August 3, 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 Round-Up will return August 17th.

Not so long ago, the term “cycling studies” would have been seen as puzzling in the United States—why study what were effectively perceived as toys?.... More than 100 academic studies related to cycling have been published this year alone, including new research on the mathematical optimization of bike infrastructure, (and) the health benefits of mass cycling events. Lees-McRae College in North Carolina even offers a cycling minor.

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment Volume 17, Issue 7, October 2012, Pages 525–531
Trip-end facilities at work appear to be significant determinants of cycling to work. Compared to individuals without any bicycle facilities at work, commuters with cyclist showers, clothes lockers, and bike parking at work are associated with a 4.86 greater likelihood to commute by bicycle. Individuals with bike parking, but no showers and lockers at the workplace, are associated with 1.78 times greater odds to cycle to work than those without trip-end facilities. 

A major British Medical Association report urges doctors to play a key role in reducing car use. Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives calls on the government to take a long-term view of transport policy to create the conditions that reduce demand for car use, while enabling a shift to more active and sustainable forms of transport.

Walk Appeal promises to be a major new tool for understanding and building walkable places, and it explains several things that were heretofore either contradictory or mysterious. It begins with the assertion that the quarter-mile radius (or 5-minute walk,) which has been held up for a century as the distance Americans will walk before driving, is actually a myth.

Streets and the streetscapes that surround them have several measurable things that can tell us which standard of Walk Appeal the street provides. We'll look at the things that can be measured in this post….

People on the street, lovable things along the way, and the magic of the city are three Walk Appeal factors I have no idea how to measure, but they clearly contribute to making more walkable places…..

Here's where Walk Appeal gets really interesting, and walkability theory turns into real-world survival … or thriving. 

A resource from Alberta Health Services.

This situational analysis (SA) is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the foundational evidence needed to justify chronic disease prevention initiatives, as they relate to nutrition, physical activity, and weight management, for the province of Alberta. This point-in-time (Snapshot) resource can be used by primary care providers, health program planners, policy decision makers and analysts, and others to guide the primary prevention of chronic diseases through individual behaviour change, the implementation of health-promoting public policy, and the mobilization of communities to create environments where healthy choices become easier choices. 

We are pleased to announce our amalgamation with Safe Kids, Safe Communities and SMARTRISK into a new national organization whose vision is to be the strategic injury prevention organization for families, communities, the health sector, researchers, governments and business. The new organization will be known as….Parachute – Leaders in injury prevention.
….Higher-literacy web visitors tend to scan rather than read word by word, only spending about 25 seconds on each web page. This approach to online reading has earned higher-literacy web visitors the reputation as “scanners and clickers.”

By contrast, limited-literacy web visitors are often described as “plowers” because initially they focus on one word at a time, slowly making their way through the text. However, when the going gets tough and the information looks like it may be difficult to get through, they start to scan. But they don’t become true scanners because they find it difficult to understand text simply by scanning headings and subheadings, so they quickly turn into “skippers and clickers”…… 

Authors' conclusions: Exercise interventions have only slight effects on physical function in frail older adults. The samples used in the included studies may not have been representative of the population so no recommendation was made as to which type of exercise was most effective.

Authors' conclusions: Fall prevention programs were modestly effective. Identifying what were the most effective components of such a program was extremely difficult and unclear from available research. 

September 29th, 2012 is Sports Day in Canada, the full website is now up and running. 

This report deals with prolonged sitting and is a summary of the full evidence review Reducing prolonged sitting in the workplace (An evidence review: full report), available at . Its findings show that prolonged workplace sitting is an emerging public health and occupational health issue with serious implications for the health of our working population. Importantly, prolonged sitting is a risk factor for poor health and early death, even among those who meet, or exceed, national activity guidelines.

Learn about unexpected benefits to standing up at work.

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