July 27, 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.

The design manual is divided into five chapters: Basis, Typologies, Geometrics, Amenities, and Processes. Each chapter provides information to assist planners, designers and decision makers in developing a new design approach to enable better and safer active transportation in their communities.

The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) was formed in 2006 to give a unified voice to the many groups working for a better cycling and pedestrian environment in Toronto.

This Pocket Planner, written by the BHFNC, is a great way to encourage children to get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. Children can follow a four-week path towards their Let’s get active award certificate with fun ideas for ways to be active along the route. For a tougher challenge children can complete all four weekly challenges to earn their Let’s get active challenge award.

This fact sheet (from Active Living Research) highlights findings from the research synthesis School Policies on Physical Education and Physical Activity, including evidence-based strategies for increasing physical activity outside of school time.

April 20 - 23, 2013
Banff Centre

Prev Med. 2012 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]
This study highlights clear evidence of the beneficial effects of numerous healthy lifestyle factors. With a growing body of evidence of the negative effects of sedentary behaviour, this is an important additional factor to be included in future studies. Policy and intervention efforts which target multiple risk factors together are likely to be the best buys in public health.

Am J Health Promot. 2012 Jul;26(6):333-40.
These findings provide irrefutable evidence of the role of vigorous physical activity in preventing dementia. Quality research on the effects of lower intensities of physical activity will also now be particularly important as many older adults will likely find it difficult to achieve vigorous levels. The promote of physical activity to mid-age and older adults by health care professionals and through mass media campaigns is also essential to capitalize on the insights from this research.

A website from the CDC with links to a great deal of information – look in the left hand column for topic headings.

This series of three booklets is designed to assist those who work with older people to interpret the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines which were introduced in July 2011.
·         Active older adults
·         Older adults in transition
·         Frailer, older adults

In many respects, Kelleher is no different than many of the other 50-plus adults who competed at the Virginia Senior Games this weekend. She drives her own car, swims four days per week at 5am (she takes Wednesdays off), and competes in meets that are close to home…….

Pedestrian crossings do not allow older people enough time to cross the road, a report published in the journal Age and Ageing warns. The study found that for those over the age of 65, 76% of men and 85% of women have a walking speed slower than that needed to use a pedestrian crossing. There are concerns that being unable to cross roads may deter older people from walking. This may reduce their access to social contacts and interaction, local health services and shops that are all important in day-to-day life.

These latest BHFNC fact sheets cover physical activity in those over 65. Designed for use by practitioners who work with older adults they provide a brief overview of the facts in this area, including:
·         Current levels of physical activity
·         Factors influencing physical activity in older adults
·         Physical activity interventions for older adults

Fact or Fiction? Evidence page from the National Obesity Observatory.

Preventive Medicine Volume 54, Issue 6, June 2012, Pages 371–380
This is a systematic review of the effectiveness of physical activity interventions. ► We only included programs targeting socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. ► Interventions targeting groups were effective for adults but not for children. ► Community-wide interventions were effective in producing small changes in activity. ► Evidence regarding effectiveness of interventions targeting individuals is required.

This report identifies the benefits of physical activity for our communities and provides an overview of current literature that support the need to have recreation play a greater role in the physical activity movement. The report outlines some of the challenges facing the recreation field in Saskatchewan from more actively engaging in the provision and development of physical activity opportunities and identifies areas for further collaboration between municipalities, communities, partners and stakeholders.

Our new fact sheets provide practitioners with an overview of the evidence on sedentary behaviors. These provide the facts and figures on this relatively new area of research in easy to use sections. There are three fact sheets in the series
·         What is Sedentary Behavior?
·         Current Levels of sedentary behavior
·         Factors influencing sedentary behaviors

A website brought to you by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT), made possible from a grant from the Trillium Foundation.

This report from the Conference Board of Canada provides organizations of all sizes with advice on how to demonstrate the positive impacts and outcomes of their investments in health and wellness initiatives. The report includes a metrics checklist as well as some calculations for employers to use. It also provides a sample worksheet for calculating the return on investment of health and wellness initiatives, along with a hypothetical example.

July 20, 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.

Transportation Research Board News May-June 2012
Features articles that address the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, as well as efforts to integrate these modes into the transportation system.  Articles explore the health benefits of nonmotorized transportation; the business side of bicycling; measuring multimodal mobility; learning from trends in other nations and transferring designs and practices from other nations to the United States; and more.

Preventive Medicine Available online 11 July 2012
Little is known about the contribution that active travel makes to overall physical activity - Our findings indicate that substantial physical activity can be accrued through active travel - Adults who actively travel participate in more overall physical activity

According to a July AmericaWalks article, "Major population shifts in the United States point to changes in American attitudes and behaviors regarding walking. These shifts are likely to result in a substantial increase in both recreational and utilitarian walking.

The After-School Time Period Report looks to answer some of the questions around the issue of After-School time, and address findings from research conducted by SPRA both as part of Saskatchewan After-School (2011) and recent fieldwork involving a series of local, provincial and national consultations, interviews and a literature review relating to ASTP strategy, policy and programming.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 2, Aug 2012, Pgs 159–167
Potential strategies for promoting children's physical activity should seek to influence children's preference for physical activity and parent rules. Gender-specific strategies also may be warranted.

This series of three new BHFNC fact sheets provide the facts on physical activity and the under-fives. They are ideal for practitioners who want the facts and figures relating to physical activity in the early years.

The report identifies the most prominent issues that arose in the research project from four perspectives: 1) overall; 2) programs now being offered; 3) gaps; and 4) options that would appear to satisfy expressed needs and interests.

Savvy Kids are Safer Kids - Tips for Teaching Pedestrian, ATV and School Bus Safety in the Classroom & Community is a hardcopy guide and online resource list focusing on ATV, pedestrian and school bus safety. This initiative aims to increase awareness of the importance of road/off-road safety and to connect educators, public health staff, parents and community service providers with existing supports to reduce the incidence of high risk behaviours and situations.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 2, Aug 2012, Pgs 168–175
The physical activity level of parents with young children present in the home was lower than that of those without children. Given the many physiologic, psychological, and social benefits of healthy active living, research efforts should continue to focus on strategies to encourage parents with young children to establish or re-engage in a physically active lifestyle, not only for their own health but to model healthy behavior for the next generation.

There are many more articles that may be of interest in this issue.  Click on the link above to see the full Table of Contents.

Activities, Adaptation & Aging Volume 36, Issue 2, 2012
Interviews were conducted with eight people, 65-81 years old, to discover their reasons for going to a gym for older adults. The first reason to begin exercising was to take control of their lives, but as time passed, they said exercise at an age-qualified gym became an investment in their health and a place for social activity.

Scroll down the page to see the LTPA information. Figure 7.1. Percentage of adults aged 18 and over who met the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity through leisure-time aerobic activity: United States, 1997–2011

As London counts down the final days before the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games, The Lancet will publish a major new Series on physical activity, including new analysis that quantifies the global impact of physical inactivity on the world’s major non-communicable diseases.


July 12, 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.

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines are now available in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun thanks to translation by the Government of Nunavut

From the people who brought you Walk Score, Bike Score is now available in select Canadian and U.S. cities. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see “how bike score works”.

The built environment can either facilitate or discourage walking: land use systems, transportation systems and urban design coalesce to create a pedestrian environment that impacts upon people’s decisions to walk.

The first documented cycle was built in the early 19th century. In 1818, Baron von Drais introduced a machine to the public in Paris. It had two in-line wheels connected by a wooden frame. The rider sat astride and pushed it along with his feet, while steering the front wheel.
(note: if you click on ‘NEXT’ it takes you to successive pages detailing the history of the bicycle).

A great 2 page resource from the group walkBoston that highlights the importance of lowering speed in order to improve walkability.

From Play England. This review examine the effects of a lack of play on children’s lives and the importance of providing good-quality play opportunities to children, their families and their communities.

The Auditor General's report finds many primary schools in the NSW public system are not meeting Government minimum requirements of two hours a week of physical activity.

J Nutrition Education and Behavior Vol 44, Iss 4, Suppl, July–August 2012, Pgs S49–S50
Results indicate that parents perceive their children to be influential over their family's dietary and physical activity behaviors. This influence could be useful for developing innovative and effective strategies targeting childhood obesity in low-income families.

The focus of this report is on youth. Physical activity is particularly important among youth because it positively affects physical, mental, and emotional growth and development at a critical stage—adolescence—for the development of life-long habits.

J Nutrition Education and Behavior Vol 44, Iss 4, Suppl, July–August 2012, Pgs S53
The objective was to determine whether high school teens teaching the KidQuest nutrition and physical activity program to fifth-graders results in improved teen health parameters and skill development. The authors found that cross-age teaching resulted in positive teen outcomes in role modeling, health knowledge, organization skills, and dietary change

Journal of Sport and Health Science Available online 3 July 2012
This paper analyses young people's habitual physical activity (HPA) and aerobic fitness (AF) in relation to health and well-being, with reference to previous generations.

(the CDC’s) Preventing Chronic Disease (publication) is dedicated to reporting practical scientific research, programs, and policy efforts to improve the health of communities. In this section, we have grouped together previously published articles under specific topics and themes for rapid dissemination to our readers. We are making these collections available as part of our mission to facilitate through publication widespread implementation of science-based interventions that improve the health and well-being of communities.

(A collection of the CDC’s Preventing Chronic Disease publication.) We hope this collection of previously published research informs and inspires all readers — researchers and community members, practitioners and patients, experts and novices — to  implement science-based interventions with community-based preferences that improve the health of all populations.

Research articles are featured in this bulletin addressing prevention interventions in various settings as well as exercise, medication, fall risk factors and health management.


The Active Living impact checklist is a useful tool to support design and planning professionals to address Active Living principles in their work. The checklist promotes the key principles of Active Living in a design and planning context…… Due to the complexity of thinking about health and wider implications on the built environment holistically, the checklist will focus on one major aspect of the problem, physical inactivity, with a focus on individual developments.

The Heart Foundation commissioned the Centre for the Built Environment, University of WA to conduct a literature review into the impact of density on health. The impact of density on a range of health outcomes and across the life course was considered including: mortality, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, road traffic mortality, respiratory health, and mental health.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 42, Iss 6, Pgs 616-619
This brief study is a good example of a natural experiment where public health researchers monitored behavioral changes following modifications to the built environment, in this case, improvements to a park. Monitoring usage of the park before, immediately after the changes and one year after the changes, as well as an additional nearby park as a control, demonstrated increased physical activity in the intervention following the upgrade.  

Transport Policy Vol 23, Sept 2012, Pages 25–33
Governments and policy-makers are seeing the importance of supporting psychological well-being. ► Few researchers have considered whether transport can influence well-being. ► Early empirical research suggests that transport can influence well-being in some situations. ► It is theorised that it does so through access to activities, physical mobility and externalities. ► More research is needed to understand the impact transport policy can have on life satisfaction.

The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9831, Pages 2079 - 2108, 2 June 2012
The Healthy Cities movement has been in process for almost 30 years, and the features needed to transform a city into a healthy one are becoming increasingly understood. What is less well understood, however, is how to deliver the potential health benefits and how to ensure that they reach all citizens in urban areas across the world.

Menopause, ahead-of-print (June 25, 2012
For 24 hours post-exercise, both subjective and objective hot flashes decreased in most of the women. However, women with the lowest fitness levels were more likely to experience an increase in self-reported symptoms. Women who were classified as overweight, having a lower level of fitness or were experiencing more frequent or more intense hot flashes, noticed the smallest reduction in symptoms.

Cancer. early view (June 25, 2012)
doi: 10.1002/cncr.27433
Recreational PA at any intensity level during the reproductive and postmenopausal years have the greatest benefit for reducing breast cancer risk. Substantial postmenopausal weight gain may eliminate the benefits of regular activity.