July 21, 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.
First Nations, Inuit & Métis supplement for the Everybody Gets to Play Community Mobilization Toolkit
This Tool Kit was developed to provide specific information about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples because of the unique history and circumstances faced by Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The Tool Kit and this Supplement provide you with tools and information needed to mobilize your community to reduce barriers to recreation participation for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis families.

Carmageddon: Bicyclists declare victory in race with JetBlue flight
The six bicyclists racing a JetBlue flight from Burbank to Long Beach Saturday proved the power of the pedals, beating the flight by a long shot.

Communities in Motion - Bringing Active Transportation to Life
People are quick to agree that active transportation is vital to sustainable, healthy communities. It’s easy to see why — when people walk and cycle, they create desirable neighbourhoods with less traffic, livelier streets and cleaner air. Every year, more Canadian communities are making active transportation a priority and enjoying the benefits.

Even in the most extreme winter weather, many Minnesotans have no problem walking or pedaling to work and school. It’s part of the reason — along with forward-thinking public policy and corporate culture — that Minnesota is a national leader in bicycling and walking…This report highlights non-motorized transportation’s history in Minnesota, the state’s progress and ways for policymakers to move forward on 21st century transportation infrastructure.

Researched by a multi-disciplinary team of experts from the University of the West of England and Cavill Associates, the report brings together and evaluates the multiple health, economic, social and environmental benefits of investment in walking friendly public spaces.

This research paper focuses on identifying means to reduce pedestrian delay. Micro-simulation modeling has shown that reducing pedestrian delay at signalized intersections is possible and beneficial during the middle of the day when pedestrian volumes are highest. Most of the hurdles to achieving reduced delays seem to come down to technology challenges and inefficient road management policy.

A website of the American Heart Association.  Lot of links, information and resources about walking and physical activity for individuals, communities and workplaces.

This document is broken down into 3 chapters.  Chapter 2 explores policies that can enhance community design in order to promote safe and active transportation...these policies can lead to changes in the shape and nature of our communities, so that active transportation can become a more attractive and viable option for all Americans.

How Physical Activity Shapes, and is Shaped by, Adolescent Friendships
Social Science & Medicine, In Press, Accepted Manuscript
These findings show that there is a mutually dependent relationship between adolescent friendship networks and PA; they highlight how novel network-based strategies may be effective in supporting young people to be physically active.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Adolescents living in major cities self-reported 11–29 min less moderate to vigorous physical activity each day than their counterparts living in geographically more remote areas, and took 150–850 fewer steps each day. While there were no differences in time spent in sport or active transport, differences in free play participation were significant.

Policy, Location, and Access in Community Environments (PLACE)
The purpose of the Policy, Location, and Access in Community Environments (PLACE) research lab is to contribute to a better understanding of the people-policy-place relationships in chronic disease interventions and prevention initiatives. Work in the PLACE lab involves community-based research, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and GIS mapping.

Everybody Gets to Play – Community Mobilization Toolkit
An easy-to-use resource designed to help recreation practitioners and volunteers mobilize communities to reduce barriers to recreation. Must be ordered – costs $.

By interviewing people making a difference in their communities across Canada, Siri Agrell attempts to answer the question: what makes a Canadian community great?

National Prevention Strategy: America Plan for Better Health and Wellness
Preventing disease requires more than providing people with information to make healthy choices. While knowledge is critical, communities must reinforce and support health, for example, by making healthy choices easy and affordable. We will succeed in creating healthy community environments when...

Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options
By 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent...this report outlines policies to help ensure that older Americans can remain mobile, active and independent.

A U.S. national survey of more than 10,000 local governments that follows up on a 2005 survey that assessed the “aging readiness” of communities. The report states that transportation has risen from a mix of “other concerns” in 2005 to the “top three challenges” communities cite in meeting and planning for the needs of older adults.

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future
This is the eighth annual edition of the F as in Fat report, which tracks trends in obesity rates and policies aimed at addressing the epidemic.

The Benefits of Physical Activity for Health and Well-being
The purpose of this review is to provide a snapshot of the scientific evidence of the benefits of physical activity on health and well-being, focusing particularly on the prevention of noncommunicable and to present case studies of ‘what works’ in different settings and contexts.

This document is divided into two sections. Part A provides Key Messages and Guiding Principles together with clear Calls for Action to improve nutrition and increase physical activity. Part B presents an overview of the available evidence of nutrition, physical activity and NCDs, and of effective policies and interventions to reduce the common risk factors

New place to find the latest resources and news in the sector.  Developed by the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

Rather than a prescriptive list of required actions, general steps and suggestions are provided in this guide to accommodate the unique aspects of communities and their resources.

Includes 4 case studies specific to physical activity.  All involve a wide range of organizations and individuals, and (they) have selected examples of interventions from a range of settings – schools, healthcare centres, workplaces and local communities.

Improving Travel Options in Small and Rural Communities
This guide is intended to help practitioners - engineers, planners, health professionals, economic development officials and others - to improve travel options for residents of small and rural communities. This includes a range of actions that make personal transportation activities more sustainable - encouraging drivers to operate their cars more efficiently, or to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle, take transit or carpool instead.

Built Environment: Population Health Intervention Research Strategic Initiative
...three new research initiatives studying how the design of neighbourhoods impact obesity.  The studies were funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC).

Four Alberta community projects are presented: Bonnyville, Medicine Hat and Redclife, North Central Edmonton and St. Paul.

July 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.

Creating Bicycle Friendly Communities just got easier thanks to a U.S.-based program that is now available for the first time in Canada. Brought to Canada by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, (SRCC) an Ontario-based non-profit organization which promotes bicycling as a mode of transportation, recreation and fitness through provincial advocacy….

We used the index to create bikeability maps that identify areas more and less conducive to cycling, using Metro Vancouver as a case study…..

This report sets out the arguments and evidence for investing in the walking environment… The report also presents several evaluated case studies of completed walking environment schemes from the UK and internationally.

Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2198 contains 17 papers incorporating bicycle and pedestrian topics in university transportation courses, high-visibility school crosswalks, safety effectiveness of leading pedestrian intervals, driver and pedestrian behavior at uncontrolled crosswalks, pedestrian traffic flow in confined passageways, roadway intersection characteristics and pedestrian crash risk, and pedestrian-vehicle conflicts."

Obes Rev. 2011 May;12(5):e130-42
doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00784.x.
This review of reviews adds to the literature by providing a comprehensive synthesis of factors related to physical activity and dietary behaviors that could be targeted in interventions.

…..published to help local communities and schools create, enact and implement policies which will support active and healthy community environments that encourage safe walking and bicycling and physical activity by children through a "Health in All Policies" approach. The guide was made possible due to funding from the CDC and APHA.

It is free to download the .pdf of the report.
Physical activity is mentioned 29 times and physical inactivity is mentioned 13 times.
This report provides information about the prevalence of those chronic diseases for which behavioral changes, or increased screening practices, can reduce onset, assist in management, or prevent death.

Mental Health and Physical Activity Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
According to the investigated model, increased levels of physical activity may be beneficial for global self-worth in male and female adolescents by enhancing their perceptions of physical self-esteem.

As pass holders, new citizens from anywhere in Canada can visit hundreds of attractions across the country including museums, galleries, provincial parks and discovery centres for free for one year from the time they become a Canadian citizen.

This review is focused on the relationship between physical activity and functional outcomes for older adults (>65 years of age, but <85 years of age) in the general "community-dwelling" population.

Obes Rev. 2011 May;12(5):e183-9
doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00827.x.
This paper reports on a systematic review of quantitative research examining the association between objectively measured access to greenspace and (i) Physical activity, (ii) Weight status and (iii) Health conditions related to elevated weight

This web site is designed to provide the updated 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities and additional resources. The 2011 update identifies and updates MET codes that have published evidence to support the values. In addition, new codes have been added to reflect the growing body of knowledge and popular activities.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: POST ACCEPTANCE, 15 June 2011
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821ece12
The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed to enhance the comparability of results across studies using self-report physical activity (PA) and is used to quantify the energy cost of a wide variety of PAs. We (the authors) provide the second update of the Compendium, referred to as the 2011 Compendium.

The toolkit specifically aims to help clubs increase the involvement of women and girls, Aboriginal people and people from culturally diverse communities. The tools, actions and resources provided in this toolkit help clubs build on their existing strengths.

The four UK Chief Medical Officers(CMO)  have published new physical activity guidelines covering early years (under 5’s not yet walking and walking); children and young people; adults; and older adults.

Includes evidence for physical activity interventions – see the blue text box on the second page.

Tips sheets on how to add activity to your day. Tips for all 4 age categories from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Neighborhoods that make healthy options affordable, attractive and convenient make it much easier to live a healthy lifestyle. For example, people who live in neighborhoods with nearby shops and services, safe pedestrian and bicycle paths, and transit access can make walking and biking a part of their daily lives. Not only is this kind of neighborhood more attractive, it can also help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases…..

This article offers some helpful tips to help you gear up for the “fun and adventure” of biking to work! Use the following tips and discussion points to help you develop your own “active commuting” plan.


July 6, 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 plan exemplifies the proactive policy approaches the city is taking to encourage healthy active travel for all its residents.

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health says that Americans aren’t walking or cycling as much as we think they are. Even though transit use is up, active transportation has mostly stagnated.

The Design Guidelines for School Site and Adjacent Lands Planning (Guidelines) were developed for the purpose of encouraging and supporting children and their families to choose Active Transportation to and from school. Their focus is on the design of schools and their adjacent communities.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:39
Only distance was consistently found to be negatively associated with Active School Transport. Consistent findings of positive or negative associations were not found for land use mix, residential density, and intersection density.

This is the Web site for the now-concluded project entitled: Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transport Planning: Guidelines and Literature Review.  Specific Provincial reports can be found in the right hand column.

High school students nationwide are not getting enough daily physical activity, according to the CDC 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS), a school-based study. The findings emphasize the need for youth to increase levels of physical activity.

The company will once again offer $1 million to encourage Canadians to lead, empower and support community initiatives across the country…. the fund enables individuals and groups to not only submit a community initiative for funding, but also become actively involved in making change happen.

Physical activity and healthy eating were the two priority areas most frequently represented in the network maps.

Network mapping and analysis helps groups look at how they are working together now, and how they might work together even more effectively to reach their specified goals.
Network mapping typically does not create an inventory of community assets. It assumes this has already been done. Other processes, such as community mapping, asset mapping, stakeholder analysis are effective tools at that stage.

This report provides the highlights from that background report. All of the information contained in this report is drawn from, and referenced in, that background report. This report, and the background report, have been produced as tools for public health professionals who are interested in improving health as it is affected by the built environment.

This report examines the ways in which ten public health units in Ontario are working to influence land use and transportation planning processes to help create healthy and sustainable communities. It is intended as a tool for professionals in the public health sector.

Do your community events encourage healthy living?  Does your community bring families together to eat and participate in activities? Are you concerned about keeping everyone healthy? If so, here are some tips you can try:

The Government of Canada is looking to support projects that encourage seniors to remain active in their communities. This NHSP is a federal Grants and Contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in their communities and in the lives of others.”

J Aging and PA Volume 19, Issue 3, July pp. 225 - 238
Exercise is discussed in only 13% of visits with older adults and female physicians are significantly more likely to discuss exercise than their male counterparts. Exercise is also more likely to be discussed with patients with higher levels of education and higher physical health scores.

Accident Analysis & Prevention Volume 43, Issue 5, September 2011, Pages 1605-1609
The response rate was 67.6%. Only 8% of responding physicians based their fall prevention practices on clinical guidelines from any recognized organizations. Frequently reported barriers included a lack of time during visits, more pressing issues, and a lack of educational materials.

Food Quality and Preference Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
We performed a systematic review of the associations between objective spatial measurements of the actual built environment and weight status in youth.… A challenge lies in better understanding the complex pathways through which the built environment, the socio-economic context impact childhood weight status, taking into account collective social functioning and individual perceptions.

BioMed Central  Public Health 2011, 11:148
A cohort of adults, randomly sampled from the Calgary metropolitan area, completed postal surveys in winter and summer 2008. Both winter and summer versions of the survey included questions on dog-ownership, walking for recreation, and walking for transportation in residential neighbourhoods.

This toolkit offers ten plain language resources for practitioners to use when working with their clients.  Each resource in the toolkit has been designed to help facilitate the physical activity counselling process. Practitioners can use these resources as handouts and refer to them online. Each resource has been reviewed and endorsed by the Alberta CSEP (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology).

Social Science & Medicine Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
The results indicate that there is a time trade-off between non-market work, market work, and the frequency of physical activity participation. This effect is moderated by gender. For example, dependent children have a larger negative effect on the frequency of physical activity participation for women. Education and marriage have a larger negative effect on the frequency of participation for men. The findings suggests that policies which make exercise more convenient, and hence decrease the opportunity cost of exercise, will help to encourage more frequent participation in physical activity for working adults.

ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal: Jan/Feb 2011 - Volume 15 - Issue 1 - pp 41-43
doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e318201d199
Integrating a focused effort to reduce prolonged sitting time as a component of a comprehensive health promotion program is a good idea. It supports the overall program objectives and is consistent with the larger vision of improving employee health.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post Acceptance, 8 June 2011
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182251060
The OSPAQ has excellent test-retest reliability and moderate validity for estimating time spent sitting and standing at work and is comparable to existing occupational physical activity measures for assessing time spent walking at work.