June 24, 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.

In 2010, APBP  posted a survey to gather information about women cycling…..  the survey went viral garnering more than 13,000 responses. Although not a scientific survey, the responses offer much interesting and useful information.

For the first time, a comprehensive and easy to follow guide identifies actions that will improve safety and mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians at intersections and interchanges.  The Guide provides tools and techniques to improve bicycle and pedestrian transportation using basic guiding principles for common intersection types. The focus is on intersections and interchanges where transportation safety and mobility issues can be most challenging.

National Association of City Transportation Guide is an interactive document that provides state-of-the-practice solutions for on-street bicycle facilities, based on the best national and international practices, policies, and programs. The Guide can be adopted by individual cities, counties, or states as either a stand-alone document or as a supplement to other guidance documents.

In 2005, Congress approved the (NTPP), providing a total of $100 million to four U.S. to determine how investments in walking and biking can increase the number of people who walk and bike. The time of reckoning has arrived, as last month more than 20 House and Senate offices participated in briefings about the success of the program. The results? From 2007 to 2010, the four communities reported an average increase in walking by 22% and bicycling by 49%!

Share the street campaign video by Vélo Québec

This toolkit includes a check list that can be used as a self-assessment tool to help identify important transportation issues in any community or municipality.

The Network for a Healthy California — Children's Power Play! Campaign develops and tests a variety of resources to help educate, motivate, and empower 9- to 11-year-old children to eat fruits and vegetables and be physically active. The materials are research-based, educator-friendly, and appealing to children.

The (Ontario) project will focus on identifying the possibilities for enhancing and encouraging use of active and sustainable travel options for students and staff, such as walking, cycling, and carpooling. Stepping It Up began rolling out school-based activities at participating elementary schools in fall 2009. By the pilot project’s end in December 2011, 30 schools will be participating.

Produced by Statistics Canada these publications features short informative articles on interesting health topics from various health data sources.  Including Physical activity during leisure time, 2010

This product presents comparable time-series data for a range of health indicators from a number of sources including the Canadian Community Health Survey, Vital Statistics, and Canadian Cancer Registry. The application is designed to give quick access to recent trends that can be customized by indicator or by geography.
Option#1 is a large table with each indicator shown as a subset of the data

Option #2 allows you choose the indicator (for instance LTPA)

Could taking a walk outside be part of a prescription to improve your mental health?

Intergenerational physical activity is much more than seniors and children exercising at the same time. It includes programs and activities that bring people of different age groups together in a meaningful way.

ICAA’s communications guidelines show how to more effectively reach and portray people 50 years and older. ICAA CEO urges media, marketers, public relations and health professionals to promote a more realistic and comprehensive picture of older adults in North America.

Obesity in Canada provides an overview of the prevalence of obesity among adults, children and youth, and Aboriginal Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples); the determinants and impact of obesity across the country; as well as Canadian and international lessons learned in obesity prevention and reduction

Blog by Dr. Arya M. Sharma regarding the release of the CIHI report Obesity in Canada. 

Overall, according to self-reported measures, physical activity has increased among both men and women since 1997, with 39% of men and 29% of women meeting the recommended levels in 2008 (at least 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity activity at least 5 times a week) compared with 32% and 21% respectively in 1997.

AJPH First Look, published online ahead of print Jun 16, 2011
Doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300201
The implementation of recent tax-based measures in Canada has provided a timely and unique opportunity to study the advantages and limitations of using tax regimes for public health initiatives.

June 17, 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 four-page report describes the health benefits of active transportation in New York City. The analysis indicates that people who commute by walking, cycling or public transit achieve about twice as total exercise as automobile commuters, and so are much more likely to achieve physical activity targets. This survey can be a model for use in other communities interested in tracking physical fitness and health.

International Journal of Nursing Studies Volume 47 Issue 12 Pages 1545-1561
The results of this review provide evidence of the beneficial effects of walking on lowering blood pressure. Recommendations on lowering blood pressure with a walking activity should address the issue of walking intensity to achieve a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure.

Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 4, July 2011, Pages 895-901
Resident perceptions of neighbourhood walkability, physical activity opportunities, food choice and factors influencing choice of neighbourhood were examined through focus group discussion in higher and lower walkability neighbourhoods.

This articles talks about the different kinds of physical activity, how much activity you need to do to be healthy, and how to boost your physical activity levels, for your own benefit!

APAQ Volume 28, Issue 3, July
Preschoolers with developmental delay (DD) are at risk for poor fundamental movement skills (FMS), but a paucity of early FMS interventions exist. The pur­pose of this review was to critically appraise the existing interventions to establish direction for future trials targeting preschoolers with DD.

Free cell phone apps to eat healthy and manage high blood pressure.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Based on the evidence, it is recommended that patients with T2DM or pre-diabetes accumulate a minimum of 210 min per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 min per week of vigorous intensity exercise with no more than two consecutive days without training….. It is further recommended that two or more resistance training sessions per week (2–4 sets of 8–10 repetitions) should be included in the total 210 or 125 min of moderate or vigorous exercise, respectively. It is also recommended that, due to the high prevalence and incidence of comorbid conditions in patients with T2DM, exercise training programs should be written and delivered by individuals with appropriate qualifications and experience to recognise and accommodate comorbidities and complications.

A new report prepared jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank finds that some 785 million people have a significant physical or mental disability, including about 5 percent of children. Researchers point out that even simple fixes like curb cuts - a common feature in complete streets - will help spur more equitable, prosperous societies.

The majority of factors affecting health are complex and intertwined, requiring the problem-solving skills of multiple government departments across all levels of government, together with the community and private sectors. This is commonly referred to as a whole-of-government approach.

From the NHS (UK).  The objective of this paper is to support public health practitioners who wish to gain a greater understanding of these issues. It presents new analyses of knowledge and attitudinal data on physical activity and dietary intake from national sources and investigates factors that may be mediators of behaviour change

J. Epidemiology Community Health. 2011 Jun;65(6):548-55. Epub 2011 Mar 22.
Conclusion School friendships may be critical in shaping young people's eating behaviours and bodyweight and/or vice versa, and suggests the potential of social-network-based health promotion interventions in schools.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011 Apr 11;8:28
Conclusion: Further research on both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of lifestyle interventions targeting physical activity and eating habits in persons with severe mental disorders is required to assist in the development of new health promotion interventions in this population.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Apr;59(4):704-16. Epub 2011 Mar 25.
doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03323.x.
Although there were some positive studies, the panel did not find sufficient evidence that physical activity or exercise improved cognition in older adults. Future research should report exercise adherence, use longer study durations, and determine the clinical relevance of measures used.

Aging & Mental Health Volume 14 Issue 6 Pages 652-669
Mental well-being in later life is modifiable through exercise and physical activity.

This evidence resource has been developed specifically to assist those working in local government with policy and practice-level decisions broadly related to obesity prevention. It contains three evidence summaries providing an up-to-date overview of the best available research evidence around 'what works' in tackling the determinants of obesity with recommendations for action and building the evidence-base.

CS4L and B2ten have collaborated to launch the Active for Life website to promote physical literacy, development of fundamental movement and sport skills, and life-long physical activity.

To celebrate June is Recreation and Parks Month, ARPA and Communities ChooseWell invite all ChooseWell communities to get moving by participating in a brand new initiative called Acts of Random Physical Activity.

Annals of Internal Medicine Volume 153 Issue 11 pgs736-750
The purpose of this work was to assist the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in updating its previous recommendations by systematically reviewing trials of physical activity or dietary counseling to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Health Educ. Res. (2011) 26 (2): 308-322.
doi: 10.1093/her/cyr005
This meta-analysis provides evidence for which psychological techniques are most effective for changing self-efficacy and physical activity.

ITE Journal, April, pp. 36-43
Aging population; rising fuel costs; congestion, health, and environmental concerns; and changing consumer preferences are all increasing demand for walking, cycling, and public transit. These trends indicate that an integrated multimodal transportation system is required if we are to meet future travel demands.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has developed a free, online toolkit to help public health work with transportation professionals to ensure that transportation decision-making emphasizes public health concerns. Its valuable tips on messaging will be of use to any Complete Streets advocate.

Health & Place Volume 17, Issue 4, July 2011, Pages 971-977
Urban planners should not be discouraged to build high-walkable environments, but next to objective walkability, environmental perceptions should also be considered to achieve neighborhood satisfaction.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Whilst evidence mounts of built environment correlates to physical activity, the demonstrated translation of these effects on BMI remain more elusive. Nevertheless, built environment factors that constrain physical activity warrant further exploration.

Preventive Medicine Volume 51 Issue 5 Pages 352-356
Currently, there is a dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of workplace interventions for reducing sitting. In light of the growing body of evidence that prolonged sitting is negatively associated with health, this highlights a gap in the scientific literature that needs to be addressed.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
These findings suggest that providing male employees with support for short physical activity breaks during work hours, and female employees with information on benefits of this behaviour may be useful for reducing workplace sedentary time. 

June 10, 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.

The New Zealand report examines pedestrian rates both before and after facility implementation, and analyzes accompanying factors such as safety, delay, and directness. It also highlights an expected pedestrian-usage model, based on before and after data analysis, for planners and funding agents to use when planning new or improved facilities, and for use in project evaluation.

Research from New Zealand by Turner et al. (2009) indicates that there is a safety benefit of at least 10% by installing mid-block cycle lanes, and that the presence of other road features, such as flush medians, influence cycle safety……  the provision of cycle lanes reduce crashes by around 10% and the installation of an advanced limit line at intersections for cyclists (storage facility) reduces crashes by around 27%.

This campaign humorously highlights the essential dos and don’ts of safe, responsible biking.  Video clips included.

This article offers tips for parents to help them guide their children towards potential work opportunities. It also speaks directly to teenagers and younger kids about some of the possibilities!

A study by researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London reveals that primary school children cannot accurately judge the speed of vehicles travelling faster than 20 mph. 

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol 92, Iss 6, Pages 905-912
The authors conclude: Sets of quantitative measurement variables obtained with this mobility battery provided sensitive prediction of future injury falls and screening for multiple subsequent falls by using tasks that should be appropriate to diverse participants.

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Article in Press, Corrected Proof
It is recommended that most prostate cancer patients be encouraged to exercise regularly by their clinicians and significant others. Where possible, this exercise should be group-based and include some resistance training. Future research in this area should directly compare group- and home-based, as well as resistance, aerobic, and combined resistance and aerobic training to better elucidate the most effective forms of exercise for this population and what factors affect initiation and adherence to such programs

International Journal of Medical Informatics Article in Press, Corrected Proof
In comparison to the Internet, newspaper and television media have more favorable associations with recommended levels of lifestyle behaviors that may be critical in efforts to decrease obesity in the United States.

This year’s theme is Active Living in the Outdoors, which promotes the numerous and varied benefits of getting active in Alberta’s beautiful great outdoors.

The NOPA database compiles information for the WHO European Member States to monitor progress on nutrition, diet, physical activity and obesity. The country information contains national and subnational surveillance data, policy documents, action to implement policy and examples of good practice in programs and interventions.

June 3, 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.

A comprehensive website with lots of links to all kinds of great information and resources.

Transport Policy Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Results show that, in average, a transit trip involves 1250 steps, required to access and egress the network as well as to transfer between routes or modes. Thus, a round trip represents 2500 steps, which account for 25% of the recommended volume of physical activity per day.

The purpose of this tool is twofold; it serves to both recognize existing walkable communities and to provide a framework for communities seeking to improve their walkability…… Recognizing that there are many ways to achieve these outcomes, the range of questions in this tool attempts to capture the variety of factors that affect walkability.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Other results were mixed but it was found physical activity predicted BMI at 14 years. Increased screen time predicted higher BMI and lower physical activity at 8, 10 but not 14 years.

Chronic Disease Infobase profiles the epidemiology of major non-communicable diseases in Canada, including the most current cancers; and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases; by province/territory and by regional health unit. Demographic, mortality, morbidity, risk factor and related health care data are currently available. It uses advanced information technology to provide dynamic access to an extensive database. Every page that is generated retrieves data from the database on the fly, which means that every time you come back, you may get new information….

This guidance is aimed at those working in national and local public health services…It may also be of interest to members of the public.  NICE's recommendations aim to help prevent type 2 diabetes among populations and communities of adults who are at high risk. Risk factors include being overweight or obese and whether or not someone is physically active.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Highlights: a high proportion of pupils presented a distorted view and is dissatisfied with body image. Dissatisfaction with body image is correlated with body mass index percentile. Physical activity has a protective effect on dissatisfaction with of body image.

Journal of Psychosomatic Research Article in Press, Corrected Proof
The authors conclude that physical exercise is beneficial to mental health, but it remains uncertain whether this association truly reflects a causal effect of exercise.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Article in Press, Corrected Proof
This Position Statement from Exercise and Sports Science Australia provides safe, evidence-based guidance for exercise practitioners and health professionals on exercise prescription for the prevention of falls in older adults living in the community.

This briefing paper aims to provide a guide to current best available evidence around brief interventions for weight management with adults. ‘Brief interventions’ are interventions that are limited by time and focused on changing behaviour – often to a few minutes per session. The focus of this paper is on face-to-face consultations that are conducted in settings such as primary care.

BioMed Central Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:9
A growing trans-disciplinary movement called Health at Every Size (HAES) shifts the focus from weight management to health promotion. The primary intent of HAES is to support improved health behaviors for people of all sizes without using weight as a mediator; weight loss may or may not be a side effect.

Ageing Research Reviews Article in Press, Uncorrected Proof
The most important result is that there are multiple studies reporting positive lifestyle changes in an older population. On average, complex interventions, whether they present tailored or generic information, and online or offline comparison, are more effective than interventions with only one component. Internet mediated interventions hold great potential in implementing effective lifestyle programs, capable of reaching large populations of older persons at very low costs.

The report shows low self-reported levels of physical activity in Toronto’s youth and adults. Below-average rates of physical activity persist among women and girls, newcomers, and persons in lower income groups. More research is needed to better understand how social context creates barriers to increased physical activity among some groups.

The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active. Armed with a bit of get-up-and-go and good planning, you can be fitter than ever without spending a penny.

Ideas for office workers, new parents, retired people and children to build exercise and fitness into their day.

Often patients drift between physiotherapists and fitness instructors seeking advice on exercise, so it's important for each professional to make it clear to a patient when it would be more appropriate to see a colleague.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and The Fitness Industry Association have prepared the following exercise referral recommendations for GPs, to clarify the two professions' respective roles when supporting a patient to undertake exercise and establish a sustainable active lifestyle.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Corrected Proof
The objective of this study was to describe the worldwide prevalence of physical inactivity and to analyze its association with development level of each country.

Preventive Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
This commentary offers a discussion of the paper above.  These authors conclude that the article provides context to help build the case for better public health organization and effort to tackle physical inactivity at a worldwide level.

The new Complete Streets approach puts pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users on equal footing with motor-vehicle drivers. The initiative aims to improve the quality of life in Boston by creating streets that are both great public spaces and sustainable transportation networks. It embraces innovation to address climate change and promote healthy living.

New York City's Complete Streets approach is celebrated in a new video from Though the treatments highlighted are decidedly urban, they show the diversity in Complete Streets approaches and zero in on the core of the Complete Streets concept: creating streets that satisfy the needs of many users that are appropriate to the community context; streets that not only move people, but also providing increased access to destinations; and enabling vibrant communities that encourage people to live active, healthy lifestyles, regardless of age or ability. The interviews of everyday New Yorkers exemplify the broad base of support for these kinds of changes found in communities of all sizes.

Journal of the American Planning Association, 77: 1, 69 — 88
DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2011.536101
This study finds that the factors associated with a vehicle crashing into a pedestrian and cyclist are largely the same as those resulting in a crash with another vehicle. Designs that balance the inherent tension between vehicle speeds and traffic conflicts can be used to enhance the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike.

This article gives you information about: Why sitting is bad for your back; Exercise balls: Busting some myths; The benefits of exercise balls and Safety issues.