December 5, 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.

Improved walking and cycling conditions, and increased non-motorized travel activity can provide numerous benefits to users and society, including congestion reductions, road and parking facility cost savings, consumer savings and affordability, improved mobility for non-drivers, energy conservation, pollution emission reductions, improved public fitness and health, and local economic development

This report describes methods for evaluating non-motorized transport (walking, cycling, and their variants) benefits and costs, including direct benefits to users from improved walking and cycling conditions, and various benefits to society from increased non-motorized travel activity, reduced automobile travel, and support for more compact land use development.

The FIA Foundation for Automobiles and Society and the United Nations Environmental Program emphasizes the importance of improving walking and cycling conditions by changing roadway design and management, particularly in developing countries.

It is suggested that policies to increase levels of walking and cycling should focus not only on improving infrastructure, but also must tackle broader social, economic, cultural  and legal factors that currently inhibit walking and cycling. Together, such changes can create an environment in which driving for short trips in urban areas is seen as abnormal and walking or cycling seem the obvious choices.

Based on a subsample of the 2010 Physical Activity Monitor, Canadian parents were asked whether their child had access to supervised programs after school….

An article in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Play details not only how much children's play time has declined, but how this lack of play affects emotional development, leading to the rise of anxiety, depression, and problems of attention and self control.

The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor examined young people’s participation in a variety of activities during the after school period. Specifically, parents were asked to report on the types of activities which require energy expenditure such as doing chores, playing outdoors or participating in organized or unorganized physical activity and sport.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise In Press, Accepted Manuscript
This study investigated Social Cognitive Theory and children’s physical activity. A diverse sample of children from six schools was used in this analysis. Only barriers were a nonsignificant predictor of physical activity behaviours. The model accounted for little variance in children’s physical activity. Broader models may be needed to better predict children’s physical activity.

You’re just like your mother!” If anyone has ever heard that, it’s probably because it’s true – we tend to emulate our parents’ behaviour, whether we like it or not. Parents are the biggest single source of influence in a child’s life, and parental support of healthy habits early on in a child’s life will pay a lifetime of dividends.

Low rates of physical activity among young children and youth is of concern given the importance of physical activity for children’s healthy growth and development and since physical activity behaviors have been shown to track throughout childhood into adulthood.

The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor explored the concept of parental involvement by asking parents about the amount of time that they spend playing active games with their child and transporting their children to their physical activities or sports….

International Journal of Pediatric Obesity Volume 6, Number S2 (October 2011)
The general objective of the PERISCOPE (Pilot European Regional Interventions for Smart Childhood Obesity Prevention in Early Age) is to prevent child obesity between the ages of 3 and 6 years.  All articles in this special journal supplement are about the project – many discuss physical activity.

This bulleting explores more sedentary pursuits (for example: watching TV, reading, or doing homework) participated in after school.

American Journal of Kidney Diseases In Press, Corrected Proof
In the absence of guidelines specific to the CKD population, recent guidelines developed for older individuals and patients with chronic disease should be applied to the CKD population. In sum, exercise appears to be safe in this patient population if begun at moderate intensity and increased gradually. The evidence suggests that the risk of remaining inactive is higher. Patients should be advised to increase their physical activity when possible and be referred to physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation programs when appropriate.

This article offers plenty of ideas about: boosting the use of community trails by making them easier to access and more user-friendly; and promoting your community’s trails, so more people know about their locations and features.

From the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), this literature review by Swedish researchers provides an overview of English-language research studies published from 2006 to 2010 on online health information-seeking behaviour by health consumers and professionals.

Public Health In Press, Corrected Proof
This study identified and reviewed grey literature relating to factors facilitating and inhibiting effective interventions in three areas: the promotion of mental health and well-being, the improvement of food and nutrition, and interventions seeking to increase engagement in physical activity

Mental Health and Physical Activity In Press, Accepted Manuscript
GPs are enthusiastic in promoting physical activity for managing depression. ► GPs promote physical activity despite awareness of evidence and guidelines. ► GPs believe physical activity has biochemical, social and psychological benefits. ► GPs are aware of the need for patient autonomy and a reduced reliance on medication.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media exists to improve health globally by accelerating effective application of social media tools throughout Mayo Clinic and spurring broader and deeper engagement in social media by hospitals, medical professionals and patients.

Maturitas In Press, Corrected Proof
There is a rich variety in methods used for data collection and analysis as well as in reported variables. Different aspects of physical activity can be described, but the variety makes it challenging to compare across studies. There is an urgent need for developing consensus on activity monitoring protocols and which variables to report.

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. November 2011, 14(11): 681-688
The finding suggests that AVGs are effective technologies that may facilitate light- to moderate-intensity physical activity promotion.

Updated by PHAC.  Tip sheets for all four age groups (children, youth, adults and older adults).

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00779.x
General practitioners should be aware that physical activity recommendations are received favorably by most patients and there is potential to improve public health by giving physical activity advice to sedentary and/or overweight patients when appropriate.

SBRN is the only organization for researchers and health professionals which focuses specifically on the health impact of sedentary behaviour. SBRN's mission is to connect sedentary behaviour researchers and health professionals working in all fields of study, and to disseminate this research to the academic community and to the public at large. 

Whatever you think of the Manhattan pedestrian mall known as Times Square (love it or hate it), you have Jan Gehl to thank….. no one has done more in the last decade to retrofit cities for cyclists and pedestrian ….

This is the third in a series of columns that respond to recent claims by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that smart growth policies are ineffective and harmful.

The ultimate goal of most transportation is “access,” people’s ability to reach desired goods, services and activities. Transportation decisions often involve tradeoffs between different forms of access. How transport is measured can have a major impact on these tradeoffs.

Shared space is a design approach that seeks to change the way streets operate by reducing the dominance of motor vehicles, primarily through lower speeds and encouraging drivers to behave more accommodatingly towards pedestrians.

Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Nov 1;174(9):1017-27. Epub 2011 Oct 7.
Analyses simultaneously considering PA and television watching suggested that both contributed independently to depression risk.

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