August 12, 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 goal of this Citizens Guide is to help individual citizens, including volunteers from organizations, influence transportation decisions to improve communities – to create great streets and great communities!

This report identifies barriers that prevent car travelers changing to rail, bus, walk or cycle, or not making a journey. It has a literature review, modeling of travel choices, and a survey program.

Building bike paths alone will not get people out of their cars in the U.S. and onto bicycles. To create a thriving bike culture in America’s cities, people must begin to view bicycling as Europeans do — not just as a way of exercising, but as a serious form of urban mass transportation.

Travel plans can be used in a variety of settings from primary school to TAFE campus, corporate workplace to community centre or precinct. They are also delivered in partnership with a wide variety of organizations including councils, schools, universities and workplaces.

Pediatrics Vol. 128 No. 1 July 1, 2011pp. e193 -e210
doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2353
Results show that interventions to reduce children's screen time have a small but statistically significant effect.

In a revised policy statement, “Climatic Heat Stress and Exercising Children and Adolescents,” published in the September 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online Aug. 8), the AAP recommends youth sports programs implement comprehensive strategies to safeguard against heat illness.

Journal of Transport Geography Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Travel distance, block density, signalized intersections, walking density, and schools in low-income neighborhoods were associated with active travel. This research improves understanding of the sensitivity of school travel behavior analyses to the spatial representation of the neighborhood construct.

Sustrans wants to see independent and active travel back at the heart of childhood. We want to see a focus on creating free range kids – children and young people who experience freedom from their front door, and who have the confidence to travel independently, play outdoors and explore their local community, and have the skills, opportunities and support to do so safely.

Pediatrics Vol. 128 No. 2 August 1, 2011 pp. e404 -e413
doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1612
The objective of this study is to identify the sociodemographic predictors of active transportation to schools across time among school-aged children participating in the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).

Journal of Adolescence Article in Press, Corrected Proof
attitude and perceived behavior control (PBC) successfully predicts intention towards physical activity and perceived behavior control  PBC predicts physical activity behavior in British adolescents from lower-than-average socio-economic backgrounds.

Research in Developmental Disabilities Article in Press, Corrected Proof
Increasing carers’ sense of control over their ability to support clients’ physical activity may be more effective in increasing physical activity than changing their attitudes towards promoting activity.

The European Commission has designated 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The goal is to raise awareness about meeting the challenges of aging and share best practices. The initiative calls for action in employment, education, health and social services, housing and public infrastructure.

When researchers at UCLA combined a weekly tai chi exercise class with a standard depression treatment for a group of depressed elderly adults, they found “greater improvement in the level of depression — along with improved quality of life, better memory and cognition, and more overall energy — than among a different group in which the standard treatment was paired with a weekly health education class”.

A UK-wide document that presents guidelines on the volume, duration, frequency and type of physical activity required across the lifecourse to achieve general health benefits. It is aimed at the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organizations designing services to promote physical activity. The document is intended for professionals, practitioners and policymakers concerned with formulating and implementing policies and programs that utilize the promotion of physical activity, sport, exercise and active travel to achieve health gains.

Review 7 for the NICE investigation into spatial planning and health found that a failure to involve communities early on in developing plans leads to “planning delays, re-application of plans and poorly conceived plans which incur additional costs and produce lower quality and less appropriate modifications to the built environment which feeds through to lower use and health benefit”

This online guide is a set of resources to help practitioners integrate health and spatial planning…4 resources in total.  The introduction frames the context. Spatial planning as huge potential to positively affect health through the design of neighbourhoods.

Both the general public and the government have a strong interest in improving health, bringing down health care costs, and reducing energy use and traffic congestion. The report is divided into three chapters to focus on the following policy areas: policies that improve the environment and environmental health (Chapter 1); policies that enhance community design and promote active transportation (Chapter 2); and policies that reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities (Chapter 3).

The purpose of this project is to increase physical activity opportunities for women 55-70 by finding out more about the types of physical activity programs these women would like to see, the barriers they face, and how current programs could be adapted to better meet their needs.

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