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.

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