November 25, 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 largest difference between the incidence rates of HE versus Internal Combustion Engine vehicles in this study occurred in low-speed passenger vehicle maneuvers: those in which a vehicle is turning, slowing or stopping, backing up, or entering or leaving a parking space. It is hypothesized that these low-speed vehicle maneuvers may provide the largest difference between the vehicle sounds, in terms of both sound level and frequency…..

If train networks can boost the economy of a city, could bicycle networks boost the economies of the communities they pass through?
Psychology of Sport and Exercise In Press, Accepted Manuscript
Numerous school-based physical activity interventions achieved positive effects on three target levels. Further research is needed to clarify the mediator effects of psychological variables on physical activity and health and to increase our knowledge about the mechanisms that underlie behavioural change.

The document states that schools should be located in environments that contribute to the livability, sustainability and public health of neighborhoods and communities and it includes strong language about the relationship between walking and bicycling  to school, obesity and academic achievement.


New South Wales, Australia Oct 31st – Nov 3rd, 2011

The information on these pages should be used as a guide, but check with your doctor before starting any exercise program or activity, and select exercise that is right – and enjoyable – for you.

This resource introduces how people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments, use the Web. It describes tools and approaches that people with different kinds of disabilities use to browse the Web and the design barriers they encounter on the Web. It helps developers, designers, and others to understand the principles for creating accessible websites, web applications, browsers, and other web tools.

The first-ever CIW composite report shows that in the fifteen year period from 1994 to 2008, Canada's GDP grew by a robust 31% while our quality of life only improved by a very modest 11%.

Members work to develop and implement a national research and dissemination agenda related to the public health aspects of healthy aging. On this Web site you will find many tools—such as webinars and action briefs—publications, and information about research, projects, and members. 

To promote greater awareness and understanding here are 10 common myths—and the reality—about older adult falls.

This page introduces how to use Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to improve the accessibility and usability of websites and web applications for older people. 

Go4Life tip sheets provide a wealth of information to help you add exercise and physical activity to your daily routine and have fun at the same time. And you can share these useful tips with others by simply printing copies for your family and friends.

Guidelines and techniques for making websites and web applications work better for people with disabilities as well as older users with accessibility needs due to ageing.

This article tells you about the relationship between owning a dog and dog walking, as well as how walking benefits both you and your dog. 

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 6, Dec 2011, Pages 596-602
Insufficient sleep among adolescents is common and has adverse health and behavior consequences. Understanding associations of physical activity and sedentary behaviors with sleep duration could shed light on ways to promote sufficient sleep.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise In Press, Accepted Manuscript
► This randomized controlled trial shows that physical exercise in old age buffers against aging dissatisfaction. ► Direct approach orientations elicited by physical exercise result in less negative views on one’s aging. ► This study delineates a valid views-on-aging factor by testing the construct of well-being in old age.

November 18, 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.

An example of a US approach to advocacy for walking.

This research, which was conducted from July 2008 to January 2010, investigated what type of cycling infrastructure (ie physical street facilities) would encourage ‘new cyclists’ to use cycling as their mode of transport for daily activities in New Zealand.

Useful to local government planners, engineers, and other highway designers; transit planners involved in the siting of transit stops and stations; site planners involved in designing or modifying intersections around new developments; local government pedestrian and bicycle planners; and those whose work may influence or be directly involved in designing or modifying intersections.

The Five-Minute Walk is a standard that is best described as the average distance that a pedestrian is willing to walk before opting to drive.

For businesses, supporting improved walking conditions is a sound but sometimes overlooked investment. Dollar for dollar, the returns are impressive, from more customers to healthier, more productive employees.

The Pedestrians' Quality Needs Project (PQN) established what people need to choose to walk. The summary provides an understanding of those needs and how they can be met and supported by policy.

Preventive Medicine In Press, Corrected Proof
There appear to be many more bicycles sold in Australia than are used. Further improvements may be needed in the cycling environment before a possible latent desire for cycling translates to participation.

Scroll down the page a bit to see it.  The video project was led by the Be Fit for Life Network of the Alberta Provincial Fitness Unit, in association with the Community Walking Project and the Alberta Centre for Active Living. Trained walking group leaders are an important part of a successful and sustainable walking group.

This synthesis examines the growing body of evidence indicating that racial and ethnic minority, and lower-income, communities do not provide as many built and social  environmental supports for physical activity

This article offers a variety of tips from some Alberta schools that are already “making it happen.”  The tips are organized into three themes: nutrition provided by the school, nutrition education, and nutrition events.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise In Press, Accepted Manuscript
We conducted a literature search of school-based controlled studies that involved a physical activity intervention targeting school students. Study design, methodological quality, and effectiveness of interventions on three target levels, ‘health and fitness’ (BMI and motor performance), ‘physical activity’, and ‘psychological determinants’ (knowledge of physical activity effects, self-concept, and attitudes towards physical activity), were analysed. Furthermore, we examined the influence of specific factors (e.g., age and gender) and mediator effects.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport In Press, Corrected Proof
The importance of the stability of motor coordination levels in childhood and its role in determining organized sports participation may have implications for talent identification purposes as well as potential health-related benefits in childhood and throughout the lifespan.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 6, Dec 2011, Pages 596-602
The purpose of this study is to determine whether physical activity and sedentary behaviors are associated with sufficient sleep (8 or more hours of sleep on an average school night) among U.S. high school students.

New figures indicate that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030, if no urgent action is taken. This equates to approximately three new cases every ten seconds or almost ten million per year…..Diabetics have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to serious complications like heart disease and stroke, damage to the kidneys or nerves, and to blindness.

Disability and Health Journal Volume 4, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 254-261
This study examined changes in health behaviors among adults with disabilities following participation in the Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities health promotion program. It was hypothesized that intervention participants would demonstrate significant increases in healthy behaviors in areas such as …physical activity …while controls would not show significant change.

The Rick Hansen Foundation has developed a Global Accessibility Map App. 
“This easy-to-use consumer reviews tool, gives users the opportunity to submit and obtain reviews from a mobility, hearing or sight perspective, on the accessibility in your communities.”

Disability and Health Journal In Press, Corrected Proof
In order to reassure the maintenance of an exercise program, interventionists need to first emphasize cognitive, motivational strategies (cognitive processes of change), such as the importance of PA and positive thoughts about exercise participation as well as exercise benefits (pros) before they implement behavioral strategies (behavioral processes of change), such as social support, goal setting, and self-rewarding.

These reports highlight the features of a healthy and prosperous city and the role of all municipal government departments, business and the community in achieving them.

These proposals are not intended to be the definitive list of everything necessary to improve our nation's health, but they represent a dozen significant steps for the new government to take towards a healthier future, and towards making the UK fitter for the decade ahead.

The internet would appear to provide the ideal medium for the provision of information targeted at the prevention and control of communicable disease for both health consumers and health professionals. This potential is restricted by the relative absence of studies, particularly on the efficacy of the use of the web for public health communication. A literature review on health information-seeking behaviour on the web, specifically for communicable diseases. The closing of this knowledge gap has the potential to contribute to the prevention and control of communicable diseases across Europe.

Ageing Research Reviews In Press, Accepted Manuscript
► Physical exercise therapy improves mobility and physical functioning in elderly patients suffering from mobility problems, disability and/or multi-morbidity ► This positive effect is of great value in a population of already physically impaired elderly. ► High intensity exercise seems to be somewhat more effective in improving physical functioning than low intensity exercise. ► No conclusions about the most effective type of intervention can be drawn.

Gait & Posture In Press, Corrected Proof
Unobtrusive home walking assessments are ecologically valid measures of walking function. They provide previously unattainable metrics (periodicity, variability, range of minimum and maximum speeds) of everyday motor function.

Edmonton researchers have tracked the daily movements and activities of a group of seniors living in a sensor-laden "Smart" condo to find out how to help them live independently.

Wii Balance is a program that was developed at Kerby Centre in Calgary with funding from the Alberta Center for Injury, Control and Research. This program is focused on balance training for older adults aged 55+ years. The program is based on the Nintendo Wii™ game system, primarily Wii Sports™ and WiiFit™.

The WHO developed this tool to assess good practice elements of design, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of preventive programs, projects, initiatives and interventions that aim to counteract obesity and improve nutrition and physical activity. This report gives a description of the good practice tool for obesity prevention programs and describes its development and use.

Read about findings of a survey which explored the views of 14-65 year olds on their thoughts and experiences of outdoor play.

Run by the CDC, the online Guide to Community Preventive Services is a free Internet resource that helps the public chooses programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in their home communities. This section on physical activity has links to systematic reviews of interventions.

Complete Streets is as much a community engagement and design process as a road layout result.  And it only works when complemented by appropriate parking, land use, environmental, resident stabilization, and other policies.

Featuring six case studies focused on the relationship between health and economic development. Several of the case study communities are working to adopt and implement Complete Streets policies.

The relationships between the residential components of a neighborhood and the uses that could easily be traversed to and from by foot

We have allowed land uses incompatible with wide, high-speed roadways — such as retail and residential — to be placed along these roadways. Worse yet, we have widened and straightened existing roads and raised speed limits next to the places that we live and work.

Aging is an important women’s health issue. Canada’s aging population is presenting unique challenges to the health system on multiple fronts. Women comprise the majority of the older population and have different patterns of illness and health needs than men.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise In Press, Accepted Manuscript
In women above 70 years, exercise participation increases direct approach motivation which in turn leads to lower aging dissatisfaction. This shows that exercise holds the potential to overcome subjective ageist bias.

November 4, 2011

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Information Roundup will be back on November 18th

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.

Each link contains a map, route information, and photos as well as a description of the areas history, amenities and cultural significance. Be sure to take the time to explore this website – there are lots of great links to many active living/physical activity resources and programs in the left hand navigation column.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:96 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-96
This study analyzed monthly variation in active transportation for the US using National Household Travel Survey 2001 data. For each age group of children, adolescents, adults and elderly, logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of the odds of active transportation including gender, race/ethnicity, household income level, geographical region, urbanization level, and month.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:95 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-95
Children's high recall of food and beverage company sport sponsors and their positive attitudes towards these sponsors and their promotions is concerning as this is likely to be linked to children's food preferences and consumption.

The Be Fit For Life Network has created the Move & Play through Physical Literacy cards to assist activity leaders interested in integrating Physical Literacy into a variety of programs, activities and environments. These cards are designed to be used in a variety of applications including the home, school or community settings. Over 75 cards are included in this set, focusing on Active Start, FUNdamentals, and Learn to Train stages of the Long Term Athlete Development Model.

This brief summarizes research on playgrounds and how playgrounds impact physical activity among children. For the purposes of this brief, a playground is defined as a small,  publicly owned, outdoor area that features play equipment and provides recreational physical activity for younger children.

A policy report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:98 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-98
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.

Examines active living in the 20th century, and interactions of economy, community, and environment in building a healthy community, including healthy comunity principles, and focus on the whole community rather than just on specific problems.

This brief highlights findings about specific trail characteristics that appear to attract regular users and examines how trails influence physical activity among various populations.

Mental Health and Physical Activity Volume 4, Issue 1, June 2011, Pages 23-29 doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2011.01.002 
This qualitative research demonstrates that a physical activity programme integrated into the mental health service and supported by partnership working can address several of the unique barriers faced by this population.

Looks at Canada’s public health challenges (the case of obesity), what recreation and parks have to offer, the healthy settings approach (nature and health).

This article will describe the key steps that are involved in conducting effective media advocacy campaigns and the relationship to other important activities such as coalition building and strategic planning.

The Media Network for HEAL supports more than 250 members including health practitioners, educators, consultants and volunteers working in the health industry across Ontario. We provide our members with daily media reports keeping them up to date on current media and policy issues…..

Journal of Aging Studies Volume 26, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 35-43 doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2011.07.001
Findings from this study provide perspectives of older adults themselves in identifying neighborhood physical and social environmental characteristics that have perceived or real influences on health promoting behaviors. The issue of residential density has emerged as a more complex reality than how it is typically perceived and conceptualized.

Journal of Urban Design Vol 16, Iss 4 pp 433-454 DOI:10.1080/13574809.2011.585847
The audit tool is useful in documenting walkable features in urban and suburban neighbourhoods with particular relevance to older adults’ needs.

Preventive Medicine In Press, Uncorrected Proof  doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.10.009
Sedentary behaviour is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in older adults. ► These associations are more consistent when sedentary behaviour is measured by self-report including TV viewing. ► Cardiometabolic risk factors included BMI, waist circumference, cholesterol ratio, Hb1Ac and diabetes. ► Non-TV self-reported sedentary time is only associated with diabetes. ► Accelerometer measured sedentary behaviour is only associated with waist circumference

This article addresses basic information about how your immune system works; how exercise affects the immune system and how regular, moderate exercise can provide benefits to your immune system.

Don’t forget to check this open access journal frequently! To find the archive, from the main page click on the purple “articles” tab and then click on the orange “archive” tab underneath.

Overview: 1) Considering built and social environments, including features of each, 2) Introduction to research projects in Alberta, 3) Reflections on key findings, such as facilitators and barriers to walking and physical activity, car culture, social spaces, etc., 4) Policy considerations – where to from here?

Read a perspective on quality urban planning for health from Professor Billie Giles-Corti.

This research synthesis reviews the sizable body of peer-reviewed and independent reports on the economic value of outdoor recreation facilities, open spaces and walkable community design. It focuses on “private” benefits that accrue to nearby homeowners and to other users of open space.

This recently developed tool for urban planners and others involved in urban design is now available online.

While urban designers, architects, and planners often encourage the use of aesthetic streetscape treatments to enhance the livability of urban streets, conventional transportation safety practice regards roadside features such as street trees as fixed-object hazards and strongly discourages their use. In this study, I examine the subject of livable streetscape treatments and find compelling evidence that suggests they may actually enhance the safety of urban roadways.

Journal of Urban Design Vol 16, Iss 4 pp 531-549  DOI:10.1080/13574809.2011.586239
Drawing on a review of international literature and practice, this paper compares the characteristics of cyclists with those of pedestrians and motorists, showing that cyclists have a substantial number of unique characteristics that warrant further investigation in terms of a special urban design response.