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

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