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."

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