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.

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