January 28, 2011

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.

10 out of 10 Deadly Health Stories – Nutrition and physical activity
This booklet presents the stories of ten successful nutrition and physical activity programs from NSW Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs).

America Walks - Strategic Campaign Plan 2011 – 2013
A Campaign Plan to coordinate and invigorate walking in America.

A translational research intervention to reduce screen behaviours and promote physical activity among children: Switch-2-Activity
Health Promotion International Advance Access
doi 10.1093/heapro/daq078

The majority of research into increasing physical activity at the population level is conducted in situations which do not reflect the realities of the populations concerned. There needs to be a shift to conducting translational research such as this which tests the real-world effectiveness of programs, following established efficacy of more rigorous trials. In the population group of young people, this study adds evidence of what can work well in the school setting; interventions targeting families should also be examined.

Bringing the community together to promote physical activity in youth: Results from the first year of Project InterActive
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume 13, Supplement 1, December 2010, Pages e13-e14
Project InterActive is an example of a successful community-focused intervention for increasing physical activity in young people. Nevertheless, new strategies for reducing television watching in participating children are clearly required.

Childhood obesity and proximity to urban parks and recreational resources: A longitudinal cohort study
Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 207-214
The authors conclude that children with better access to parks and recreational resources are less likely to experience significant increases in attained BMI.

Fundamental movement skills in children and adolescents: Review of associated health benefits
Sports Medicine, Volume 40, Number 12
This systematic review examined the relationship between FMS competency and a range of psychological, physiological, health and behavioural benefits in children and adolescents.

Health Promotion Intervention in Low Socioeconomic Kindergarten Children
The Journal of Pediatrics Article in Press, Corrected Proof
A kindergarten dietary-physical activity intervention applied by the kindergarten teachers, had no effect on body mass index changes between the groups, but improved nutrition and physical activity and preferences, improved fitness, and decreased the percent of overweight children. This intervention may play an important role in health promotion, prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Healthy homework pilot study: Qualitative findings from a physical activity and nutrition intervention for primary-aged children
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume 13, Supplement 1, December 2010, Pages e12-e13
We conclude that compulsory homework designed to teach children to be active and eat well at home is a promising method for promoting healthy lifestyles in children and their families.

Multiple risk factor interventions for primary prevention of coronary heart disease
This Cochrane review looks at the effectiveness of multiple risk factor interventions for coronary heart disease. Implication for practice: The use of ’health promotion’ techniques for one-to-one, work site or family-orientated information and advice on a range of lifestyles (exercise, smoking cessation, diet) given to people at relatively low risk of cardiovascular disease is not particularly effective in terms of reducing the risk of clinical events.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury
In February 2011, SCI Action Canada will launch their key national initiative: the Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Spinal Cord Injury. These are the first national guidelines to be developed for Canadians with any type of disability.

Relationship between physical activity and disability in low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis
PAIN Article in Press, Corrected Proof
It is often assumed that patients with pain-related disability due to low back pain (LBP) will have reduced physical activity levels, but recent studies have provided results that challenge this assumption.

Summary of the Updated American Geriatrics Society/British Geriatrics Society Clinical Practice Guideline for Prevention of Falls in Older Persons
J Am Geriatr Soc 59:148–157, 2011.

Links to the Complete Recommendation
The Guideline for the Prevention of Falls in Older Persons was originally published in May 2001. The present publication updates the earlier guideline by evaluating evidence and analyses that have become available since 2001 and by providing revised recommendations based on these evaluations.

Canadian Physical Activity Guides - updatedLinks to each of the new guides, background information, glossary, press release and more.

How Much and What Type of Physical Activity Do I Need Every Day?
This article tells you about how much and the types of physical activity you need to keep healthy. You'll also find out how to start slowly and build up the amount of activity you do every day.

Instruments to assess physical activity in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee: a systematic review of measurement properties
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
For studies measuring physical activity as a risk factor for developing OA or as a protective factor against functional decline there is not enough evidence for any instrument to conclude that it has adequate measurement properties.

Multicultural Resource Kit: Giving Communities a Sporting Chance
The aim of this resource is to strengthen your organization’s ability to diversify, and to acknowledge the benefits to both providers and the community. It will ensure that all community members—including those from culturally diverse backgrounds—have the opportunity to participate, feel welcome and enjoy taking part in physical activity.

National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition Establishment Act
An Act - To establish a National Foundation on Physical Fitness and Sports to carry out activities to support and supplement the mission of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

OCDPA's Evidence-Informed Messages: Active Living and Physical Activity
This information package is designed to provide supportive evidence for the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance’s messages on social and environmental support for active living and physical activity in order to address physical inactivity. The supporting evidence provided in this backgrounder relates to increasing the availability of and accessibility to supportive environments to active living and physical activity.

Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2009-10
Approximately two thirds (64%) of Australians aged 15 and over participated in at least one sport or physical recreational activity in the last twelve months, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This participation rate has fallen from 66% when the survey was last undertaken in 2005-2006.

US National Physical Activity Plan
The Plan aims to create a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. Its ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life.

NSW department of planning position statement planning for active living
This position statement affirms the commitment of the Department to pursue initiatives to support the continuing creation and maintenance of environments supportive of active living in its own activities, in partnership with other agencies in Government and in the guidance and direction it gives to other participants in the operation of the planning system.

Our Cities Ourselves: 10 Transport Principles for Urban Life
The successful city of the 21st Century will be replete with choices, including non-motorized, post-fossil fuel travel options. Citizens of the world do not want to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic. They do not want to walk in mud, nor feel threatened on a simple bike ride to work. They want to be in cities that provide for creative interaction, affordable living and healthy movement.

Residents' diverse perspectives of the impact of neighbourhood renewal on quality of life and physical activity engagement: Improvements but unresolved issues
Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 300-310
Few studies have been published on the reactions of residents to modifications of their residential landscape. We explored residents' experiences of home zone remodelling and construction of a new cycle-walkway in a deprived neighbourhood with a particular focus on aspects of quality of life and physical activity participation.

The Value of Urban Design: The economic, environmental and social benefits of urban design
The Value of Urban Design examines international evidence relating to eight core elements of urban design: connectivity, density, mixed-use, adaptability, high-quality of public realm, integrated decision-making, user participation.

How Office Buildings can Accommodate More Cyclists
Get some tips for workplace health promotion in this new publication from Bicycle Victoria and Colliers International.


January 20, 2011

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.

American Journal of Public Health – First look ahead of print
Drawing on classic epidemiological methods, psychological and ecological models of behavior change, and the principles of realistic evaluation, we have developed an applied ecological framework by which current theories about the behavioral effects of environmental change may be tested in heterogeneous and complex intervention settings.

Parents shouldn’t look to the labels on the front of food package for guidance on picking the healthiest products for their kids. This report looked at packages with front of package labeling--symbols that identify healthier products--and found that 84% of products studied didn’t meet basic nutritional standards.

A fact sheet.

The contrast between current obesity and fitness trends and high levels of self-reported physical activity suggests a need for more objective monitoring of activity levels.  The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) used accelerometers to collect time-sequenced data on physical activity and sedentary behaviour for a nationally representative sample that included children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years. 

Launched in 2007, Bikeability is the government’s flagship cycle training program, designed to give people the skills and confidence to ride on today’s roads. The following report presents findings from a survey conducted on behalf of Cycling for England and the Department for Transport to establish attitudes towards cycling, current cycling behavior and awareness of, participation in and experience of Bikeability.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 2, Feb 2011, Pages 207-219
A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to identify evidence-based, peer-reviewed programs, strategies, and resources. The results of this review are presented organized as sexual health, mental and emotional health, injury prevention, tobacco and substance abuse, and exercise and healthy eating.

Community gardens play a valuable role in creating healthier communities. This fact sheet explains how model policies from NPLAN can help advocates work with local governments to create and sustain these important neighborhood resources.

Bringing a grocery store into an underserved neighborhood not only makes fresh produce and other healthy food more accessible, it can provide living-wage jobs, raise the value of surrounding property, and anchor and attract additional businesses to the neighborhood.

Expert offers a snapshot of the new horizon for adults ages 50+. Although there’s been tremendous coverage of Boomers turning 65, the fact remains that many millions of people are also turning 50. Those individuals are entering the active-aging market with needs and desires that will help shape the industry, starting now.

The Society of Actuaries breaks out the economic cost of overweight versus obesity for the U.S. and for Canada. Dividing up the $270 billion economic cost in the U.S., obesity cost the U.S. economy $198 billion and overweight cost $72 billion in 2009. To come to these conclusions, researchers and actuaries Don Behan and Sam Cox reviewed nearly 500 research articles on obesity and its relation to mortality and morbidity, focusing primarily on papers published from January 1980 to June 2009. 

(This survey) published on Jan.10 by the Alberta Centre for Active Living reports that 54 per cent of adult Albertans are physically active enough to receive health benefits, down from 58.5 per cent in 2009 and 62.4 per cent in 2007.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 2, Feb 2011, Pages 149-158
This study provides a systematic review of physical activity interventions and calculates their cost-effectiveness ratios.

This publication is A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research.  This link takes you to the newly released articles on the CHMS PA data and well as many links to related research.

To determine whether Canadians are sufficiently active to obtain health benefits, the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) used accelerometers to collect the first time-sequenced objective measures of physical activity for a nationally representative sample of 6- to 79-year-olds.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise - Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of obese patients, following participation in a counseling intervention, in order to identify the influences on behavior change in relation to physical activity and diet.

Taking Active Breaks at Work
Taking "active breaks" during work hours is easy to do, and it's good for you. In today's working world, there are literally millions of people sitting at work for most of the day, often at desks or "locked on" to their


January 14, 2011

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.

Everyone can participate including schools, community groups, workplaces and individuals! For more information on how to register and contest rules, visit or call 780.406.8530.

Having a new physical disability, such as an amputation or spinal cord injury, can affect your confidence. It takes time to recover and figure out how to adjust to a new lifestyle. Re-establishing physical activity as part of daily living is a vital part of that adjustment.

Each year the Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin invites organizations and individuals working in health promotion in Ontario and across the country to reflect on the past 12 months and muse about the coming year. This is the second part of the reflections piece.

These reports look at current national and international initiatives to define nutrient criteria for "healthy and unhealthy food" and the applications in which the criteria are used, e.g. on front-of-package labelling, marketing of food and beverages to children, and school food guidelines.

JAMA. 2011;305(1):50-58.
doi: 10.1001/jama.2010.1923
Why would gait speed predict survival? Walking requires energy, movement control, and support and places demands on multiple organ systems, including the heart, lungs, circulatory, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. Slowing gait may reflect both damaged systems and a high-energy cost of walking.

Annals of Internal Medicine December 20, 2010 Vol. 153 No. 12 Pp.815-825

The authors conclude that Primary care–relevant interventions exist that can reduce falling among community-dwelling older adults.

Canadians won’t have to sweat as much to meet national physical-activity standards after experts determined that health benefits can be achieved with less effort than demanded by the existing targets that few of us are meeting.

The following is a summary of recommendations derived from three years of research analysis by CSEP, including summaries of Canada’s current physical activity guidelines for comparison.

Welcome to this 2010 newsletter from GAPA - the Advocacy Council of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health. This newssheet provides you with an update on recent developments and activities in the field of physical activity and health promotion around the world.

In the 10 months since the flame was extinguished at the Vancouver Olympics, the venues are still being used. While a few will host elite competitions in the future, others have been turned into community facilities and might never see another international event.

You will find links to many resources here and in different languages.

January 7, 2011

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.

There are a number of articles related to Aboriginals in this latest CDC publication.

The presentations from the Nov 22nd-24th ACT Canada Sustainable Mobility Summit in Ottawa have been recently released and are available for viewing.

Bridges are critical links in transportation network. As veteran Seattle bike and pedestrian planner Peter Lagerwey says about all bridges, large and small: 'If you can't get across the bridges, nothing else matters.'

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 1, Jan 2011, Pages 25-32
The intensities of bus stops, grocery stores, offices, and retail stores in participants' neighborhoods were associated positively with transportation walking

In July we published an article on a surprising trend in New York City — as bicycle use skyrockets, bicycle accidents are dropping. When many bicyclists are on the road, cycling safety improves substantially.  Now comes data from Portland, Oregon, that suggests encouraging bicycle use leads to greater traffic safety in general.

Built Environment, Vol. 36, No. 4, December 2010, pp 391-414
This paper provides a broad overview of the role walking and cycling can play in making our cities healthier.

This booklet from Tasmania presents suggestions, hints and tips on physical activity for children aged 0-5 years.

Journal of Adolescent Health Article in Press, Corrected Proof
In Fall 2007, six focus groups were conducted with 36 youth.  Leadership capacity was facilitated through teamwork, community assessments, and policy work. Youth gained leadership confidence while successfully advocating for community-level change.
Here is a link to the HEAC program website.

Health & Place Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Connected street networks provide direct routes to school but when designed for heavy traffic, the potential for children to walk to school is reduced. This highlights the importance of carefully considering school siting and, particularly, street design in school neighborhoods.

The Get Fit for Active Living - Diabetes program (GFAL-D) is designed to help individuals over the age of 55 living with diabetes better manage their disease through regular physical activity sessions and healthy lifestyle education.

A great 4 minute advocacy video linking chronic disease and the built environment.

This monograph provides a hands-on guide for professionals so they can do economic impact studies that measure the economic return residents receive on park and recreation department investments. These studies are relatively simple to do, and they do not require hiring external consultants.

Latest Health Council of Canada report says healthy lifestyle not enough; tackling determinants of health have a stronger impact on Canadians' health

A webpage from Alberta Health Services with a number of good discussion papers.

This report from NHS Health Scotland provides a picture of the gap between people’s lifestyles and how healthy they say they are.  The researchers compared what respondents thought about their health with their actual reported behaviour for a number of different behaviours which affect health including alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity and weight.

A qualified personal trainer can design safe exercise programs appropriate to the client, whether frail or athletic. The two-part guide contains qualifications to look for and questions to ask a prospective trainer.

Fit Facts™ from the American Council on Exercise® (ACE®) are concise, one-page health and fitness information sheets – more than 100 fitness facts in all – each covering a different health or fitness topic. Fit Facts contain valuable how-to information and tips. (Be sure to use the list of links to topics in the left hand nav column)

Rated 8 or Strong.  Click on “view quality assessment” to see how it got that rating.

From Sport England. The fourth year of the survey, started in mid October 2009 and ran continuously for 12 months until the middle of October 2010. The full year results were published on 16 December 2010

The following evidence provides an answer to the question “Who ya gonna call?” to increase physical activity and reduce healthcare costs for the American public.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 1, Jan 2011, Pages 76-93
Interventions integrating physical activity into organizational routine during everyday life have demonstrated modest but consistent benefits, particularly for physical activity, and these are promising avenues of investigation. The proportionately longer-term outcomes available in these studies compared with individual-level studies suggest that physical activity promotion strategies at the organizational level may be more sustainable.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:57
Results demonstrate that placing importance on choosing neighborhoods that are considered to be easily walkable is an important contributor to body weight.

Good health depends on healthy environments, settings and living conditions. Interest is growing in how the design of the built environment can promote health and prevent many 21st century public health concerns…

This feature length documentary explores the ravages of suburban sprawl, what America has lost as a result, and the perils faced if we don’t change the way in which we build our cities.

The CWHN is pleased to announce the appointment of Caryn Duncan as Executive Director. Caryn brings more than 20 years of experience in community organizations to the CWHN. She values the key role that the community sector plays in furthering social justice and equality, and is committed to addressing barriers to accessing health care in her work.

Rated 9 or Strong.  Click on “view quality assessment” to see how it got that rating.