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.

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