January 27, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Centre would like to get a better idea of who accesses the Round-Up and how they use it.  Please consider taking this quick (1-2 minutes) survey.

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.

This list of research, reports and educational/planning resources has organized in accordance with a standard framework or outline used to describe comprehensive approaches, coordinated agency-school programs and whole school strategies to address broad health, social, safety and other issues.

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 24–30
Walking school buses (WSB) increased children's physical activity, but impact on pedestrian safety behaviors (PSB) is unknown.
Note: Be sure to look at the table of contents of this Issue of Health and Place – there are many good PA/AL articles in side.

Computers & Education Available online 17 January 2012 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
► We examined the effectiveness of Nintendo Wii in balance ability. ► Nintendo Wii was compared to a traditional balance training program. ► Results indicated that both groups demonstrated an improvement in balance ability. ► Findings support the effectiveness of using Nintendo Wii on balance competence.

Journal of Adolescent Health Volume 50, Issue 2, Supplement, February 2012, Pages S37
To determine if the number of parks and recreation areas within 400, 800, and 1500 meter radii of middle schools participating in the Healthy Choices (HC) study and the crime rate in the neighborhood surrounding these schools were associated with individual student-reported physical activity (PA) levels.

Preventive Medicine Available online 18 January 2012 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
► We investigated non-school travel mode and physical activity levels in children. ► Active travel was associated with higher overall activity levels in males. ► Active travel was associated with greater after-school activity levels in females. ► Promoting non-school active travel may help to achieve higher activity levels.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 42, Iss 2, Feb 2012, Pages 180–184
The authors conclude: Activity levels in ASPs are well below recommendations. Substantial effort is needed to identify strategies ASPs can employ to ensure children are sufficiently active.

Health & Place Available online 25 January 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
We summarised activity intensities in different types of greenspace on weekday evenings, weekend days, and by season. Around half of outdoor moderate-vigorous activity took place in greenspace at the weekend and use was consistent across seasons.

Primary Care Diabetes  Available online 17 January 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
The purpose of this study was to examine whether diabetes free healthy non-Hispanic Whites (NHW), non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB), and Mexican-Americans (MA) who are told of their diabetes risk were more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle behavior defined as current weight control, physical activity and reduced fat/calories intake than those who were not told that they were at increased risk.

This opinion piece looks at the current debate on the Canada Health Transfer and points to how the preventative benefits of sport and physical activity might help the longer term financial viability of the health care system.

The HHFK Act allows USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, opportunity to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children.

School meals for millions of children will be healthier under obesity-fighting U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards unveiled on Wednesday that double the fruits and vegetables in cafeteria lunches -- but won’t pull French fries from the menu.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise Online 24 January 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
Very little difference in perceived-stress and emotional-distress existed in women and men who participated in different sport-types, suggesting that "one-activity-fits-all recommendations" are likely inappropriate. Different sports are suitable for different individuals, and it is important that one finds the sport that suits one best. 

An age-friendly community is an inclusive and accessible environment that “allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need.

Arch of Phys Med and Rehab Available online 14 Jan 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
The test is easily administered and because of its challenging nature, it may be well suited to detect subtle differences in abilities of higher functioning, community-dwelling older adults. A practitioner can be confident in 7 of 10 cases that an older adult who cannot complete all 5 steps of the Multiple-Lunge Test is at high risk of falls. The results suggest that there is potential for the Multiple-Lunge Test to be used in clinical practice; however, additional research on how to further increase its validity appears warranted.

Studies show that having access to non-medical social support services including transportation and various community-based leisure time opportunities directly affects the lives of older persons…… Although this may seem obvious to many of us at first glance, those engaged in scientific study indicate that research-based evidence on the subject is actually quite limited.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 42, Iss 2, Feb 2012, Pages 185–192
Enhanced reporting of relevant and pragmatic information in behavioral investigations of childhood obesity interventions is needed to improve the ability to evaluate the applicability of results to practice implementation. Such evidence would improve translation of research to practice, provide additional explanation for variability in intervention outcomes, and provide insights into successful adaptations of interventions to local conditions.

This issue is full of articles about physical activity/active living.

Preventive Medicine Available online 18 January 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
Self-reported PA was significantly and positively associated with higher HRQoL scores among older men. Associations were stronger for those achieving a higher volume of PA.

Unlike many other online trackers with similar features, the “SuperTracker” is offered free of charge.  Features include a nutritional database, a food diary, and a physical activity tracker that matches progress against national recommendations for weekly physical activity accumulation

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 5–7
The ADG is a manual of evidence-based and best-practice strategies for increasing physical activity in the design and construction of neighborhoods, streets and buildings.
Note: Be sure to look at the table of contents of this Issue of Health and Place – there are many good PA/AL articles in side.

Digestive and Liver Disease Available online 24 January 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
Celiac patients report fatigue and reduced social activities, which may decrease physical activity. This study investigated the physical activity, fatigue and bone mineral density in celiac women at diagnosis and during diet.

Preventive Medicine Available online 24 January 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
► We examined the effect of school-based physical exercise on mother/daughter pairs. ► We compare the health-related fitness outcome of physical exercise in mother/daughter group versus student only group. ► The 12-week physical exercise improved health-related fitness in both students and their mothers. ► The effect of intervention on students in mother/daughter group was significantly stronger than that of student only group. ► Family support and parent participation can contribute to improve efficacy of health related interventions in adolescents.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 42, Iss 2, Feb 2012, Pages 136–141
Findings suggest that the prompt was effective in increasing physical activity in diverse settings, and increases were maintained at 9 months.

The period of time when you transition into retirement can be stressful, even if retirement is a happy and welcome change from working. Major life changes happen when you wind down your working career and begin your retirement years.


January 23, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Centre would like to get a better idea of who accesses the Round-Up and how they use it.  Please consider taking this quick (1-2 minute) survey.

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.

They have a great resource section.

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Nov;39(5):457-9.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the approach to develop and test a simple and efficient audit tool to get a quick overview of environmental characteristics along a route or in a neighborhood….. The BiWET is a reliable and time-efficient audit instrument to determine accurately and relatively quickly the physical characteristics of an area or route, which is potentially useful for the study of the relationship between the built environment and physical activity behavior.

More than any other way of getting around—such as being crushed into a train or stuck in a traffic jam—walking appears to offer freedom of choice. The reality is more complicated. Whether stepping aside to avoid a collision or following the person in front through a crowd or navigating busy streets, pedestrians are autonomous yet constrained by others.

The Institute for Road Safety Research in the Netherlands has found that blind spot roadside mirrors (known as Trixi mirrors) do not have a significant impact on the number of collisions between trucks and cyclists at junctions. They state that the solution is 'a structural separation of trucks and cyclists.

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011 Aug;21(4):496-509.
doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01299.x
According to standard criteria used primarily for the assessment of clinical studies, the strength of this evidence was strong for fitness benefits, moderate for benefits in cardiovascular risk factors, and inconclusive for all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality, cancer risk, and overweight and obesity. While more intervention research is needed to build a solid knowledge base of the health benefits of cycling, the existing evidence reinforces the current efforts to promote cycling as an important contributor for better population health.

J Phys Act Health. 2010 Mar;7 Suppl 1:S120-5.
There is a need for a more consistent approach to the quantification of health benefits from cycling and walking. This project is providing guidance and an illustrative tool for cycling for practical application. Results show that substantial savings can be expected. Such tools illustrate the importance of considering health in transport policy and infrastructure planning, putting "Health in All Policies" into practice.

The author highlights the findings of a recently released report by The Institute of Transportation and Development Policy – ITDP that provides a comprehensive review of the new wave of parking policy innovation that could pay huge dividends for sustainable transport and liveable streets.

If you ever need a reason to smile, check out the Ohio Dept. of Transportation's (ODOT) new Glee-inspired Safe Routes to School video. The All-Ohio Safe Routes to School Show Choir will sing and dance their way into your safety awareness in this high-energy video.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(1):49-55.
Conclusions: Participation in physical activity is positively related to academic performance in children. Because we found only 2 high-quality studies, future high-quality studies are needed to confirm our findings. These studies should thoroughly examine the dose-response relationship between physical activity and academic performance as well as explanatory mechanisms for this relationship.

American Journal of Public Health: February 2012, Vol. 102, No. 2, pp. 368-374.
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300220
Conclusions: The attenuated age-related increases in percentage of body fat and enhanced numeracy development among elementary school children receiving PE from specialists provides support for the role of PE in both preventive medicine and academic development.

RWJF has provided a three-year renewal grant of $2,999,725 to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, a diverse, nationwide coalition of more than 550 organizations. This project will result in thousands of more miles of sidewalks and bike paths, traffic-calming projects and safer street crossings, and will enable many more students to benefit from Safe Routes to School. The project will focus on supporting communities with high rates of childhood obesity..."

This article offers fresh ideas and inspiration for launching different types of events or activities in different types of community spaces, settings or locations.

Current Sports Medicine Reports: Nov/Dec 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 6 - pp 360-370
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318237bf74
It is unclear from these results whether sports programs, as currently offered, protect youth from becoming overweight or obese. Additional research may foster understanding about how sport, and youth sport settings, can help promote energy balance and healthy body weight.

Active living is a way of life that incorporates physical activity into daily routines.   Here you can ask questions of local and national experts, explore various topics related to active living, find out what is happening in Minnesota communities around active living, as well as search for other relevant issue areas.

Med J Aust. 2011 Dec 12;195(11-12):723-6.
Wife carrying can be a novel option for increasing physical activity levels, which improve health. Although some key data were unavailable, such as wife's body weight, and injury rates, this study identified several factors associated with better performance in this sport.

This report includes a number of case studies at the end.

This link takes you to a 6 page table listing all 340 policies and the 321 US jurisdictions they can be found in.

In this article, Engineer Charles Marohn explains why he changed his point of view about wider, faster and treeless roads and decided to start thinking about what people need to live better in cities

June 24-29, 2012 – Boston, MA - Applications due Feb 1, 2012
A week long institute designed to train investigators and practitioners tangible skills that can be used to measure many of the aspects of the built environment that are believed to have an effect on health.

The majority of the world’s population lives in cities and therefore our cities have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing.  In this context, why shouldn’t we plan and design our cities to make us healthier in every way?

“Please, Have a Seat!” a project that has installed nearly 30 benches for public use in the front yards of homeowners in East Chicago and Gary. The benches serve as a gathering place for residents and they provide places for people to sit and relax while walking. The “microparks” typically include a pressed concrete pad, a decorative bench and a planter.

It feels strange to equate slowing down with moving ahead, but in some ways, slowing down cities, much like the slow-food movement, is about shrugging off some of the 20th century’s ill-conceived “innovations.” A hundred years ago, city streets were a multi-use melting pot of cars, trolleys, horses, buggies, bicycles and pedestrians, all moving together in a low-speed symphony. It was easy to share the road because few things moved fast enough to be really dangerous. It wasn’t until the 1930s and ’40s that we started to see the streets as reserved for things that could go very fast, and pedestrians were expected to stick to the sidewalks.

Research led by a team at University of California at Irvine suggests that suburban communities looking to encourage more walking to destinations should develop a central core featuring a variety of shops and services that are within easy walking distance of each other.


January 13, 2012

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 information booklet for Aboriginal parents and service providers from the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development.

Come explore developments in Active Transportation with a focus on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. See how bringing Healthy Transportation options to your community yields health and wellness benefits and consider the economic and social rewards that come with making the place you call home, a livable community.

An information booklet for parents and service providers from the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development.

Journal of Cystic Fibrosis – in press, corrected proof
Conclusion: Step rate measured with a pedometer correlates significantly with changes in health status and self-reported activity, and could be used as an outcome measure in CF.

A PowerPoint presentation from the Stay active Eat Healthy initiative of BCRPA outlining background statistics for adult and childhood obesity and its consequences, and recreation facilities as “key community settings” that can influence behaviour of people in the community.

Communities have reported that the development of policy in support of healthy food and beverage sales has made the implementation of changes in food outlets - including vending, concessions and programs - easier and faster.  Policy development also provides support for change in the long term.
European Geriatric Medicine In Press, Corrected Proof
This study shows the feasibility of implementing a simple program of outdoor walking for older people in nursing homes. A sufficiently powered randomized controlled trial is necessary to prove the effectiveness and safety of our approach.

A new self-instructional, web-based learning package on the use and interpretation of the WHO Growth Charts adapted for Canada is now available... 5 modules:
Module 1 - Introduction to the WHO Growth Charts
Module 2 - Monitoring Growth: Measurements and Calculations
Module 3 – Interpreting the WHO Growth Charts
Module 4 – Childhood Obesity
Module 5 – Counseling to Promote Healthy Growth and Development

From this article, the reader should understand the following concepts: The difference between a fad and a trend / Worldwide trends in the commercial, corporate, clinical (including medical fitness), and community health and fitness industry / Expert opinions about identified fitness trends for 2012.

The new Online Business Case Creator (OBCC) is a tool that will guide you through a three-step process to assess and analyze your project and help you make your best recommendations about whether a project should move forward.

The Journal of Rural Health Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 141–150, Spring 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2010.00328.x
This paper assesses the degree to which “active living” varies along the rural-urban continuum, within the county-sized regional municipality of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The journal is dedicated to bringing you the most up-to-date rural health research, policy discussion and education information. Its principal goal is to advance professional practice, research, theory development, and public policy related to rural health.

Preventive Medicine Volume 50, Issue 4, April 2010, Pages 193–198
The literature does not show major differences in the physical activity levels between children from rural or urban areas. Where studied, the suburban built environment appears most conducive to promoting physical activity. Further research should use at least a trilateral division of the built environment and should also account for socioeconomic status, racial factors and seasonal effects.

The (open access) international electronic journal of rural and remote health research, education, practice and policy.

An active, healthy community is a place where everyone can live safely and get involved in activities they enjoy. …  Everyone has easy access to safe places to be active. The community offers inviting and affordable public parks and playgrounds, trails and sidewalks,

Maturitas  Available online 8 January 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
A prospective daily diary study which applied experience sampling methods and time series modeling techniques investigated, at the within-person level, the relationship between objectively measured daily PA of varying intensities and self-reported menopausal HFs.

A one-page information sheet on the importance and benefits, both to health and economically, of replacing unhealthy choices in vending machines with healthy ones.

January 6, 2012

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. 

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110177
In conclusion, the identified significant relationships between adults’ trail use and season, weather, and temperature may be useful for professionals planning and managing recreational trails or promoting trail use among adults.

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110086
Walking maps that display PA opportunities and resources may be useful in increasing walking among residents of public housing sites.

This literature review considers the role of infrastructure in relation to the safety of cyclists and their interaction with other road users…. Of all interventions to increase cycle safety, the strongest evidence is for the benefits resulting from reduction in the general speed of motorized traffic.

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110212
Efforts to improve health outcomes through behavioral modification are often complicated by external factors that may thwart success and introduce potential harm. Factors associated with traffic safety present a contemporary challenge to efforts to promote physical activity. One example is the difficulty of encouraging pedestrian-based physical activity because of the growing prevalence of distracted driving.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the climate change mitigation strategies that significantly increase the accessibility, affordability and quality of public transit and active transportation (e.g. cycling), and the land use measures that support these modes of transportation, will generate much greater health co-benefits than those which focus solely on vehicle and fuel technologies.

The after school time period, from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, is a key opportunity to encourage healthy choices amongst children and youth. Earlier this year, CAAWS hosted consultations with program providers and decision-makers to identify persisting and emerging barriers to girls’ and young women’s participation, and discuss essential components of quality programs. Based on the consultations, the document describes a vision and strategic directions for active after school programs for girls and young women. The policy was developed for community, provincial/territorial and national level organizations to use when considering the design and delivery of active after school programming.

The majority of the analyses in this bulletin highlights the combined data collected in year five and six of the study (2009-2011), unless otherwise stated. Combining year 5 and 6 of data collection, the CANPLAY study shows that Canadian children, aged 5 to 19, take approximately 11,600 daily steps on average.

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:100292
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to prevent obesity among high-risk children by changing local policies, systems, and environments….The strategies proposed by HKHC partnerships were well aligned with the CDC recommendations. The popular strategies proposed by HKHC partnerships were those for which there were existing examples of successful implementation. Our analysis provides an example of how information from communities, obtained through grant-writing efforts, can be used to assess the status of the field, guide future research, and provide direction for future investments.

This bulletin describes parents’ perceptions of the availability of public facilities and programs, how well these facilities and programs meet the needs of their child, as well as their child’s use of these opportunities.

The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor asked parents about the availability of commercial facilities in their community, such as the YW/YMCA or other commercial facilities that are available for their children to be active.

Parents were also asked about their child’s use of these parks and outdoor spaces and how well these types of places meet their child’s needs.

The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor asked parents’ about other places in the community where children can be active that may not necessarily be designated for physical activity, such as a school yard used outside of school hours or community centre.

The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor asked parents to indicate how their children typically commute to and from school.

The Tool is theoretically based on Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory and consists of a short questionnaire to assess a municipality’s readiness for policy change. Coupled with the questionnaire are a series of policy change strategies and advocacy resources for working with municipalities at different stages of policy readiness.  While the Tool was created with municipalities in mind, it may also be used with other types of governing bodies (e.g., school boards or workplaces) to encourage policy change.

May 14-15, 2012 University of Western Ontario

We often think of physical activity as the key to maintaining strong muscles and bones, but one organ that also benefits from moving our bodies is - the brain.

Evidence linking physical activity to cognitive health in older adults is mounting.  As described in December 2010’s The Research File (2), research has found that physical activity may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias during later adulthood.

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110057
Lay leaders successfully implemented the programs in community settings. The programs were effective in reducing fear of falling among older adults.

Journal of Safety Research, Volume 42, Issue 6
The Canadian Falls Prevention Curriculum provides evidence-based training for clinicians and community leaders using a public health approach to fall prevention that includes instruction on how to define the problem, assess the risk, examine best practices, implement the program, and conduct evaluation of the program's effectiveness.

Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics In Press, Corrected Proof
In conclusion, although we hypothesized that the composite LEP score, UEP score or, especially, the overall score would be more sensitive than usual gait speed (UGS) alone for assessing a wide range of functional status, we found UGS is almost as good as the overall score at discriminating older women with a declining functional status. NOTE: The TUG test is also mentioned.

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110109
MVPA estimates vary among adults aged 60 or older, depending on the cut point chosen, and most of their time is spent in sedentary behaviors. These considerations and the data presented suggest more research is necessary to identify the appropriate method of setting accelerometer cut points for MVPA in older adults.

December 2011 Volume 42 Issue 6
This is a special issue on fall prevention and knowledge translation and is a collaboration between the Public Health Agency of Canada, the US CDC, and the US National Safety Council. 

Health & Place In Press, Accepted Manuscript
Schools are inviting settings for the promotion of healthy behaviors in children, and a number of interventions have been trialed to improve diet or increase physical activity levels with the ultimate aim of reducing the prevalence of obesity. However, these have seen mixed results and there is suggestion that consideration needs to be given to a broader definition of the school environment in order to encourage sustainable behavior changes. This review considers evidence for associations between the physical school environment and diet, physical activity and adiposity

Academic Pediatrics In Press, Corrected Proof
Electronic health record documentation may not be the most valid method of measuring physician counseling on weight, nutrition, and physical activity in pediatric primary care. Parental report via the use of a questionnaire administered immediately after the visit is a better alternative in quality improvement or research studies when resources do not allow for direct observation, with the caveat that parents may over report whether counseling was provided.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol 93, Iss 1, Jan 2012, Pgs 172-175
Participants at a higher risk of immanent mobility loss may have been more committed to improve lifestyle physical activity, reflecting the wisdom of targeting older adults at risk of mobility loss for physical activity behavior change interventions.

Do you want to be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long? How well and how long you sleep during the night greatly impacts how you feel during the day.

According to the 1998 General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by Statistics Canada, 15% of Canadians received less 6.5 hours of sleep a night despite evidence which suggests that adults require an average of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior In Press, Corrected Proof
This study identified the importance of the family system and the reciprocal influences within the home environment on health behaviors.

Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110081
Discusses 7 practical roles that researchers play in dissemination and related research: sorting through the evidence, conducting formative research, assessing readiness of user organizations, balancing fidelity and reinvention, monitoring and evaluating, influencing the outer context, and testing dissemination approaches.

At the University of Manitoba's Visionary Conversations event on October 18, 2011, the theme of Livable Cities: 21st Century Perspectives was explored, specifically the effects globalization, shifting demographics, resource scarcity and social changes are having on today's urban centres.

This report examines the ways in which ten public health units in Ontario are working to influence land use and transportation planning processes to help create healthy and sustainable communities. It is intended as a tool for professionals in the public health sector.

Mental Health and Physical Activity In Press, Corrected Proof
Our data suggests a weak relationship between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep. Additional research using a larger sample of pregnant women, as well as experimental studies, are needed to determine the extent to which physical activity may assist in improving sleeping-related parameters among pregnant women.

A number of pilot projects are taking place across Ontario aimed at increasing physical activity and sport participation for women 55-70+. These test sites are trying out new marketing ideas, adaptations and activities based on what the women told them they wanted to do. The link takes you to information on over 35 pilot projects, either recently completed or currently underway.

Preventive Medicine In Press, Uncorrected Proof
Sitting time and physical activity are independently associated with obesity. Leisure-time sitting may have a stronger association with obesity risk than occupational sitting.