April 1, 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 research report reviews trends in cycling levels, safety, and policies in large North American cities over the past two decades. We analyze aggregate national data as well as city specific case study data for nine large cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, Montréal, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, DC).

In the past decade there has been a semi-revolution in the world of cycling in North America. Through various means and for various reasons, cities have been investing more in cycling programs and infrastructure. Cities with heavy investment in cycling are consistently rated among the best places to live, the most economically rewarding, and the most progressive….

There appears to be consistent misinterpretation by traders that the majority of their customers arrive by car, and this is not just a UK phenomena. In Graz, Austria, traders reported that 58% of customers arrived by car when objective data showed that this was 32%, while 68% arrived by sustainable travel modes and yet traders believed just 42% did so.

Environment International Volume 37, Issue 4, May 2011, Pages 766-777
Research highlights:  Active travel policies are growing in popularity worldwide. We review multiple benefits and potential risks associated with policies. Quantitative relationships for health impact assessments are discussed. Major health benefits are especially expected from physical activity outcomes. Well designed policies may enhance co-benefits and mitigate risks.

BMJ. 2010 Oct 18 ; 341 :c5293
doi: 10.1136/bmj.c5293
Objectives: To determine what interventions are effective in promoting cycling, the size of the effects of interventions, and evidence of any associated benefits on overall physical activity or anthropometric measures.

Based on existing material the project seeks agreement among experts from different countries, professional backgrounds and cultures on common performance indicators and quality levels for data collection methods.

PedNet advocates for better facilities for walking, biking, and wheeling, and offers encouragement and education programs to help people shift to non-motorized transportation.

A 5-page brief by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

PARC/Ophea’s  database has been developed to provide access to a variety of helpful resources to support your work in the area of physical activity promotion and healthy schools and communities. This fully interactive, searchable database has been populated with resources from public health, community health, sport and recreation, and other community partners as well as resources from Ophea.

This factsheet includes information on:
•General physical activity trends
•Travel to school
•Provision of PE and sport in schools
•Physical activity and the school day
•Sedentary behaviour

This information sheet outlines the effects sitting for too long has on your health and gives tips on how to decrease your sitting time.

In this 20 minute video Dan Burden presents the case for creating communities that are centered on people and not cars. He identifies the benefits to the community in terms of both vitality and economic well-being. As a leading expert in his field of creating livable communities he talks about the processes he uses and the results of his many projects..."

This article addresses some of the issues and concerns surrounding the increased consumption of energy drinks and outlines why experts are urging people to “think before they drink.”

From the 2011 Physical Activity Resource Centre Workshop series.

European Journal of Internal Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
We can conclude saying that the evidence favoring the introduction of exercise into clinical practice is irrefutable. Consequently we may agree with the statement that it should be considered now an imperative of clinical prevention that all patients understand the risks of a sedentary life and that exercise is important in treating and preventing chronic diseases.

A complementary document to The Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call to Action.  This new document, developed by GAPA and leading academics and practitioners identifies 7 best investments for physical activity which are supported by good evidence of effectiveness and that have worldwide applicability.

From the 2011 Physical Activity Resource Centre Workshop series.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 4, April 2011, Pages 454-461
According to the NHANES 2005–2006, fewer than 10% of U.S. adults met the PAGA according to accelerometry. However, physical activity estimates vary substantially depending on whether self-reported or measured via accelerometer.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association Vol 111, Iss 4, April 2011, Pages 556-560
Certain aspects of the home environment as well as individuals' knowledge of energy balance are believed to be important correlates of various dietary and physical activity behaviors, but no known studies have examined potential relationships between these correlates.

From the 2011 Physical Activity Resource Centre Workshop series.

This information sheet outlines the effects sitting for too long has on your health and gives tips on how to decrease your sitting time.

“What’s a swapper? It’s simple really. It just means swapping some of the things I’m doing now for healthier choices.”


This tool book will investigate the impact that these transportation decisions have on the places where we choose to live, work and play, and how these decisions affect the health of ourselves and our children.

This report summarizes presentations and discussions from a roundtable discussion on “Forging Transit-Bicycle-Pedestrian Partnerships For Livable and Sustainable Communities” held in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on October 6, 2010.

A new resource for land use and transportation planners, municipal and regional decision makers, engineers, health officials, and others on the physical environment factors that contribute to walkable (pedestrian-friendly, transit-supportive) neighbourhood design in Metro Vancouver.

From the 2011 Physical Activity Resource Centre Workshop series.

Journal of Environmental Psychology Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
In a natural experiment, days with four available elevators were compared with days when three elevators were available. Stair use increased for three elevators compared to four. Increasing building occupancy was associated with increased stair use, whilst increasing pedestrian traffic and time of day was associated with reduced stair use.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 40, Iss 4, April 2011, Pages 476-485
The rapid changes to the labor force (e.g., advances in technology, overtime hours) have increased obesogenic behaviors (e.g., lack of physical activity, sedentariness on the job).
The purpose of this review was to unite and appraise the existing research examining occupation correlates of adults' participation in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) to establish direction for future research targeting habitual inactivity

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