Friday

October 27, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
Research sessions with primary school children (year 6; 10 and 11 year olds) has shown that young people are enthusiastic about activities such as cycling or walking to school and growing their own vegetables. For some aspects of activities young people showed awareness of health benefits, for other aspects benefit to the environment; but there was less knowledge of the combined benefits.

As any statistical analysis is only as good as the data being analyzed, one has to be grateful to City of Vancouver for tracking and publishing the bike lane statistics. If you want to look at the raw numbers, they can be found here.

CHILDREN
Prev Chronic Dis 2011;8(6):A131
Both modifiable and nonmodifiable factors were correlated with preschool children’s amount of MVPA, which can be helpful when designing interventions for this age group. The lack of correlates for sedentary time indicates the need for further investigation into this behavior.

The Health Survey for England is an annual survey undertaken since 1991. Since 1995 the survey has also covered children aged 2-15 years and children under 2 since 2002. The survey is commissioned by the Information Centre to monitor the health of the population.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise In Press, Accepted Manuscript
Mothers and fathers both play modest, yet significant roles in their adolescent’s leisure-time physical activity motivation. Additionally, physical education teachers, although not present in the leisure-time physical activity context, serve an equally important role in supporting adolescents’ leisure-time physical activity. Lastly, adolescent self-determined motivation for leisure-time physical activity is a strong determinant of self-reported leisure-time physical activity behavior.

Public Health In Press, Corrected Proof
Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle in adolescence. Previous studies have shown physical activity to be associated with socio-economic status and self-esteem; the latter association may mediate the former, but evidence on this is lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the associations of socio-economic status and the self-esteem of adolescents with physical activity, and their joint effects.

CHRONIC DISEASE
The Alberta Diabetes Atlas provides information on the number of people living with diabetes in Alberta, their related health conditions, and the health services they use.

Newest Thematic Map from Statistics Canada

The American Journal of Cardiology In Press, Corrected Proof
In conclusion, the data show a correlation between physical activity and triglyceride reduction, apolipoprotein B reduction, high-density lipoprotein increase, change in low-density lipoprotein particle size, increase in tissue plasminogen activator activity, and decrease in coronary artery calcium. Further research is needed to elucidate the effect of physical activity on inflammatory markers and intima-media thickness.

This UK guidance is aimed at those working in national and local public health services. This includes: directors and commissioners, GPs, practice nurses, dietitians, public health nutritionists and other health professionals, as well as those involved in physical activity interventions and community engagement

COMMUNITY
Prev Chronic Dis 2011;8(6):A149.
Community audits have been used for epidemiologic studies and in program planning for health-promotion interventions. Few studies have detailed the methodology for conducting community audits in rural areas or the extent to which community audits can contribute to an accurate assessment of community characteristics (eg, presence of sidewalks) and nutrition and physical activity resources (eg, produce stands, parks) that may promote healthful lifestyle behaviors. The objective of this article is to describe our approach to conducting a community audit…..

This monograph provides a hands-on guide for professionals so they can do economic impact studies that measure the economic return residents receive on park and recreation department investments. These studies are relatively simple to do, and they do not require hiring external consultants. Park and recreation department personnel can do these studies in house at nominal cost in time and resources.

MENTAL HEALTH
New guidelines from the Mental Health Commission of Canada

OLDER ADULTS
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage In Press, Accepted Manuscript
A high age (hip OA), a high BMI (hip OA) and a low level of physical function (both hip and knee OA) are related to a low level of physical activity. However, the level of evidence was only limited. Before new strategies and interventions to increase physical activity in patients with OA can be developed, high quality longitudinal studies are needed to get more insight in the causality between factors and low levels of physical activity.

Activities coordinator Ed Dobski said residents whose hands are atrophied or unable to type on a keyboard or hold a mouse will swipe their hand across the tablet’s smooth glass…..

OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY
Newest Thematic Map from Statistics Canada

From the WHO.  As part of this project, a good practice appraisal tool has been developed to assess good practice elements of design, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of preventive programs and interventions that aim to counteract obesity and improve nutrition and physical activity.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
A new September 2011 fact sheet from the WHO.

Physical activity is mentioned 15 times in this 26 page document.

Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine In Press, Uncorrected Proof
Objectives: Updating Baecke physical activity questionnaire in French, validating this version named AQAP and developing software for a personalized interpretation of the results.

Newest Thematic Map from Statistics Canada

The Health Survey for England is an annual survey designed to measure health and health related behaviours in adults and children living in private households in England. It has been undertaken since 1991. Since 1995 the survey has also included children aged 2-15 years, and since 2002 infants under 2 have been included. This is currently the most robust data source to monitor trends in adult obesity.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 5, Nov 2011, Pages 508-515
GPS is a promising tool for improving understanding of the spatial context of physical activity. The current findings suggest that the choice of an appropriate device and efforts to maximize participant adherence are key to improving data quality, especially over longer study periods.

URBAN DESIGN
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.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 5, Nov 2011, Pages 504-507
Adults who move to a denser, mixed-use neighborhood increase their levels of walking for both recreation and transportation, decrease their automobile travel, and increase their use of public transportation.

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.

WOMEN
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 5, Nov 2011, Pages 473-479
Findings indicate that perceived proximity to shops/stores and access to recreation facilities are important correlates of physical activity for women, irrespective of region or sprawl.

WORKPLACE
It’s a good idea to keep healthy eating top-of-mind each time that you step out for a meal during work hours, or when you attend work-related meals or functions, such as business dinners or conference gatherings.

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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
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.

CHILDREN
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
doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185
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
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.

MENTAL HEALTH
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.

MISCELLANEOUS
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.

OLDER ADULTS
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
doi:10.1136/jech.2011.133165
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

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:99
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-99
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.

URBAN DESIGN
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.

WOMEN
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.

WORKPLACE
Br J Sports Med Published Online First 22 September 2011
doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090214
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.

October 7, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ABORIGINAL
The Active Circle is an initiative of Motivate Canada, in partnership with the Aboriginal Sport Circle, which supports Aboriginal youth and communities to become vibrant, active and healthy through sport and recreation.

Preventive Medicine In Press, Accepted Manuscript
From 2007–2010, 273 participants from the province of British Columbia, Canada were recruited through 21 Aboriginal communities representing male and females of wide ranging ages and health statuses…… The self-selected intensities program was successful in improving health status and physical activity for Aboriginal adults of all ages, genders and activity programs.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
For the third year in a row, data released by the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show that more than half of one percent of American workers use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation to work. While this number represents nearly 40 percent growth since 2000, it also shows that we still have a lot of work to do in making our communities truly welcoming to bicyclists.

The Australian Bicycle Council released the results of the National Cycling Participation Survey. The survey found that in a typical week around 18% of Australians ride a bicycle for transport and recreation with around 3.6 million people riding for recreation, leisure or sport and 1.2 million people making at least one transport journey.

The research, which (was) presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam, suggests that cyclists inhale more black carbon than pedestrians, which may cause damage to the lungs.

Regular exercise, like walking, can significantly reduce individual health-care costs, bringing down insurance rates for everyone. For example, residents of Portland, Oregon currently save over $10 million a year in avoided health-care costs thanks to that city’s smart investments in bike/walk infrastructure.

CHILDREN
Health & Place In Press, Accepted Manuscript
These results highlight the difficulty of disentangling the potential effects of the built environment on adolescent physical activity.

Comprehensive School Health (CSH) is an internationally recognized framework that helps develop and support healthy school communities.  This article outlines the basics about CSH, why we need it and how it supports the development of healthy school communities in Alberta.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport In Press, Corrected Proof
Neighborhoods that discourage physical activity may encourage indoor activities such as television viewing; however few studies have examined associations between neighborhood characteristics and sedentary activities. This study examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between perceived and objective measures of the physical and social neighborhood environment and TV viewing among children and adolescents…Conclusions. Crime and a lack of quality sporting facilities or options may contribute to greater TV viewing among youth.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 4, October 2011, Pages 442-455
These findings support several recommendations for policy and environmental change from such groups as the IOM and National Physical Activity Plan.

Obesity Research & Clinical Practice Vol 5, Suppl 1, October 2011, Pages 9-10
When children increase physical activity, there are “ripple effects” in the time committed to other activities, such as sleep, screen time, social and cognitive behaviours. These activities all have health implications, and implications for weight management. Ripple effects are almost never modeled.

** Please go to the supplement table of contents – there are many, many more relevant articles in this issue**

CDC synthesized research and best practices related to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools, culminating in nine guidelines… each of the guidelines is accompanied by a set of implementation strategies developed to help schools work towards achieving each guideline. Although the ultimate goal is to implement all nine guidelines included in this document, not every strategy will be appropriate for every school, and some schools, due to resource limitations, might need to implement the guidelines incrementally.

HEALTH GENERAL
Public Health In Press, Corrected Proof
The environments where people live, learn, work and play have a profound influence on health. Policies affecting physical activity, access to healthy foods, and the prevalence of tobacco products in our neighbourhoods can either promote or discourage behaviour associated with cancer and other chronic diseases.

The Health Fact Sheet publication features short informative articles on interesting health topics from various health data sources.  Topics this issue include: Physical activity during leisure time, 2010; Physical activity levels of Canadian adults, 2007 to 2009; and Physical activity levels of Canadian children and youth, 2007 to 2009.

OLDER ADULTS
According to the 2009 CCHS―Healthy Aging, 3% of men and 19% of women aged 50 or older reported having been diagnosed with osteoporosis.  A diagnosis of osteoporosis was significantly associated with age, sex, Aboriginal origin, high nutritional risk and underweight.  The odds were also high for people in lower-income households, notably women aged 50 to 70.

A new monitoring system being developed by Professor Marjorie Skubic of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and her interdisciplinary team at the University of Missouri could help older adults avoid falls before they happen and alert health care professionals when they do.

Microsoft Kinect cameras are set up in the apartments of volunteers in a residential care facility in Columbia, and researchers are studying how the systems can prevent falls, serious illness and accidents.


OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY
Although directly measured height and weight provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of obesity, cost and logistical considerations oblige the Canadian Community Health Survey to continue to collect self-reported data.

A newsletter produced by the Canadian Obesity Network.  The Childhood Obesity Issue – What’s really driving the epidemic?

The use of parent-reported values misrepresents associations between BMI categories and other variables related to obesity, such as aerobic fitness, systolic blood pressure and a subjective assessment of overall health. Correction equations provide only small reductions in reporting bias.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
American Journal of Public Health published online ahead of print Sep 22, 2011
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300257 
The authors conclude that it is important to consider both intensity and type of physical activity when examining associations with mortality.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 41, Iss 4, October 2011, Pages 376-384
There are cumulative benefits of physical activity across adulthood on physical performance in midlife. Increased activity should be promoted early in adulthood to ensure the maintenance of physical performance in later life.

URBAN DESIGN
Health & Place In Press, Accepted Manuscript
To evaluate the growing literature on the built environment and physical activity/obesity, we conducted a review of review papers. Through systematic search, we identified 37 reviews that met the inclusion criteria…….

Health & Place In Press, Corrected Proof
Attention to how people understand their environment and navigate competing demands can improve the scientific value of ongoing efforts to promote active living and health, while also better fulfilling our ethical obligations to the individuals and communities whose health we strive to protect.

WOMEN
Contemporary Clinical Trials In Press, Accepted Manuscript
The BEAT Cancer study is a physical activity behavior change study addressing the important clinical and public health problem of physical inactivity among breast cancer survivors. Physical activity programs should be offered to all breast cancer survivors without a medical contraindication given the association between physical activity and a reduction in risk for breast cancer recurrence and mortality of 35% and 46%, respectively. If the BEAT Cancer intervention success is confirmed in this larger trial, the intervention can be disseminated for broader use at cancer centers and institutes.