Friday

March 30, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
Calgary's busy construction sites are notorious for clogging city sidewalks, forcing pedestrians like cattle through solid but rickety-looking scaffold-covered walkways. Even worse, some major developments block sidewalks completely for months on end….. Now, thanks to Lubarski's spin on shipping containers as pedestrian thoroughfare, it's business as usual outside the massive Keynote building under construction at 11th Avenue and 1st Street S.E.

According to the author, as an emerging generation of designers and engineers rise to challenge the traditional rubric and protocol of traffic engineering, the first highly visible struggle will be that of the cycle track!  Why? This article dissects the issue exploring three themes: the tension between rural and urban transportation policy; the question of dedicating versus sharing road space; and the interpretation and limitations of conventional design standards and criteria.

Transportation Volume 39, Number 2, 409-432,
DOI: 10.1007/s11116-011-9355-8
Our analysis also revealed that cities with safer cycling, lower auto ownership, more students, less sprawl, and higher gasoline prices had more cycling to work. By comparison, annual precipitation, the number of cold and hot days, and public transport supply were not statistically significant predictors of bike commuting in large cities.

…..groundbreaking legislation that would require the owners of commercial buildings to either provide secure bicycle parking in their buildings or to allow the tenants to bring their bicycles into the building.

This study shows that people living in low-income communities are less likely to encounter sidewalks, street/sidewalk lighting, marked crosswalks and traffic calming measures such as pedestrian-friendly medians, traffic islands, curb extensions and traffic circles

 “(Cyclists) tend to shop closer to home and shop more often,” said April Economides, a consultant who helped the city of Long Beach, California build bicycle-friendly business districts. Rather than jumping in the minivan and heading to the suburbs to go to the big shopping malls, cyclists patronize the businesses in our neighborhoods.

… surveys have found that 88 percent (of 20 – 30 year olds) want to live in an urban environment. When they're forced to settle down in a suburb, they prefer communities like Bethesda, Maryland, or Arlington, Virginia, which feature plenty of walking distance restaurants, retail, and public transportation to nearby Washington, DC. 

CHILDREN
An initiative of ChildObesity180, an organization at Tufts University committed to facilitating cross-sector collaboration in order to reverse the trend of childhood obesity within one generation’s time. ASAP seeks to increase quality physical activity in schools as a means to promote healthy, active living and to evoke the beneficial behavioral and academic outcomes that follow. 

The first-ever "evidence-based" guidelines in Canada for children this young.





Health Canada announces support for a project to prevent injuries among young Canadians taking part in after-school sports and recreational activities. 

COMMUNITY
Am J Prev Med. 2012 Mar;42(3):242-9
The CPAT provides a reliable and user-friendly means of auditing parks for their potential to promote physical activity. Future use of the CPAT can facilitate greater engagement of diverse groups in evaluating and advocating for improved parks and overall healthy community design.

OLDER ADULTS
This is the official website of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence. Our mission is to identify best practices in fall prevention and to help communities offer fall prevention programs to older people who are at risk of falling.

The Falling Monologues are a series of stories reflecting the thoughts, emotions, and lessons learned by some older adults after they’ve fallen, developed as a creative approach to spark interest and start discussion about fall prevention.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Am J Prev Med. 2012 Mar;42(3):e3-28
Results point to the high specificity of various sedentary behaviors (e.g., TV viewing vs sitting and socializing), suggesting that the research domain is complex and cannot be considered the simple absence of MVPA. Several sociodemographic and health factors appear reliably linked to sedentary behavior, yet there is an obvious absence of research focused on cognitive, social, and environmental factors that could be of use in anti-sedentary behavior interventions.

American Journal of Public Health Volume 102, Issue 4 (April 2012)
The authors Conclude: It is important to consider both intensity and type of physical activity when examining associations with mortality.

In this article the author argues that as an increasing number of people want to be outdoors for leisure time activities, physical activities and sports in Europe, the borders between training routines for sport and for everyday physical activities in the urban environment are blurring.

This brief focuses on land use and differences between communities and possible links between community policies and income level.

URBAN DESIGN
A trial in which Hopscotch patterns are painted on the streets of the Woudenberg municipality has resulted in a speed reduction of 3 km/hour. According to the researchers who did the trial, this is proof that one can influence behavior through the subliminal effects of images.

A core finding from our fieldwork and analysis of existing datasets was that inner city residents were more likely to walk and less likely to drive for any trip purpose than residents living elsewhere in Auckland/Wellington cities and metropolitan areas…..In line with the literature review findings, there was no notable difference in the amount of walking and cycling for recreation, sport, exercise or leisure between inner city Auckland/Wellington residents and other areas in our sample population.

Am J Prev Med. 2009 April; 36(4 Suppl): S99–123.e12.
This review provides a critical assessment of three types of built-environment measures relevant to the study of physical activity.

Signature parks help to define their cities and generate substantial civic, economic, and fiscal value.  City Parks Alliance and HR&A Advisors conducted a survey of the country’s most prominent signature park stewards to demonstrate how they contribute to the betterment of American cities and identify opportunities for improvement.

In practical terms, Urban Design provides a set of descriptive and analytical tools for working with the tangibles of landscape, built form, land use, and hard infrastructure. Its concepts and methods also enable us to examine and make sense of how people use space.

March 23, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
In 2008 VicHealth made a three-year investment in the Streets Ahead program. Targeting children aged four to 12, Streets Ahead aimed to create environments that increased children’s active travel and independent mobility in all aspects of their local community life, with a focus on travelling to and from school.

This document contains a review of the literature in the field of transport and physical activity. The purpose of the project which led to this review was to bring together experts from the fields of transport and physical activity, and complementary fields, to share knowledge and exchange ideas through a series of workshops, to examine the evidence of the role of transport in influencing levels of physical activity and hence its possible contribution to the solution of the health problems caused by the decline in physical activity.

I checked and they list the Cdn Provinces on the registration page.
Join the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals for a free webinar on programs and approaches that engage, empower, and encourage women to bicycle more on a regular basis. Scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, at 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

CHILDREN
re:activity is a multi-media memo to parents from Saskatchewan in motion regarding physical activity. And the message? Your kids aren't as active as you think they are. But the good news is that it doesn't take a super hero to make physical activity the easy choice.

Despite clear evidence of the fundamental health benefits to children who undertake regular physical activity, research has found a dramatic decline in children walking to school on their own. In examining the results of three literature reviews and two independent surveys, this report provides evidence of Victorian community attitudes to active travel for children and raises a number of areas for consideration to increase children’s active transport.

DISABILITY/ACCESSIBILITY
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly Volume 29, Issue 2, April
The aim of the present paper is to describe five fun­damental beliefs of adapted physical activity practices that should be considered in an 8-step research model to create evidence-based research in adapted physical activity.

HEALTH GENERAL
In this issue we look at the many barriers to investing in public health and examine what needs to be done to overcome these barriers. The articles cast light on a number of different facets of the interaction between health promotion and prevention concepts, our practice, and the decision-making processes in our society.

HEALTHY EATING
Foodborne disease outbreaks caused by imported food appeared to rise in 2009 and 2010, and nearly half of the outbreaks implicated foods imported from areas which previously had not been associated with outbreaks, according to research from the CDC….

OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY
Diabetes Care February 28, 2012
Interrupting sitting time with short bouts of light- or moderate-intensity walking lowers postprandial glucose and insulin levels in overweight/obese adults. This may improve glucose metabolism and potentially be an important public health and clinical intervention strategy for reducing cardiovascular risk. 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Am J Clin Nutr February 2012 vol. 95 no. 2 437-445
Time spent in sedentary behaviors was positively associated with mortality, and participation in high levels of MVPA did not fully mitigate health risks associated with prolonged time watching television.

Volume 9, Issue 2, February
The latest issue of the journal dedicated to physical activity and health is now available.

Check out this thematic series of papers developed from a satellite meeting of the 9th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA).

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:155
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-155
Facilitators of project sustainability included an organizational leader supporting the project, availability of funding or external support, and ready-for-use materials with ample room for adaptation. Barriers included insufficient synchronization between regional and community policy levels and preference for other PA projects.

RESEARCH STUFF
From the CDC online newsroom. The Kenya Ministry of Health, along with researchers in Kenya for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that smart phone use was cheaper than traditional paper survey methods to gather disease information, after the initial set–up cost….

URBAN DESIGN
Despite the increase in transportation costs from 2000 to 2009, the Index shows that people living in location efficient neighborhoods—characterized by access to transit, jobs, and amenities—experienced a smaller increase than those living in car-dependent places.

WORKPLACE
As you make the transition to a new workplace and new tasks, don’t forget to take care of your health! This article offers numerous tips and insights to help you eat well, be active and feel positive as you move forward with your new job.

March 16, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
A 2 page pamphlet from the Physical Activity Coalition of Manitoba

Seniors are vulnerable in traffic. Therefore the Fietsersbond (Cyclists’ Union), aided by a senior test panel, researched possibilities for safer and more comfortable cycling.

Preventing Chronic Disease 2012; 9: 110114
Our results suggest that the most frequent users of a rail trail for PA are those who use the trail alone and travel to the trail by bicycle or on foot. Trails are an aspect of the built environment that supports active lifestyles, and future studies should evaluate different types of trails among more diverse populations and locations.

The purpose of this (Walk 21) breakout session is to stimulate thought and discussion about how and why children and families fit into pedestrian planning.

Both the telephone and online survey results are available for download. HarGroup Management Consultants conducted a telephone and online survey in September 2010 asking Calgarians about barriers to cycling and possible measures to encourage people to cycle more often.

This study examines the relationship between pedestrian perceptions of their right of way in marked versus unmarked crosswalks and the level of caution they exercise when crossing…. These findings suggest that marked crosswalks do not give pedestrians a false sense of security or correlate with reckless behavior.

Recommendations to the Manitoba government for Manitoba’s Active Transportation Advisory Network. (June 2011)

The purpose of the project which led to this review was to bring together experts from the fields of transport and physical activity, and complementary fields, to share knowledge and exchange ideas through a series of workshops, to examine the evidence of the role of transport in influencing levels of physical activity and hence its possible contribution to the solution of the health problems caused by the decline in physical activity.

Volume 2264 / 2011
17 articles on pedestrian technical issues.

Originally titled “Research of Management Plans for Sidewalk Snow Removal,” the title of this report was changed to Winter Maintenance of Pedestrian Facilities in Delaware: A Guide for Local Governments to reflect more comprehensive research endeavors on “best practices” for winter maintenance–management plans––particularly those that address pedestrian facilities, local government sidewalk snow-removal regulations, and innovations in snow removal.

CHILDREN
Journal of Adolescent Health Available online 5 March 2012
doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.12.021
Encouraging participation in organized sports teams/class/lessons in middle school girls may promote greater MVPA and vigorous physical activity than other activities and may help to better sustain PA levels over time.

Mental Health and Physical Activity Available online 13 March 2012
doi.org/10.1016/j.mhpa.2012.02.004
The purpose of this study was to compare the mental toughness of adolescents and young adults with self-reported exercise, physical activity and recommended levels of physical activity.

Preventing Chronic Disease 2012; 9: 110220
In this article, we describe the shift in intervention strategies that occurred among Steps communities, the model that was developed as Steps evolved, common interventions implemented before and after the shift in approach, challenges experienced by Steps communities, and CDC programs that were modeled after Steps.

Cardel Place, together with our community, Mount Royal University, and with support from the Flames Foundation for Life, has officially launched a groundbreaking new initiative. Raise the Bar is a generational campaign designed to increase physical activity among children, youth and families in north-central Calgary.

CONFERENCES
140th Annual Meeting October 27- 31st San Francisco, CA

September 10-13th Long Beach California

The wheels will be turning June 26-29, 2012 in Vancouver when the most complete global conference on cycling planning and infrastructure development rolls into town--and even though June is 'Bike Month,' bicycle wheels won't be the only things turning.

Step into the future! Come and share the experience Sep 30 - Oct 4 2012

MENTAL HEALTH
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 42, Iss 4, April 2012, Pp 355–362
doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2011.11.010
Physical activity engagement in later life is associated with a lower risk of subsequent depressive symptoms, but the reverse association is not supported. The finding has underlying implications for future physical activity and mental health promotion in aged populations.

OLDER ADULTS
To learn more about the Age-Friendly Initiative, click on the report to learn how the Age-Friendly Initiative has been implemented locally, nationally, and internationally.

Silver Times *New website *
Silver Times is the official publication of ALCOA and is designed to offer solutions and inspiration for optimal aging for older adults.

OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY
Ageing Research Reviews Available online 14 March 2012
doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2012.03.002
► Aging and obesity contribute to musculoskeletal diseases and sarcopenia. ► We reviewed randomized controlled trials for effect on functional performance. ► Multimodal exercise and diet improve mobility and function in the aging obese adult. ► Strengthening exercise attenuates muscle loss with interventions.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Psychology of Sport and Exercise Available online 7 March 2012
doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.02.005
The primary objective was to examine the Theory of Planned Behaviour's (TPB) ability to explain PA behaviour in a randomly selected national sample of Canadian adults over a 15-year period. A secondary objective was to test the moderating effects of gender on TPB.

Physical activity levels among Canadian adults have been declining over the last decade. This article discusses: three main reasons or barriers that may contribute to this decline; and some of the enablers or ways to boost physical activity levels of adults, helping them to get past the barriers.

At the core of the text is a review of our current understanding of how physical activity affects health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity as well as aging and mental health.

Journal of Economic Psychology Available online 7 March 2012
doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2012.02.007
We investigate the relationship between participation in physical activity and self reported happiness in the United States…..

RESEARCH STUFF
CAPTURE is not limited to previously published literature or best practices. Instead, it seeks to harness the full breadth of knowledge that resides in our programs and communities, including tacit knowledge that isn’t documented anywhere else. Diane Finegood is the Executive Director.

The DataBank is intended to help the fields of Recreation/Sport/fitness/Active Living, Arts, Culture/Heritage, Parks/Greenspace focus on outcomes that matter to their work. It takes the best research available and then shows what our work can do for individuals, ‘families’, communities, economies, and the environment. Many of you may remember it in its earlier version “The Benefits Catalogue”.

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.

RURAL
A set of principles and practices to support safer and more livable rural transport planning. Cows are apparently an excellent traffic calming and speed control device.

Portage La Prairie to host provincial conference on active transportation.

URBAN DESIGN
Applying research evidence to land development decisions to increase the health promoting ability of built environments.

Preventing Chronic Disease 2012; 9: 110165
Methods: We built a 6-block walking path and installed a school playground in an intervention neighborhood. Conclusion: Changes to the built environment may increase neighborhood physical activity in low-income, African American neighborhoods.

The Peel Region developed a framework for integrating health considerations into the land development processes—both at the development application stage as well as at prior policy stages.

Communities around the United States are addressing the problem of speed on their streets in a variety of ways. Every community’s problems and solutions are different, but there are some general approaches that resonate across the country.

The first Canadian study of its kind, this ICES Atlas examines the role neighbourhoods play in the diabetes epidemic. This study shows that low-density suburbs have low walkability and a higher prevalence of diabetes.

This report examines how traffic calming affects the number and severity of road collisions, air quality, environmental noise, and physical activity associated with active transportation.

Many people are concerned about the speed of automobiles in their community. Higher speeds create both a traffic safety hazard, and an environment in which people are uncomfortable walking. Defines operating speed, design speed and posted speed.

WOMEN
Fertility and Sterility Available online 15 March 2012
doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.02.025
These findings indicate that PA of any type might improve fertility among overweight and obese women, a subgroup at higher risk of infertility. Lean women who substitute vigorous PA with moderate PA may also improve their fertility.

Provides renewed direction for the leadership and programs of Canadian Heritage in promoting and developing a strengthened sport system where women and girls are full, active and valued participants and leaders, experiencing quality sport and equitable support.

A new CAAWS resource designed to increase opportunities for women and girls as both participants and leaders in the Canadian sport and physical activity system. A valuable resource for everyone involved in sport and physical activity, it will support and guide those working with women and girls so they engage in, and maintain, healthy and active lifestyles.

March 9, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights. 

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
Volume 53, Issue 3, 1 September 2011, Pages 178–181
Laboratory studies of adult walking behavior have consistently found that a cadence of 100 steps/min is a reasonable threshold for moderate intensity. The purpose of this study was to determine cadence patterns in free-living adults, and in particular, time spent at increasing cadence increments including 100 steps/min and beyond.

This PAG Unit outlines a simple method for assessing the benefits of proposals to improve facilities for cycling and/or walking. It can be used for the appraisal of both standalone schemes and road schemes which incorporate cycling and walking facilities

CHILDREN
Health Evidence assigned this a Review Quality Rating of 6 (moderate)

Urban Forestry & Urban Greening Available online 28 February 2012
This study examines the physical qualities of a garden environment and the behavior they bring out in 7- to 12-year-olds suburban children…. The garden fostered social interactions by offering plentiful materials in a varied space. The multiple affordances for a variety of actions in a garden made it basically a child-friendly environment. Consequently, activities in a garden environment appeared to promote the children's Zone of proximal development (ZPD).

Health Evidence assigned this a Review Quality Rating of 7 (moderate)

In this article researchers acknowledge a need for a unified global approach to physical activity guidelines for children 0-5 years. This is currently unavailable, and there are notable inconsistencies in recommendations across the globe.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
The purpose of the project which led to this review was to bring together experts from the fields of transport and physical activity, and complementary fields, to share knowledge and exchange ideas through a series of workshops, to examine the evidence of the role of transport in influencing levels of physical activity and hence its possible contribution to the solution of the health problems caused by the decline in physical activity.

The NCD Alliance is advocating for a global physical activity target.

March 2, 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: http://dx.doi.org/ Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
Gil PeƱalosa. A man capable of inspiring just about anybody, be they a transport planner or an everyday commuter, talks to ECF about Transport Policy, Velo-city Global going to Vancouver and what we should be doing if we want more people cycling…

A basic premise in this report is that cycling should be encouraged because as the number of cyclists increases, the attention of motorists and safety improves; however, an important caveat is that the number of cyclists has to be commensurate with the infrastructure built for cycling to enhance their safety.

CHILDREN
This brief summarizes the growing body of research examining recess, which shows that providing recess during the school day is an effective and efficient way to increase physical activity and improve academic performance among children

OLDER ADULTS
Physicians may recommend that their patients exercise, but in the US, only about 24% of adults 55 years and older reported engaging in “regular” leisure-time physical activity, according to a National Health Statistics Report. What activities will attract more people?

Hearing loss has been linked with a variety of medical, social and cognitive ills, including dementia. However, a new study led by a Johns Hopkins researcher suggests that hearing loss may also be a risk factor for another huge public health problem: falls. 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
This report examines trends in the prevalence of U.S. adults receiving a physician’s or other health professionals advice to exercise or perform other physical activity among adults who had seen a health professional in the past 12 months.

URBAN DESIGN
Program Open Space creates state and local parks, preserves agricultural lands, and provides playgrounds, ball fields, and other recreational opportunities for Marylanders.

Pedestrian Countdown at traffic signals tells you how long you have to cross the road after the green man light has gone out.  Research on how the technology affects behavior and public perception suggests it will help all users.

The objective of the present study was to help planning and transportation organizations across New York State identify the most appropriate methods that can evaluate the likely impacts of smart growth strategies. Findings support the claims that compact, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly and transit-friendly designs can reduce vehicle trips, encourage non-motorized modes, decrease average trip length, and reduce daily VMT. Moreover, the study has developed two useful methodologies which can be applied to increase the sensitivity of current modeling tools toward assessing the likely impacts of proposed smart growth strategies.