March 17, 2011

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: Info Round up is going on vacation and will return Friday April 1st.

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.

The City of Delhi, India published this detailed guidebook that describes the role of non-motorized modes in an efficient and equitable transport system; defines minimum requirements for the design, size and maintenance of sidewalks, crosswalks and other pedestrian facilities; and describes international best practices for enhancing the pedestrian environment.

Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 519-524
Interventions to improve negative perceptions of walkability among those living in high walkable areas may be a relevant public health intervention to increase physical activity and support weight maintenance.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Pedestrians in lower SE areas appear less likely to climb stairs than pedestrians in high SE areas. Nevertheless, a stair climbing intervention was equally effective in both areas.

Healthy school communities promote wellness and strive to create environments that foster lifelong health and wellness. The approach used to create active, healthy school communities is often referred to as the health promoting school approach or Comprehensive School Health −APPLE Schools follows this approach.

Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 545-550
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.

Journal of Pediatric Nursing Article in Press, Corrected Proof
This pilot investigation assesses whether barriers to children's healthy eating and physical activity reported by parents on a newly developed brief pediatric obesity screening and counseling tool are related to healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

International Journal of Gerontology Article in Press, Corrected Proof
The purpose of this study was to investigate fatigue and habitual physical activity in older people aged 65 and over living in rest home and to examine the relationship between these two variables.

Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 633-640
An interesting finding is the significant independent contribution of frequency of journeys from the home. Beyond age, BMI, and physical function, higher frequency of trips was associated with higher levels of physical activity. Even among our sample with low physical function, the frequency of trips outside was associated with higher levels of physical activity at all ages.

Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 458-469
This systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature concerning the relationship between the physical environment and PA in older adults

A great website from the Ontario Government linking to many resources.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Forming implementation intentions of maximal specificity is crucial for behaviour change. Implementation intention interventions might become more effective if individuals are trained to form specific implementation intentions, especially to specify ‘when to act’.

Applied Research in Quality of Life - Published online: 28 October 2010
DOI: 10.1007/s11482-010-9132-4
Residents living in neighbourhoods of varying built form and thus varying levels of walkability in three communities in New Hampshire were surveyed about their levels of social capital and travel behaviours. Comparisons between the more walkable and less walkable neighbourhoods show that levels of social capital are higher in more walkable neighbourhoods.

In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that successful ones have four key qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.

Future studies should try to confirm if and clarify why the association between physical activity level and health-related quality of life differs among these middle-aged women of different races/ethnicities. If confirmed, this association would imply that health care professionals and those who design public health interventions may need to vary their promotion methods and messages to encourage physical activity among women of different races/ethnicities.

Strong interagency partnership is essential to guide worksite wellness policy and program development in state government. State health plans, public health agencies, and personnel agencies each play a role in that partnership.

Offering Information to Employees About Healthy, Active Living
Getting quality information about healthy, active living into the hands of Albertans is a big challenge. Employers can play an "active" role by offering practical and helpful information to all employees in a variety of ways, with a range of key messages.


March 11, 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.

Come explore developments in Active Transportation with a focus on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. See how bringing Healthy Transportation options to your community yields health and wellness benefits and consider the economic and social rewards that come with making the place you call home, a livable community.

This first of its kind cost-benefit analysis of investments in bicycling in a US city shows that such efforts are cost-effective, even when only a limited selection of benefits is considered.

The focus of the guide is street facilities, including cycle tracks or protected bike lanes, which provide more separation between cyclists and motor vehicle traffic. Guide users can view detailed plan drawings, three-dimension renderings of the designs, and pictures of actual projects from around the country (USA).

We have critically appraised 16 travel behaviour change measures that have been  evaluated, from schemes which encourage walking and cycling, to more complex  programs in workplaces and across whole towns and cities.

A newsletter containing news and information about school travel planning in Canada.

This report contains the set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, as presented to the Sixty-third World Health Assembly in May 2010…….
Gardening is a great way for you, your family and community members to be physically active! Whether you tend to your own flower garden, fruit trees or vegetable garden, or participate in community gardening initiatives, the physical activity and healthy foods will be good for you.

From the Canadian Mental Health Association – topics translated into 16 different languages.

Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics Vol 52, Iss 2, March-April 2011, Pages 211-216
The authors concluded that “benefits to balance and mobility persist one year after participation in a multi-component exercise program, due in part to some continuing participation in resistance training. Motivation to continue resistance training may be related to real and perceived benefits attained from the intervention as well as the environmental context of the intervention.”

The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9765, Pages 557 - 567, 12 February 2011
Globally, mean BMI has increased since 1980. The trends since 1980, and mean population BMI in 2008, varied substantially between nations. Interventions and policies that can curb or reverse the increase, and mitigate the health effects of high BMI by targeting its metabolic mediators, are needed in most countries.

Available from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.  $9.00 per pad of 50; discounts available for orders of 10 or more pads.

The authors concluded that generally there were no differences in adherence to exercise when different frequencies, intensities, durations and modes of physical activity were prescribed, although the results were not robust. Given limitations in the review methodology and the unknown quality of the included studies, the reliability of the results are unclear.

This study assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community-based interventions to increase moderate physical activity in adults and children, aged 10 to 17 years, who were not meeting the UK guidelines for moderate physical activity. The authors concluded that all the interventions were cost-effective and a good investment for the UK National Health Service. The methods and results were not clearly reported and it is difficult to assess if the authors' conclusions are valid.

American Journal of Public Health published online ahead of print Feb 17, 2011
doi 10.2105/AJPH.2010.194381
Interventions designed to increase physical activity were modestly effective.  Interventions to increase activity should emphasize behavioral strategies over cognitive strategies

…..estimates are very rudimentary, but suggest that $155 million in healthcare costs may be averted annually as a result of the obesity prevention due to physical activity that occurs in the parks, trails and natural areas of the Portland metro region.

The results demonstrate clear efficacy of the program in increasing physical activity, reducing weight and other health outcomes

March 4, 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.

This Transport Canada issue paper reviews the most common barriers and benefits, provides information on general measures that can be taken to encourage active transportation, and also looks at a selection of successful initiatives.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Uncorrected Proof
The authors conclude: Rising prices of gasoline may be associated with an unintended increase in leisure PA.

This new Bike to Work Website is maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. The Website provides helpful resources for planning and holding your bike to work event. The resource section includes downloads for event organizers, tips for individual riders, facts for the news media as well as information for employers and sponsors.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released a report that explores how much walking and cycling by New Zealand adults is done mainly for transport purposes, examines the number of adults meeting key health guideline for physical activity through active transport alone, and more.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 3, March 2011, Pages 353-361
An individual's attitude toward walking evolves over time as a function of past experiences, walking of others along the walking route, limits on distances walked per day, and attitudes toward walking of the other individuals within her/his social network.

Link to the Report. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a variety of school travel stakeholders to learn about and identify opportunities for supporting and expanding active and sustainable school transportation initiatives in the GTHA.

Enhancing our sense of community by being active, creative, and engaged!

The biennial Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership for Active Communities Award program recognizes the achievements of the individuals and groups that are leading their communities in strategic change that results in increased citizen engagement and high levels of participation in recreation, sport and active living leading to healthier people and communities.

December 2010 Health Index Report.  A great example of evaluating non-official statistics. Note the sample size is 1500, unfortunately there are no details on methodology/sampling indicated.

Journal of Adolescence Article in Press, Corrected Proof
The findings highlight the role of physical activity in decreasing mental distress among adolescents, especially those living in aversive circumstances at home.

See page 2 of this newsletter.  Also note that in addition to the revisions, the four documents will be translated into four other languages.

Those working with older adults in long term care, acute care, home care and in the community will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to apply an evidence-based approach to the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries.

During the past two decades, the prevalence of obesity has increased significantly in Canada and the United States. For men, the prevalence of obesity increased by about 10 percentage points in Canada and 12 percentage points in the United States. Among women, the increase was about 8 percentage points in Canada and 10 percentage points in the United States.

In 2007, the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), the most comprehensive health measures survey in Canada, began collecting direct measurements of height, weight, body mass index (BMI), skinfolds and waist circumference from a nationally representative sample of the population. The complementary nature of these surveys has created an opportunity to compare rates of obesity among adults in Canada and the United States.

Discusses public health, physical activity, public policy and more......  “describes the factors that contribute to an environment that leads to obesity, including public policy, the built environment, food supply and distribution, family and cultural influences, technology, and the media. It also offers tools that help professionals start to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

These articles were presented at the 2011 Active Living Research Annual Conference, held February 22-24, in San Diego (CA). Articles are available for download at no charge.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 3, March 2011, Pages 312-319
The purpose of this study is to describe adolescent ATS in two predominantly rural states and determine if school neighborhood built environment characteristics (BECs) predict ATS after adjusting for school and individual characteristics.