June 22, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

The Information Round-Up will return July 12th.

Note: where possible, we provide the DOI 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.

Best Start Resource Centre Launches Aboriginal Sharing Circle Virtual Network
This online network will help support program staff, community workers, policy developers and others working with Aboriginal Peoples in the areas of preconception to early childhood, which includes the health of those planning a pregnancy, pregnant women, parents, babies and children.

Heart Foundation Walking Report 2011
The program is operational in all Australian States and Territories and continues to experience exceptional growth, with 18,161 participants and 1,176 walking groups currently active at the end of 2011. … The retention rate for participants continues to be exceptional, with over 93% after 3 months and over 61% after 3 years participation. The HFW program consistently demonstrates retention rates well above typical community based physical activity programs which have a 6 month retention rate of 50%.

This new report is aimed at community leaders and transportation professionals who are looking to make informed decisions about walking and bicycling facilities and monitoring the results of their decisions. It captures best practices in measurements and provides sample surveys and links to national datasets (.pdf).

A fun and cool bicycling app that maps your route and provides you real-time data...The free app is called MapMyRIDE+ and is one of a several similar programs created by MapMyFITNESS, Inc.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 42, Iss 6, June 2012, Pgs 610–615

This study seeks to identify factors that influence the uptake of cycling after residential relocation. Data from the RESIDential Environment Project (RESIDE), a longitudinal study of people moving into new Perth, Western Australian housing developments, was analyzed…After the residential relocation cycling behaviors significantly improved with 5% of non cyclists taking up cycling for transport and 7% taking up cycling for recreation.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 1, July 2012, Pgs 11–19
This study examines the prevalence of walking and distances and durations of walking trips for different purposes among U.S. residents…. Only a small fraction of respondents walk, but trips longer than 0.25 miles are common. There is substantial variability in the distance and duration of walking trips by purpose and population subgroups. These differences have implications for developing strategies to increase physical activity through walking.

Action Through Collaboration: Strategic Action Plan To Improve the Wellbeing of Canadian Children and Youth
The Sandbox Project’s first white paper. Named for the Sandbox Project’s inaugural 2011 conference where more than 300 concerned stakeholders met to exchange ideas and best practices for achieving immediate and sustainable improvement in the health of Canada’s children and youth, the white paper outlines the scope of the organization and directs stakeholder efforts in its first year of operation.

Scand J Public Health May 2012 vol. 40 no. 3 245-252
doi: 10.1177/1403494812443606
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of a 12-week randomized controlled cycling-to-school trial on cardio respiratory fitness…. This study indicates that cycling to school improves cardio respiratory fitness.

Journal of Transport Geography Vol 20, Iss 1, Jan 2012, Pgs 71–79
Note: this article is from a Special Section on Child & Youth Mobility.  
Female students and students with cars are much less likely to bicycle to high school. ► A student’s comfort with and preference for bicycling are important influences. ► Parents influence bicycling through encouragement, providing rides, and providing cars. ► Perceived distance is more of a barrier to bicycling than actual distance.

An all volunteer non-profit organization who believes every child has the right to play. The organization acts as a catalyst to help build community spaces for children while acting as a catalyst to help build community capacity. Grants are available for communities. This is a great fit for communities who are working towards healthier and livable public spaces.

The Sandbox Project exists to act as a catalyst for positive change in the health and wellbeing of Canada’s children and youth. Working with parents, business leaders, health industry leaders, governments and non-governmental organizations, The Sandbox Project raises awareness, pursues and advocates for effective research and knowledge transfer, encourages collaboration among child and youth health stakeholders and informs the development of public policy to facilitate improvements in the health and wellbeing of Canada’s young people.

Association of Sitting Time and Physical Activity With CKD: A Cross-sectional Study in Family Practices
American Journal of Kidney Disease Available online 19 June 2012
This study suggests that higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sitting time are associated with a lower prevalence of CKD independently of each other and other risk factors. However, results may vary by sex, with sitting time being the more important factor in women and physical activity the more important factor in men. These results have important implications for future research.

Diabetes & Metabolism Available online 19 June 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
This study demonstrated a dose–response association between sitting time, an energy-dense dietary pattern and the MetS, together with a graded inverse association between leisure-time PA and the MetS. In addition to the usual advice for PA and healthy eating, limiting the amount of time spent sitting should also be promoted through public-health initiatives.

The Power to Move Kids
Toronto May 19 – 22, 2014. Global summit on the physical activity of children. Bringing together leading researchers and practitioners to address the growing the childhood physical inactivity crisis

New Website--Health Equity Clicks: Community, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health
You’ve been asking the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health to help public health practitioners, researchers, and decision makers share what works to advance health equity. You will be asked to create an account. As soon as you join, you can start a conversation, a question, share a resource, and more. Should you have questions, please contact Pemma Muzumdar at

Health Information by gender and age range
A great online resource that covers men and women (teens, 18-39, 40 – 60 and 60 plus).  Look in the left hand column for all of the different sections – scroll down a bit.

Walking for depression or depressive symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Mental Health and Physical Activity Vol 5, Iss 1, June 2012, Pgs 66–75
Walking has a statistically significant, large effect on the symptoms of depression in some populations, but the current evidence base from randomised, controlled trials is limited. Thus, while walking is a promising treatment for depression or depressive symptoms with few, if any, contraindications, further investigations to establish the frequency, intensity, duration and type(s) of effective walking interventions particularly in primary care populations would be beneficial for providing further recommendations to clinical practitioners.

Balance confidence was associated with mobility and balance performance in older people with fall-related hip fracture: a cross-sectional study
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Available online 11 June 2012
In people who have had a fall-related hip fracture, an independent relationship exists between balance confidence and mobility and balance performance as well as perceived mobility function. Since lack of balance confidence may compromise rehabilitation and recovery, the ABC scale may help to identify older hip fracture patients with mobility and balance limitation.

This briefing, which focuses on prevention and early intervention, is intended to help the NHS (UK) and local government in the commissioning and provision of comprehensive integrated falls prevention services.

Evidence Update On Obesity Prevention Across the life-course
This Evidence Update, prepared by PANORG at the University of Sydney for NSW Ministry of Health, provides a summary of evidence on the prevention of overweight and obesity.

New stats from the Canadian Community Health Survey. In 2011, 18.3% of Canadians aged 18 and older, roughly 4.6 million adults, reported height and weight that classified them as obese, virtually unchanged from 2009. However, from 2003 to 2011, obesity among men rose from 16.0% to 19.8%, and among women, from 14.5% to 16.8% .

Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults With Arthritis
Physical activity is an important but underused intervention for adults with arthritis. Studies have shown that physical activity has many benefits: decreased pain, improved quality of life, independence and physical functioning (aerobic capacity and muscle strength), and mood.

From the Team that brought you AusPAnet comes the Global Physical Activity Network (GlobalPANet) a world-first dedicated global physical activity communication network. Sign up for FREE today!

New stats from the Canadian Community Health Survey. In 2011, 53.8% of Canadians were at least ‘moderately active’ during their leisure time - energy expended at work, in transportation or doing housework is excluded.

This new BHFNC evidence briefing provides an overview of the evidence relating to sedentary behavior and public health. It defines sedentary behavior and summarizes the risks and current levels as well as the implications for policy and practice. It also reviews the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to reduce sedentary behavior.

A Guide to Evaluation in Health Research
Developed for researchers and reviewers who want to build their knowledge and skill in the area of evaluation of health and health research initiatives. The specific objectives of this CIHR online learning module are to: demonstrate the potential for evaluation to support evidence-informed action; support development of appropriate evaluation plans for research funding proposals, and; facilitate assessment of evaluation plans by peer and merit reviewers. View the complete Guide, which includes an evaluation checklist and other evaluation resources, on the CIHR website.

Built Environment and Health
A database on the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH) website—bringing together practitioners, policy-makers, and researchers for evidence-based practice and policy….

A 15-minute video from Olmsted Public Health and the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department discusses the concept of Complete Streets, why such an approach is needed, and the benefits of implementing it.

A new Brookings Institution study quantifies the value that walkability adds to commercial and residential real estate in a sample of Washington, D.C. region neighborhoods.

Physical activity and breast cancer risk
Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness Available online 5 June 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
To achieve the greatest reduction in risk of breast cancer, regular participation in physical activity should begin in childhood and persist throughout the lifespan.

Midwifery Available online 21 June 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
The association between physical activity and postpartum depressive symptoms may differ with the timing of assessment. Additional studies (i.e. with a larger sample of women or a sample of at-risk women) following women throughout pregnancy and postpartum are needed to explore differences in the influence of physical activity on depressive symptoms.

Headache prevalence and long working hours: The role of physical inactivity
Public Health Available online 20 June 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
Among workers in the general population, long working hours were associated with the prevalence of headaches, and the association may depend on a lack of physical activity.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 1, July 2012, Pgs 27–33
An intensive 10-week team-based worksite exercise and nutrition program resulted in moderate weight loss and improvements in diet and exercise behaviors at 1 year, but an Internet-based maintenance program immediately following the 10-week program did not improve these outcomes.

June 8, 2012

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible, we provide the DOI 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.

Vancouver could become North America’s cycling capital, reveals the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF).

This report describes methods for evaluating non-motorized transport (walking, cycling, and their variants) benefits and costs, including direct benefits to users from improved walking and cycling conditions, and various benefits to society from increased non-motorized travel activity, reduced automobile travel, and support for more compact land use development. It identifies various types of benefits and costs, and describes methods for measuring them.

The German Institute of Urban Affairs has developed one of Europe’s largest databases on cycling literature. As of May 2012, the database contains over 2100 literature sources, of which 1.100 can be downloaded. Most literature is in German with 20% in English and French or at the very least with an English summary.

This report, published by the (UK) Department for Transport, presents an evaluation of the Cycling City and Towns (CCT) program. It investigates the potential for delivering public health benefits through increasing cycling among different population groups….. If all of these individuals moved one category up the physical activity index through cycling, there would be an estimated 300 fewer deaths per year across the CCTs.

At military installations, suburban-style sprawl is out and walkable communities are in, under new Defense Department planning guidelines released Thursday. The guidelines call for 'compact development' that incorporates mass transit and a mix of residential housing close to shops and other businesses…..

This describes the impacts of the Neighborhood Smart Trips program on travel behavior based on comprehensive travel surveys. The results indicate that the program resulted in significant shifts from driving to walking, cycling and public transit travel, resulting in a 15% reduction in per capita vehicle travel (from 11.4 to 9.7 average daily miles) by program participants.

Many people believe that non-motorized modes (walking, cycling, and their variants) have less right to use public roads than motorists, based on assumptions that motor vehicle travel is more important than non-motorized travel and motor vehicle user fees finance roads. This report investigates these assumptions. It finds that non-motorized modes have clear legal rights to use public roads……..

In Japan, they call it shinrin-yoku – literally, “forest bathing.” Here, we might just call it a walk in the park. Either way, people around the world have an intuitive sense of the restorative power of natural environments. The question is: Why? (see Mental Health below for link to journal article).
The 2012 AHKC Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth reports that Canadian children and youth are not playing enough; assigning an “F” grade for Active Play and Leisure.

Obesity Reviews.(2011) 3, 205-216
Health Evidence Review Rating of 9 or strong

Journal of Affective Disorders Available online 30 March 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
This study aimed to explore whether walking in nature may be beneficial for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD)… These findings extend earlier work demonstrating the cognitive and affective benefits of interacting with nature to individuals with MDD.

BioMed Central Geriatrics 2012, 12:20
Recognizing that depression among older adults is a public health problem, and that social interaction has the potential to help alleviate depression, a research team looked to seniors centers as places that could promote social support…. Acknowledging that the intervention “failed to meet optimistic targets, but possibly met quite modest ones,” the authors wrote that “for the depressed, more specialized programs to cope with depression may be a more appropriate intervention.”

Contemporary community design practice has focused on strategies intended to make communities safe for families with children. Comparatively little attention has been given to its effects on older adults….. Intersections, strip commercial uses, big-box stores, and arterial thoroughfares pose crash hazards for older motorists, while big-box stores and arterials are problematic for older pedestrians.

Health & Place Volume 18, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 869–876
We examined the relationships between perceptions of neighbourhood characteristics and satisfaction with participation in everyday activities among 248 older adults with chronic health conditions in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

This special collection summary brings together a selection of Cochrane Reviews assessing the benefits of physical activity and exercise on the health and well-being of older people, such as impacts on physical function, muscle strength, balance and bone health, and cognitive function and sleep. The physical activity and exercise programs included in these reviews range from leisure activities and simple home exercise programs to intensive and supervised clinically based programs.

The report describes the influences of parental, family and neighbourhood factors on children's overweight/obesity and levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior. It found that:
·         22% of children at age six were classified as overweight or obese, and 9% were obese.
·         15% of children exercised for less than the recommended one hour per day, while a third had three or more hours of screen time on a typical weekday.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 42, Issue 6, June 2012, Pages 571–578
Results: Commuting distance was negatively associated with physical activity and CRF and positively associated with BMI, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and continuous metabolic score in fully adjusted linear regression models

Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism (2012)
doi: 10.1139/h2012-061
The purpose of this study was to provide a contemporary estimate of the health care cost of physical inactivity in Canadian adults. The health care cost was estimated using a prevalence-based approach. The estimated direct, indirect, and total health care costs of physical inactivity in Canada in 2009 were $2.4 billion, $4.3 billion, and $6.8 billion, respectively. These values represented 3.8%, 3.6%, and 3.7% of the overall health care costs.

J Natl Cancer Inst (2012)
doi: 10.1093/jnci/djs207
A review of 45 observational studies and randomized controlled trials conducted among cancer survivors was followed by an analysis of the relationship between physical activity and mortality and/or cancer biomarkers.…. In 27 observational studies, physical activity was associated in reduced risk for death for survivors of breast cancer and colon cancer.

The PAL is staffed by national, CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists®, who have undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in exercise science and advanced training in clinical exercise prescription.  We look forward to working hard to assist you in increasing your (or your clients) health through physical activity education, prescription, motivation, and continuous positivity.

A research unit based out of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

PHEnex publishes empirical, theoretical, and methodological research, and position papers, as well as reviews and critical essays by Canadian and International authors. Research methodologies may be quantitative, qualitative or mixed method and may use data gathered through historical analysis, surveys, fieldwork, action research, participant observation, content analysis, simulations or experience. Articles most appropriate for PHEnex focus on pedagogical, social, cultural, philosophical, psychological, historical, sociological or management issues in physical education, health, dance, recreation, or leisure studies.

Psychological Science April 30, 2012
doi: 10.1177/0956797611436349
Marketers, take note. An appeal to personality is likely to be more successful than an appeal to a demographic group (age alone, for example)…… A group of 324 people looked at five different versions of an advertisement for a cell phone. The message on each ad was written to appeal to one of the “Big Five” personality traits.  For example, the advertisement tailored to extraverts included the line “With XPhone, you’ll always be where the excitement is.” For neurotics, the same line read, “Stay safe and secure with the XPhone.”

This issue focuses on use of geographic information systems to quantify the relationships between community design and physical activity.

This study found that roads in more compact urban neighborhoods had considerably less traffic congestion despite many times higher densities, than in suburban neighborhoods. This appears to result from more mixed land use which reduces travel distances, more transit and nonmotorized travel, fewer vehicle miles of travel (VMT), and more connected streets which allows for better channeling of traffic and enables walking.

This entertaining animated (16 minute) video explains how past transport and land use policies contribute to sprawl and automobile dependency, the problems that result, and how smart growth policy reforms can create better communities. It is a good introduction to urban planning issues for a general audience.

Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation recently released their Welcome women Welcome change report which highlights the potential for sports clubs to engage the female market. It describes how women currently view sports clubs and outlines the key features social and recreational participants want out of a club. The report also gives recommendations how best to attract and engage female members.

Is your business active, dynamic and fun? Do your employees value transportation options and living an active lifestyle? If so, the Bicycle Friendly Business program wants to recognize you! Businesses use this program for recognition, guidance and benchmarking…..

June 1, 2012

Note: where possible, we provide the DOI 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.

Established in 2006, the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health in Prince George, B.C., is working to establish achievable, Aboriginal-specific health promotion goals in British Columbia as part of its national mandate. 

This CFLRI Research File article examines cycling trends in North America, detailing cycling rates, funding and safety over the last two decades.

This 164 page document is not intended to be a summary of Danish road standards, but to provide inspiration and motivation for creating more and safer bicycle traffic – in Denmark as well as the rest of the world.

Greeting fellow cyclists in Europe and abroad. With Velo-city Global fast approaching, we had a chat to our members in Quebec about the cycling situation in Canada…….

New data released by the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club, and National Council of La Raza (NCLR) highlights the tremendous economic benefits of bicycling and its importance as a safe transportation choice that should be available to every U.S. resident.

To promote safety during National Bike Month, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) reminds drivers to stay alert, share the road safely, and be aware of all roadway users, including bicyclists.

Whether you’re going to work, school or the corner store, active transportation is one of the easiest ways to get more activity into your life. This CFLRI Lifestyle Tip article provides you with reasons why you should bike!

Proposed amendments would expand the Highway Traffic Act to boost forms of active transportation and help create designated bicycle pathways on existing roads… "The proposals will amend the act’s definition of traffic to include bicycles… it means municipalities would have the power to make bylaws that regulate bicycle traffic and adapt the bylaws to the specific needs of their communities …"

A provincial cycling advocacy organization created to unite cycling organizations from across Ontario and work with and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle- friendly…..

Includes links to 4 main resource sections – Community, School, Community Change and Workplace.

Slowing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph contributes to increasing cycling and walking by up to 12%. 20 mph increases physical activity and reduces traffic.

This interactive map will allow you to zoom into any area of Alberta and see Comprehensive School Health/ Healthy School Community-related contacts.

One side benefit of Safe Routes is that, when the trip to school is made safer for kids, a community's overall health and well-being improves…

BMO survey cites costs, hectic family schedules, and access to facilities as top barriers for youth participation in sports - Participation in sports by youth aged 15-18 has declined from 77 per cent to 55 per cent since 1992….

…. offers brief summaries of eight programs that measured their walking and bicycling numbers and found an increase.  The resource aims to assist and inspire Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs to measure student travel patterns to look for possible changes over time and measure the progress of their activities.

A new research brief from Active Living Research summarizes research on physical activity in after-school programs and examines how policies can help after-school programs more effectively promote physical activity and prevent obesity among children.

The After School Hours Project will work to provide opportunities and resources for rural communities to support healthy living through after school programming.

An online package with several downloadable elements on School Siting to encourage bicycling and walking; "Smart School Siting: Fact Sheet," "Model School Siting Policies" and an overview; by the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity.

Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, uses the term “community attachment” when describing walkable public spaces. Florida also notes how urban parklands have developed into evidence of a community’s overall attractiveness….

Find out about inclusive strategies for people who experience disability or health conditions.

This article will discuss the shift towards preventative medicine, the efficacy and limits of traditional health promotion campaigns, the efficacy and limits of digital interventions, and then look at the future of hybrid campaigns that both promote and foster change.

The Institute of Medicine evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and identified recommendations to meet the following goals and accelerate progress.
·         Integrate physical activity every day in every way
·         Market what matters for a healthy life
·         Make healthy foods and beverages available everywhere
·         Activate employers and health care professionals
·         Strengthen schools as the heart of health

Our new site provides a wealth of peer-reviewed research on environmental and policy strategies that can help increase physical activity among children and parents in the U.S., and reverse the nation’s obesity epidemic. As we launch this site, our goal is simple: to make it easier for you to find the evidence you need to inform your work.

Aside from the new look, we’ve also redesigned the site with the needs of advocates, practitioners and policy-makers in mind.

This tool from HEPA Europe provides a protocol and method for a detailed compilation and communication of country level policy responses on physical inactivity.

Patient Education and Counseling Available online 4 May 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
A three year lifestyle study was delivered to middle aged overweight patients by a nurse practitioner (NP) administering lifestyle counseling and a general practitioner (GP) using usual care methods. This study compares and evaluates the effects of the NP lifestyle counseling and the GP usual care on improving the patient’s physical activity (PA) and dietary behaviors.

ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal:  March/April 2012 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 34–36
doi: 10.1249/01.FIT.0000413038.00495.c1
The use of medications, whether prescription or over the counter, is common in people with active lifestyles. The health and fitness professional should be aware of how certain medications may affect his or her client’s ability to exercise.

Working together to reduce injuries in sport and physical activity

Initial results indicate: both producers and users of research evidence are interested in improving their KT skills, particularly those related to the application of research evidence.
Already 8m (UK) residents live in towns which are adopting or have adopted this policy. Most importantly, through democratic debate those communities have decided that "20's Plenty Where People Live". And it is those same communities who have then changed their behaviour to drive slower in residential streets and where people walk and cycle.

The Mosaic Staircase, San Francisco, CA is a great example of how to take an existing staircase and make it interesting.

Healthier Work is a new (Australian) government service established to support employers to develop health and wellbeing initiatives within their workplace. Healthier work aims to build the capacity of workplaces to develop and implement programs, policies and practices that lead to healthy environments and sustained employee healthy lifestyle changes.