October 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.

Released by Transport Canada,  this will be an important tool for planners and engineers that focuses best approaches to active transportation in Canadian cities.

Transport Policy, Volume 19, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 121-131
The present article presents an estimate of the health impacts due to a shift from car to bicycling or walking, by evaluating four effects: the change in exposure to ambient air pollution for the individuals who change their transportation mode, their health benefit, the health benefit for the general population due to reduced pollution and the risk of accidents.

This white paper documents best practices in bicycle planning and program development at university campuses throughout the United States.

Since 2005, using the knowledge acquired from these bicycle tours and other sources, Parks & Trails New York and the New York State Canal Corporation also have been presenting “Bicyclists Bring Business” roundtables in communities across the state to help local businesspeople seize the economic opportunity presented by rising interest in bicycle tourism.

Free your Feet is a week long, incentive-based walking campaign which aims to increase awareness of walking as a mode of travel and to increase the proportion of secondary school age children who walk for the journey to and from school.

The group was tasked to provide recommendations on a provincial bicycle policy, development of multi-user recreational trails, ways to incorporate recreational and commuter trails into an overall network, improved signage, bicycle safety, cycling tourism and assessing the economic benefits of active transportation infrastructure.

The more endorsements NACTO collects, the more likely the guide and its principles will gain acceptance at the state and federal level, increasing the possibility that we will begin to see more of the cutting-edge infrastructure recommended in the guide appear across the country.

Findings from the 2010 Scottish Travel and Transport survey have been released, including information on the frequency of driving, access to cars and bikes, and opinions on public transport and access to services.

Mental Health and Physical Activity Volume 3, Issue 2, December 2010, Pages 61-66
The evidence broadly supported the hypothesis that physical activity has the potential to improve mental wellbeing in young people. We suggest that this more conditional position may have more utility. That is, it is best not to see the relationship as a ‘given’; it can be difficult to achieve; and can only be realized in association of a series of conducive ‘change mechanisms’.

Pediatrics. 2011 Oct;128(4):e801-11. Epub 2011 Sep 19.
At 6-months, teens in the combination program had a greater likelihood of cessation compared with those in just the Not on Tobacco program, and results showed that the physical activity module was especially effective for smoking cessation in boys.

The unique document defines the health consequences of inactivity; it identifies the determinants of sports participation and drop-outs, and provides recommendations on potential solutions and global partnerships. The ultimate purpose of this scientific effort is to improve the health and fitness of young people throughout the world, thereby decreasing the morbidity and mortality deriving from non-communicable diseases.

Br J Sports Med 2011;45:886-895
Association between physical activity and mental health in young people is evident, but research designs are often weak and effects are small to moderate. Evidence shows small but consistent associations between sedentary screen time and poorer mental health.

This paper takes the position that if we are to address the developmental and health issues of our children we need to take a deliberate and proactive approach.

Early Childhood Research Quarterly In Press, Uncorrected Proof
PE in its current format contributes only a small amount to the PA requirements of preschoolers. Preschoolers’ MVPA levels were related to modifiable PE characteristics indicating that preschool PE can be restructured to increase MVPA.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:98
There is a large body of evidence from all study designs which suggests that decreasing any type of sedentary time is associated with lower health risk in youth aged 5-17 years. In particular, the evidence suggests that daily TV viewing in excess of 2 hours is associated with reduced physical and psychosocial health, and that lowering sedentary time leads to reductions in BMI.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity In Press, Corrected Proof
Exercise modulates immunological and exerts anti-inflammatory effects in the CNS by which depression-like symptoms are improved.

The workplace can have a significant impact on individuals’ health, safety and overall well being. More than ever the traditional view of workplace health and safety has been replaced with a comprehensive approach to include the total well being and mental health of employees, also referred to as psychological health and safety.

This report by the Saskatchewan Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) assembles case studies that highlight knowledge translation (KT) initiatives. Contributors include researchers, academics, policy makers and community practitioners focusing on one of three themes: KT Strategies, KT Leading to Change in Policy or Practice, and Evaluation of KT Effectiveness.

LIN and ARPA have partnered to provide a filtered search of knowledge and resources designed specifically for recreation, parks, community building and healthy living practitioners. Powered by Google, it is focused on searching 45+ respected, partner web sites specifically related to recreation, parks, and active living. LIN's National Recreation Database and the Benefits DataBank are included in the search.

Conference presentations from the past International Conference on Sport for Development and Peace 15-17 September, 2011 - Wingate Institute, Israel.

The latest data is now available from the 2010/11 Taking Part survey, providing reliable national (UK) estimates of adult and child engagement with sport, libraries, the arts, museums and galleries.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation In Press, Corrected Proof
Although there were no significant between-group differences, participation in the Pilates component of the study led to improved static and dynamic balance. The absence of differences between conditions may be a result of small sample size or the crossover study design because Pilates may produce neuromuscular adaptations of unknown resilience.

J Epidemiol Community Health
The results from this research found that eligibility for free bus travel was associated with increased use of public transport among older adults and linked to well-being. Older people who used public transport had reduced odds of being obese compared to those who did not. Researchers concluded that the introduction of free bus travel for older UK residents appeared to increase public transport use and may have conferred a protective effect against obesity.

Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics Vol 53, Issue 3, Nov-Decr 2011, Pages 274-277
The more middle-aged and elderly people are supported by their family, the more likely they are to exercise. Strengthening family relationships should help reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases among middle-aged and elderly people.

This article outlines some basic information about osteoarthritis and explains how physical activity can play a key role in the management of this chronic disease. It also offers tips about different physical activities that can help reduce joint pain and provide other health benefits.

A roundup of helpful apps for caregivers and seniors living independently

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:99
Opportunity cost savings and health benefits conservatively estimated from a reduction in population-level physical inactivity may be substantial. The largest savings will benefit individuals in the form of unpaid production and leisure gains, followed by the health sector, business and government. 

Health Educ. Res. (2011) First published online: September 7, 2011
doi: 10.1093/her/cyr069
The review focused on evaluation designs, theory used, formative evaluation, campaign effects and outcomes. Outcomes examined were campaign dose, exposure, awareness, physical activity-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, intention, physical activity behaviour and campaign costs. Searches of electronic databases found 18 relevant mass media campaigns.

High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases….. the factors that underlie this explosion of NCDs are the same worldwide. Physical inactivity and obesity are near the top of the list. Working in tandem, these slow and silent killers put their victims on a pathway to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory ailments and certain types of cancers.

It is no secret physical inactivity is one of the primary causes of leading NCDs. It was of extreme importance to note however that physical activity-related solutions are prominent throughout the UN resolution. As part of the Whole of Government and Whole of Society approach recommended by the resolution, specific physical activity solutions included school-based physical education, environmental change in urban planning and for active transportation, workplace health promotion programs and parks and recreational space.

Social Science & Medicine In Press, Accepted Manuscript
Neighborhood characteristics hypothesized to support more PA and less driving were associated with higher levels of CRF and lower BMI. Demonstration of an association between built environment characteristics and CRF is a significant advance over past studies based on self-reported PA. Nevertheless, stronger causal evidence depends on more robust study designs and sophisticated measures of the environment, behavior, and their physiological consequences.

The fact sheet discusses the health and safety benefits of Complete Streets by encouraging active transportation and making streets safe for all users.

The new manual provides a template for local jurisdictions to begin updating their existing design guidance, one of our four steps to effective implementation of Complete Streets policies.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport In Press, Corrected Proof
This exercise program appears to have modest benefits for post-menopausal women with osteopenia who are not taking bone-enhancing medication. This mode of exercise delivery has adherence and progression limitations but may be appropriate to recommend for some people.

Br J Sports Med Published Online First 22 September 2011
The WSQ has acceptable measurement properties for measuring sitting time at work on a workday and for assessing total sitting time based on work and non-workdays. This questionnaire would be suitable for use in research investigating the relationships between sitting time and health in working populations.

Fitness experts thinking outside the cubicle are hoping to see the sedentary corporate culture of marathon meetings and vast stretches of unbroken computer time go the way of the typewriter.

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