September 14, 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.

Canadian Journal of Diabetes Vol 36, Iss 5, Suppl, Oct 2012, Pages S4–S5
From the 15th Annual Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professional Conference and Annual Meetings

This discussion paper by Rodney Tolley explores the benefits to retailers, residents and councils of improving walking and cycling conditions, based on international case studies.

This downloadable PDF is a collection of innovative, multidisciplinary tactics that have successfully improved and encouraged walking in communities around the country.

This study indicates that many people value walking or cycling for enjoyment and exercise and so will choose these modes even if they take longer than driving.

A presentation by Todd Litman (Victoria Transport Policy Institute) at the VeloCity Conference in Vancouver, June 2012.

Academic Pediatrics Available online 12 September 2012
At a national level, the frequency of outdoor play for preschoolers cared for in home-based child care settings is suboptimal. Further study and efforts to increase outdoor playtime for children in home-based child care settings are needed. 

Canadian Journal of Diabetes Vol 36, Iss 5, Suppl, Oct 2012, Pages S20
The implementation of Healthy Buddies© lesson plans in an elementary school setting is an effective method for attenuating central weight gain and improving diet quality, self-efficacy and knowledge of healthy living in younger students

Using outdoor facilities is an excellent way to include a wider range of activities in your physical activity programming and introduce students or campers to places they can go to be physically active when not at school or at camp. 

February 26 - 28, 2013, San Diego, CA.  
The theme of the 2013 conference, Achieving Change Across Sectors: Integrating Research, Policy and Practice, recognizes the importance of engaging people from multiple disciplines and occupations to increase physical activity for everyone and reverse the obesity epidemic. For the first time, the conference agenda will be organized into two tracks – research and practice.

November 4th – 7th, 2012.  Hamilton ON 

This recently updated report investigates various ways that transportation planning decisions affect public health, and how planning practices can better incorporate public health objectives. 

A recent blog from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute addresses common points of confusion when working with transportation statistics.

Age and Ageing, 41(5):635-641 (September 2012)
When a person falls and calls an ambulance for help, what happens afterwards? In England, 157 people ages 60 years and older called an ambulance for assistance after a fall, but were not hospitalized…. Using fall diaries, people who took advantage of the community fall prevention services reported an average of 5.3 fewer falls than the group in usual care over the next 12 months.

Disability and Health Journal Available online 12 September 2012
FEPA shows promise for improving health-related outcomes in those with arthritis, and has potential for sustainability in community settings.

“We have a huge untapped resource in seniors’ centres,” Sinha said in an interview. “These are not places that are delivering health care per se, but wellness and prevention activities, which are things that we know are important in helping older adults stay well and stay healthy longer.

Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics Online 5 Sept 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
Among the Active AD patients, those individuals who engaged in walking for more than 2 h/week had a significant improvement in (mini mental) scores. Structured clinical trials which seek to increase the amount of time AD patients were engaged in walking activities and evaluate the nature and scope of beneficial effects in the brain are warranted.

Preventive Medicine Available online 27 July 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
► Poor English language proficiency is a barrier to obtaining accurate information. ► Relatives can be important in motivating/facilitating older adults to be active. ► Generating group norms may produce positive benefits to changing PA behavior 

The final cycle of the National Population Health Survey, covering the 2010/2011 period is now available. With this last release researchers will have access to nine cycles of Canadian longitudinal health data to examine the dynamics of population health from 1994/1995 to 2010/2011.

“We knew from previous research that central obesity is bad, but what is new in this research is that the distribution of the fat is very important even in people with a normal weight,” said Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, senior author and a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “This group has the highest death rate, even higher than those who are considered obese based on BMI. From a public health perspective, this is a significant finding.”

Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Volume 55, Supplement 1, October 2012, Pages e319
Currently, measurement of physical activity in clinical practice can be done in various ways, including questionnaires, pedometers or accelerometers. However, these tools are underused and physical inactivity is a cardiovascular risk factor rarely evaluated. Furthermore, patients’ understanding of the goals of physical activity could be improved by estimating energy expenditure that must be greater than 1000 kcal/week. The objective was to build a new tool to assess physical activity.

The final cycle of the National Population Health Survey, covering the 2010/2011 period is now available. With this last release researchers will have access to nine cycles of Canadian longitudinal health data to examine the dynamics of population health from 1994/1995 to 2010/2011.

The Department of Health and Natural England working in partnership with local statutory and voluntary organisations took the decision to invest in an expansion of Walking for Health as part of the package of public health initiatives aimed at getting people more active.

 This report presents research the economic costs of Walking for Health. Specifically, the economic costs involved in delivering the program. These include financial (or accounting) costs and opportunity costs, which are the values of the foregone costs that could have been dedicated some other objective.

Related publications:

Public Health Online 31 Aug 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
Despite its widespread use to assess levels of physical activity and compare data between nations, the IPAQ-long form appears to have problems measuring the levels of physical activity in Brazilian adults. Although more expensive and time consuming, the use of accelerometers accompanied by diaries or log books should be considered, whenever possible, in order to collect direct measurements of the level of physical activity in individuals.

This briefing summarizes NICE's recommendations for local authorities and partner organizations on how to encourage people to be physically active. It is particularly relevant to health and wellbeing boards. Sub headings include: developing an action plan, cost & saving, facts & figures etc.

New fact sheets provide practitioners with an overview of the evidence on sedentary behaviours. These provide the facts and figures on this relatively new area of research in easy to use sections:
·         What is sedentary behavior?
·         Current levels of sedentary behavior
·         Factors influencing sedentary behaviors 

This website provides information for residents on how to improve street designs and maintenance.

This booklet offers a guide on how to create complete communities that support families and high-quality education based on a series of reports published by the Center for Cities & Schools at the University of California, Berkeley….

This literature review examines the effects of traffic calming in urban environments on four determinants of health (collisions, air quality, noise, and active transportation). 

Preventive Medicine Online 3 Sept 2012 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
► We studied a commuting population in Cambridge, UK in 2009. ► Time spent walking or cycling as part of commuting was assessed by questionnaire. ► Total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was measured by accelerometry. ► We assessed the associations between active commuting and overall MVPA. ► Women reporting 150 min or more weekly active commuting achieved higher daily MVPA.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 3, Pgs 293-297, Sept 2012
PoC prompts on workplace computers which reminded workers to stand every 30 minutes decreased uninterrupted sitting periods compared to education-only sessions. These results provide some evidence for future health promotion programs particularly given the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. Further research is recommended using a larger sample size over a longer period of time.

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