sectionally investigates the relationships of perceived neighborhood environmental attributes and intrapersonal factors to cycling. Findings suggest attractive neighborhoods, low traffic speed and increased street connectivity are associated with increased levels of cycling.

Bike Corrals: Local Business Impacts, Benefits and Attitudes
Portland’s Bicycle Corral Program began with a single location in 2004. The exclusive on-street bicycle parking facility was successful and led to the installation of 40 additional corrals city-wide by 2010. The purpose of this preliminary study was to research and closely examine the perceived benefits and impacts of bike corrals on local businesses proximate to a corral.

City of Edmonton Walking/Cycling
The City of Edmonton website has placed their walking and cycling resources in one place on their website to make it easier for users.

Best Shoveled Block Contest
Many cities have contests for the nicest yards in the summer so why not have a contest for the winter months as well? “Like many cities Cambridge, Mass., has laws on the books that mandate that property owners keep the sidewalks in from of their homes and businesses free of snow and ice. However, people walking in Cambridge have noted for years that some blocks are always well shoveled, while on other blocks pedestrians are seen climbing over snow banks and taking to the streets.”

iCANwalk promotes walking and community walkability across Ontario. Our aim is to encourage active transportation - walking, biking, in-line skating, skateboarding - instead of traveling by car, for short trips.

Longitudinal associations between neighborhood-level street network with walking, bicycling, and jogging: The CARDIA study
Health & Place Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript

Results showed that neighborhood street density was positively associated with walking, bicycling, and jogging in low urbanicity areas, but in middle and high urbanicity areas, these associations became null (men) or inverse (women).

Planning for Bicyclists, Pedestrians, and Transit Riders
The toolkit includes information from across the web that covers the entire process of building a multimodal transportation network - from tips for running educational, public workshops to a guide to selecting multimodal streets based on their roles in their communities.

Urban Trails and Physical Activity: A Natural Experiment
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 39, Iss 3, Sept 2010, Pages 259-262

Changes to the pedestrian connectivity of the built environment infrastructure may lead to greater levels of physical activity. However, this positive effect was limited to physical activity at the neighborhood level and not to active transport to school.

Playday 2010 Research
This UK research demonstrates a resounding call for communities to pull together to create better places for children to grow up, with a belief that improving opportunities for children to play outside would improve neighborhoods in general. 81% of adults believe children playing outside helps to improve community spirit and 70% think that it makes an area more desirable to live in.

Safe Routes to School: Taking Steps to Increase Physical Activity Levels and Create Healthy, Livable Communities
A 2 page hand out fact sheet.


Growing up in a New Land – Strategies for Working with Newcomers Families
Section 5 is all about Healthy Living and includes suggestions for physical activity.


Wellness Council of America National Conference 2010
8-9 September 2010 Omaha, NB

While many health and wellness conferences have a plethora of speakers and topics to choose from, our conference is set up a little differently. Specifically, this two-day event will focus solely on one topic—physical activity in the workplace. You will be immersed in the nuts and bolts of designing, delivering, and evaluating a great physical activity initiative in your company.

Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits
This study conducted by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute aggregates the findings of several recent studies and concludes that people living in transit-oriented “smart growth” communities enjoy several health benefits, not seen in other communities, including residents drive less, exposing them to a lower risk of fatal vehicle accidents.

Fitness Leadership Diploma – Older Adult Fitness and Wellness Specialization
At Grande Prairie Regional College in Grande Prairie, Alberta, an exciting new program has been launched! Our new diploma program educates students in properly assisting older adults (50+) to be healthfully active, no matter what their capabilities and interests are at any given time.

Health-promoting factors and good health among Canadians in mid- to late life
Click on ‘full text’ at the end of the ‘Findings’ section to read the full article and access the data tables.

Beijing resumes radio exercise sessions
Thousands of workers across Beijing have started exercising twice a day to music on the radio, as the capital resumes mandatory calisthenics after a three-year break, state media said.

International Sport and Culture Association
Created with the aim of providing an alternative to the increasingly performance-based attitude of the international sports federations, ISCA has grown rapidly since its foundation in 1995.

PHAC Healthy Living E-Bulletin Theme: Populations in Isolated, Remote and Rural Areas
Welcome to Healthy Living E-bulletin, a quarterly newsletter designed to keep healthy living stakeholders informed on efforts to promote physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weights across the country.

Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities
Warning large file 37MB. This report focuses on smart growth strategies that can help guide growth in rural areas while protecting natural and working lands and preserving the rural character of existing communities.

Saskatoon Health Region – Forever… in motion Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Rural Resource Guide

Using Active Living Principles to Promote Physical Activity in Rural Areas
A Master’s Paper submitted to the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Complete Streets - Supporting safe and accessible roads for everyone: Local advocates toolkit
This toolkit from Minnesota will help you understand the value of Complete Streets and how you can help make Complete Streets part of your community

Introductory PowerPoint on Complete Streets
This presentation was created by Ethan Fawley at Fresh Energy, a member of the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition. Feel free to use with attribution.

Public Roads Magazine features Complete Streets
From the USA this article addresses incorporating public transportation into the process and how Complete Streets relates to Safe Routes to School and Context-Sensitive Solutions.

Count Us In: Developing physical activity programs for women
This guideline will assist providers with: beginning/developing a program; continuing/retaining your participants and assessing/evaluating the program.

Increasing the Participation of Women and Girls - A Guide for Small Organizations

Prescribing fitness: why a bit of exercise may be the best medicine
“… even for those people who have no health issues or major risk factors, the relationship between activity and health is important…..”

Revolutions for Women: Increasing women’s participation in cycling for recreation and transport. Summary of key findings
This study was established to investigate gender differences in cycling, and identify
successful interventions for promoting cycling for women.

Women with Disabilities: We Know What We Need to Be Healthy
Thirty women with disabilities from across the province of British Columbia participated in this study of how women with disabilities experience being healthy or having a sense of wellness. The study is cross-disability, cross-cultural and represents women from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

August 13, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen

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:

Government of Canada Announces Continued Support of National Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative
Building on a supportive network of over 300 trained community diabetes prevention workers in over 600 First Nations and Inuit communities, the renewed ADI will continue to support communities in becoming healthier.

Associated Students BIKES!
BIKES is an active bicycle system advocate, and works to increase student, staff, faculty, and administration awareness of and involvement with bicycle system issues in and around UCSB (Santa Barbara, California). We also fund bike improvements on campus, and...

Built Environment & Active Transportation Community Planning Grant Program:
A joint initiative of the BC Recreation and Parks Association and Union of BC Municipalities
BEAT was focused on creating more supportive environments for physical activity by addressing community design, policy and transportation planning. One of the main components of the BEAT Initiative was the Community Planning Grant program – which was co-led by UBCM and BCRPA.

The Bicycle Show (on CBC Radio)
This is a pedal-powered edition of GO! Bicycling is bigger than ever in Canada. More and more bikes are cruising our urban streets. But what will it take to make Canada's cities even more bike friendly? Brent Bambury poses the question to cyclists and activists across Canada and beyond.

The co-benefits for health of investing in active transportation

Policies promoting the use of both energy efficient motor vehicles and increased active transportation would almost double the impact on greenhouse gas emissions and would reduce disease burden by increasing physical activity.

Living Streets: Putting People First (UK)
We are all pedestrians, and our streets are the one public space we all use, everyday. At Living Streets, we think that they are worth fighting for. With our supporters, we work to create streets that really put people first. When we have streets we want to walk in, lives are transformed - we are healthier, happier and more sociable.

London Opens Bike "Superhighways"
Eventually, 12 of these commuter routes will radiate out from the center of London like spokes……

Walking and Cycling International Literature Review: Final Report
Why don’t people walk or cycle more for day-today trip purposes? What can a government do to increase such walking and cycling? This report presents the findings from an extensive literature review aiming to help professionals and researchers in the State of Victoria (Aus) understand barriers to walking and cycling as well as infrastructure and
policy supports for non-motorized transportation.

Winnipeg 2010 active transportation stimulus plan
In December, 2009, Winnipeg City Council approved $20.4 million in capital funding to support an extensive active transportation network throughout the city. The funding comes from the three levels of government (the City, Province and Federal governments each contributing one-third, or $6.8 million). This active transportation program involves the creation of 35 projects that range from multi-use pathways to bike boulevards. When this program is completed by the end of this year, Winnipeggers will be able to access 375 km of active transportation routes.

Active School Neighborhood Checklist (ASNC)
The aim of the Active School Neighborhood Checklist (ASNC) is to provide decision makers with a quantitative tool for evaluating the potential long-term health impacts of candidate school sites on the children who will attend them. The logic of ASNC is
based on existing research that the built environment can have an effect on either encouraging or preventing people of all ages from walking and bicycling safely to various destinations.

School environments and physical activity: The development and testing of an audit tool
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2010, Pages 776-783

The aim of this study was to develop, test, and employ an audit tool to objectively assess the opportunities for physical activity within school environments.

Community-based prevention programs
Community-based prevention programs have been shown to improve health and prevent disease. The following sample of programs have all been proven to decrease participants’ likelihood of developing preventable disease and the associated risk factors:

Interventions to Promote Physical Activity and Dietary Lifestyle Changes for Cardiovascular Risk Factor Reduction in Adults: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
The purpose of this scientific statement is to provide evidence-based recommendations on implementing PA and dietary interventions among adult individuals, including adults of racial/ethnic minority and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. The most efficacious and effective strategies are summarized, and guidelines are provided to translate these strategies into practice. Individual, provider, and environmental factors that may influence the design of the interventions, as well as implications for policy and for future research, also are briefly addressed.

How to Engage Inactive Communities in Physical Activity: Top Tips from the
BHFNC 8th Annual Conference (UK)
This booklet provides practical ‘tips’ for engaging inactive communities in physical activity. The ideas presented here were put forward by delegates and the workshop facilitators during the workshop discussions at the BHFNC annual conference 2008.
The booklet includes both generic tips, relevant to practitioners working across a broad range of communities and/or groups, and specific tips for engaging key target groups, for example people with disabilities, girls and young women, older adults, people with mental ill-health, black and minority ethnic communities and socially deprived communities.

How Smart Phone are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers

Dynamic postural stability is not impaired by moderate-intensity physical activity in healthy or balance-impaired older people.
Human Movement Science Article in Press, Corrected Proof

This study aimed to determine whether a single bout of moderate-intensity physical activity, similar to that experienced during daily living, alters dynamic postural stability, particularly among those at risk of falling.

Pet ownership and exercise: An AARP Bulletin Poll
A poll about pet ownership and exercise among midlife an older adults.

Do neighborhood environments moderate the effect of physical activity lifestyle interventions in adults?
Health & Place Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2010, Pages 903-908

This study suggests that psychosocial interventions can help men overcome environmental barriers to walking.

Government of Canada invests in research on physical activity and health
Canadians will benefit from new insights into the link between physical activity and health via funding of four research teams through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). These teams will study the effects of exercise on the body and its role in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases including arthritis, breast cancer and heart disease.

Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners and Livable Community Advocates
This guide tells you how to help create places for people to walk and bicycle. This doesn’t just mean special trails, though those might certainly be an important element of an overall plan. Creating an active community environment means taking a look at the broader scope of where there are, and are not, opportunities to safely walk and bicycle. It involves land use design, retrofitting the transportation infrastructure, funding and much more.

Sports Day in Canada on September 18, 2010
Many different organizations submitted over 850 sporting events for CBC Sports to consider for the Sports Day in Canada television broadcast!

Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design.
The Active Design Guidelines address those responsible for the planning and construction of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods. The publication seeks to
educate designers about opportunities to increase daily physical activity, including measures such as making stairs more visible and providing inviting streetscapes for pedestrians and bicyclists. Several of these strategies are common sense; many are supported by academic research translated into practical recommendations.

Dietary interventions and physical activity interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy
A new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Service – UK

Design matters: worksite health promotion ROI closely linked to evidence-based programming
An important health economics lesson to bear in mind is that not all health promotion is created equal. Some prevention is cost-saving—counseling adults to quit smoking, screening for colorectal cancer, and influenza vaccination are good examples. Other interventions—typically treatment rather than primary or secondary prevention—may not be. With WHP, as with any prevention effort, “[c]areful analysis of specific interventions, rather than broad generalizations, is critical.”

Encouraging Employees to be Physically Active at Local Events
This article suggests ways to get your employees moving by encouraging and supporting their involvement in local community events, such as events related to health themes or in support of “good causes.”