February 24, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Centre would like to get a better idea of what type of practitioners access the Round-Up and how they use it (no personal information). Please complete 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.

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 229–239
In the present study, we examined the associations between social capital and different area characteristics: (1) neighborhood walkability, (2) date of community settlement, and (3) degree of urbanization….. Community social capital thus appears to be more consistently linked to the broader historical and geographic contexts of neighborhoods, rather than to the proximal built environment (as measured by walkability).

Preventive Medicine Available online 7 Feb 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
► We modeled associations of physical activity, TV viewing time with weight gain ► Baseline TV viewing time was positively associated with weight gain over 4years ► Habitual active transport moderated the TV time -weight gain association ► Active commuters were protected against weight gain associated with TV viewing.

There are considerable environmental and public health benefits if people choose to walk, bicycle, or ride transit, instead of drive. However, little work has been done on the effects of neighborhood crimes on mode choice. The report provides evidence that high crime neighborhoods encourage driving to transit stops and discourage walking or bicycling, lending support to the neighborhood exposure hypothesis.

For the past 7.5 years, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been trying to aggressively reduce pedestrian deaths by focusing extra resources on the States and cities with the highest numbers or rates of pedestrian fatalities.

This report tracks progress for each action strategy during the first year and a half of (the plans) implementation.

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 191–198
We found no difference in adolescent activity by neighborhood class. These results highlight the difficulty of disentangling the potential effects of the built environment on adolescent physical activity.

Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Includes comparison of body composition 1981 vs 2007-2009.

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 263–273
► We explored the area of children's activity spaces. ► We compared children's activity spaces to neighborhoods operationalised as network buffers. ► Factors influencing size of activity space were examined. ► A traditionally-defined neighborhood may not reflect children's movements. ► Independent mobility and traffic safety may contribute to larger activity spaces among children.

These information leaflets (from the UK) are designed for parents of children under the age of five. They provide information on how much physical activity young children need to do to benefit their health as well as practical physical activity ideas and how these can be incorporated into a daily routine.

Journal of Pediatric Nursing Available online 8 Feb 2012 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
This literature review summarizes clinical recommendations for adequate physical activity and reviews recently published studies that focus on identifying common factors associated with physical activity levels among preschoolers in the United States and Canada.

This study analyzes the effect of sports club participation, one of the most popular extra-curricular activities, on children’s skill development. Our results indicate positive effects: both cognitive skills, measured by school performance, and overall non-cognitive skills improve by 0.13 standard deviations. The results are robust when using alternative datasets as well as alternative estimation and identification strategies. The effects can be partially explained by increased physical activities replacing passive leisure activities.

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 163–171
► Poverty and the neighborhood on active transportation (AT) to school was examined. ► Parent-reported dangerousness and pedestrian–vehicle collision data were used. ► Children who use AT to school are likely to experience environmental injustice.

Report on Use of Evidence from Effectiveness Reviews and Cost-effectiveness Modeling.  Exercise is mentioned 31 times and physical activity 33 times in this 69 page report.

Bill Wells will officially become the CEO on March 1st, replacing Stephen Allan, who has been Acting CEO since ARPA's long-term CEO, Rick Curtis, retired after the ARPA Conference in late October this past year.

The EPSB approved recommendations from its school closure moratorium committee Jan. 31 that include promoting schools as community hubs, working with the City of Edmonton to promote “smart growth” and increase densification in established communities, advocating for family-friendly housing in mature neighbourhoods through new development or by providing housing for seniors so as to “free up” housing for families with children, and encouraging and supporting government incentives for retro-fitting older homes to make them more attractive to younger families.

The has just been released and among its recommendations are to create a template for an asset-based development plan for every mature neighbourhood; offer a diversity of housing and educate citizens about issues related to diversity and densification; and deliver life-long learning opportunities for all. 

This inventory provides an overview of Canadian health care research, focusing on three interests: health economics research and modeling, operations management, and health human resources

Celiac disease is a chronic health condition that impacts the digestive tract, causing diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, cramps and bloating.   While there is no cure for this condition, following a gluten-free diet can help to keep the painful symptoms of celiac disease at bay.

This on-line resource consists of 8 ready-to-use “lessons” designed for use by Registered Dietitians, Public Health Nurses, Health Promoters, Occupational Health Professionals, Community Food Advisors, Peer Nutrition Workers and others who are involved in delivering healthy eating education. 

Social Science & Medicine Available online 8 Feb 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
This article presents qualitative themes related to the role of the physical and social environments in influencing physical activity among older adults as identified through the photovoice method with sixty-six older adults in eight neighborhoods in metropolitan Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Greater Portland, Oregon, USA. The photovoice data generated seven themes: being safe and feeling secure, getting there, comfort in movement, diversity of destinations, community-based programs, peer support and intergenerational/volunteer activities.

Preventive Medicine Available online 22 February 2012
This study reveals lifetime LTPA variation and its potential consequences. The relationship found between reduced lifetime LTPA and the occurrence of DS suggest that promoting LTPA throughout one's lifetime would be beneficial in terms of DS and somatic diseases in older age.

Low-speed vehicles (in particular, neighborhood electric vehicles) and golf carts have become increasingly popular, especially among older adults, as motorized alternatives to passenger cars. Numerous states and communities are grappling with legislative proposals that aim to address the increasing use of such vehicles or everyday travel on local streets and paths. Safety considerations need to play a more central role in the design of the transportation networks that will accommodate these vehicles and in the regulation of their use.

Childhood Obesity. February 2012, 8(1)
This special issue of the journal is dedicated to the 2nd anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The issue is celebratory, reflecting on 2 years of dedication by one of the preeminent role models in our culture to the promotion of health among children and the elimination of obesity as the all-but omnipresent threat to that health it now is…. The rich and diverse content of this issue serves up one ostensible answer to a fundamental, if not essential, question: What, exactly, does “Let’s Move” mean? The contributions here suggest it means many things to many people….

Read about the Active Living for All framework which represents the strategic direction for increasing and improving opportunities for physical activity in WA over the next five years.

A new report from Statistics Canada.

Fitness of Canadian adults: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey.  Includes comparison of body composition 1981 vs 2007-2009.

This new website promotes reducing the time people spend sitting.

January 2012 - Volume 44 - Supplement 1 1S  pp: S1-S89
Objective Measurement of Physical Activity: Best Practices and Future Directions
Read the latest research on measurement of physical activity in this supplement.

A Framework has recently been released to provide a nationally consistent approach for Australia’s sport and recreation system.  The Framework has been designed to benefit both sport and active recreation, from grassroots through to the elite level. It will be a guide to assist in the development of policies, strategies and programs to deliver benefits to all Australians through sport and active recreation.

Social Science & Medicine Available online 22 February 2012
Findings highlight the importance of social participation and network social capital and the added value of network measures in the study of social capital and physical inactivity. Population-based programs targeting physical inactivity among adults might consider ecological-level interventions that leverage associational involvement and interpersonal relationships to improve population-level physical activity.

Experimental Gerontology Available online 22 February 2012
The main finding of this study was that long-term moderate level of leisure time physical activity was associated with longer mean LTL than both low and high levels of physical activity. After adjusting for age, BMI, cholesterol and smoking in 1974 the difference between mean LTL:s of the moderate and low activity groups was 172 base pairs corresponding to a difference of approximately four to six years in “biological age” assuming an annual mean LTL shortening of 30–40 base pairs

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 172–179
Built environment characteristics have been linked to health outcomes and health disparities. However, the effects of an environment on behavior may depend on human perception, interpretation, motivation, and other forms of human agency….. We draw on epidemiological and ethical concepts to articulate a critique of research on the built environment and physical activity.

In what may be the first of its kind in Alberta and perhaps Canada, 51 doctors working in the primary care network south of Edmonton have new prescription pads to officially prescribe running, swimming or weights, including a free one-month pass to the local recreation centre

Browse resources related to the Built Environment in this searchable database from the National Collaborating Centre for Environment and Health.

"Would you use a rototiller to get rid of weeds in a flowerbed? Of course not. You might solve your immediate goal of uprooting the weeds--but oh, my, the collateral damage that you would do. Yet when we try to eliminate congestion from our urban areas by using decades-old traffic engineering measures and models, we are essentially using a rototiller in a flowerbed. And it's time to acknowledge that the collateral damage has been too great."

February 17, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Centre would like to get a better idea of what type of practitioners access the Round-Up and how they use it (no personal information). Please complete this quick (1-2 minute) survey


February 8, 2012

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Centre would like to get a better idea of what type of practitioners access the Round-Up and how they use it (no personal information). Please complete this quick (1-2 minute) survey


February 3, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Centre would like to get a better idea of what type of practitioners access the Round-Up and how they use it (no personal information). Please complete 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.


An essential resource and tool for government officials, advocates, and those working to promote bicycling and walking. The Benchmarking Project is an on-going effort by the Alliance for Biking & Walking to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states and the 51 largest U.S. cities.

According to 'Economic and Health Benefits of Bicycling,' the spending of recreational cyclists generates $364.8 million in direct and indirect impacts to the State of Iowa. And that's just the economic aspect. When it comes to health, bicycling saves the state $73.9 million in healthcare costs for those who cycle recreationally, while bicycle commuters cash in on another $13.2 million in health care cost savings..."

Preventive Medicine Available online 16 December 2011 In Press, Corrected Proof
We argue that there are social, commercial and environmental drivers of cycling rates and agree that there is an urgent need to take action to promote both cycling and build environments to support cycling.

The purpose of this resource is to educate decision makers, planners, engineers, and citizens on signalized intersection enhancements that can improve pedestrian safety and convenience. This resource is intended to summarize a wide array of potential treatments for a variety of signalized intersections; not all of the treatments summarized in this   resource are appropriate for every signalized intersection. 

Recently, I won a fellowship and got to spend six months living life on two wheels in the world’s most bike-friendly cities. I brought home ten lessons, and thousands of photographs, for Cascadia [author's community].

A marketing piece designed by the Copenhagen Public Health Department.


From the Edmonton Sport Council.  A page with information and links relevant to fundamental movement skill development.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School will be coordinating the first-ever National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

This article discusses physical activity recommendations for preschoolers and also offers several ideas on how to support and encourage your preschooler to be active.


The ABCD project involves two quality improvement interventions…. and 2) Lifestyle behavioral support intervention called Healthy Eating and Active Living in Diabetes (HEALD-PCN).

CAPTURE is a freely accessible, web-based repository that Canadian public health practitioners and program managers can use to find and share practice-based evidence. Not just limited to published literature or best practices, CAPTURE provides a platform for collecting and disseminating the full breadth of activity across Canadian public health.


Creating new communities involves far more than building homes and roads.  It is the residents of a community that bring a place to life and help it to gain its own particular identity.  However, much more is known about the physical and environmental challenges involved in building new settlements, than about how to plan, design and develop services and supports that can help new residents come together, share common interests, agree on local priorities and work together to create a sense of community.


In the London Olympic Year of 2012 the Congress will be an event that will not only highlight the latest research evidence and best practice on physical activity and active ageing, but also highlight the needs of an often excluded but growing population group world-wide, the oldest old.

Vancouver, BC June 26 – 29th, 2012
Velo-city Global is the world’s premier international cycling planning conference. The four day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation. 


Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol 93, Iss 2, Feb 2012, Pgs 237–244
The authors conclude that Exercise is beneficial to increase gait speed, improve balance, and improve performance in ADLs in the frail older adults.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol 93, Iss 2, Febr 2012, Pgs 344–350
The authors conclude that Mobility-limited older adults can complete this customized ETT protocol, allowing for the identification of acute cardiac instability and the achievement of optimal exercise parameters.


According to Blair, the most important message to come from his research is that physical inactivity is the single largest health problem of our generation… "It's a bigger health problem than obesity," said Blair, who says that when it comes to improving health, exercising more trumps eating less. "Being fit eliminates the mortality risk of being obese."


A new research report by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy demonstrates that, AT is a part of life even far beyond urban centers…….  kids, seniors and working people walk and bicycle at rates that are not so different from what you find in metropolitan areas


This paper sets out how to plan, design and develop successful and socially sustainable new communities. The ideas and examples are drawn from a large scale review of evidence about what makes communities flourish, with practical examples and approaches from new settlements around the world.

How do we deal with the economic, social and environmental challenges of large areas that cannot be solved through local action? This guide outlines a new approach to large scale urban design and includes our step-by-step guide to a new workshop-based process.

Read the article about this new publication here.

We advocate a return to the historic understanding of the street network as a fundamental framework for safe, livable communities, where the human scale of the individual and the act of walking represent the basic unit of design.