October 26, 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.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 5, Supplement 4, Pgs S384–S389
Children in WSB programs showed no differences in %MVPA compared to children not participating in the WSB; however, when comparing the relationship of %MVPA and age, the slope of the regression line was steeper for those children not participating in the WSB.

Organizers define a bicycle-friendly business district as an area where business owners actively encourage people, including employees, to bike to nearby shops and eateries. These cycle-friendly zones can inspire residents to slow their pace of life down, enabling them to discover and support businesses near where they live.

This report explores environmental health and Safe Routes to School through a review of the relationship between environmental health and school travel, a discussion on measuring the environmental health impacts of school travel, and five examples of methods used by SRTS programs to estimate the impact of their activities on local air quality and carbon dioxide emissions.

Among the top recommendations for reducing crashes and injuries among those on foot is the adoption of a Complete Streets approach when building and rebuilding roads.

Preventive Medicine In Press, Accepted Manuscript
First study on acceptability and impact of a standing-workstations environment within a school setting on total sitting, standing and walking time during school week ► Students, parents, and school staff responded positively to standing workstations ► Musculoskeletal discomfort was not evident in children who used workstations ► Clinically important differences observed in sitting and standing time during weekdays. ► Standing workstations have the potential to be integrated in the classroom environment.

The elementary and secondary health and physical education (H&PE) curricula in Ontario have been in a state of limbo for nearly two and a half years, pending further consultations on one component of this curriculum. Revisions to the H&PE curriculum are long overdue, and Ontario teachers and students have waited long enough, especially given the state of child and youth health.

Journal of Sport and Health Science Available online 24 October 2012
This review takes a historical perspective on the science of PA and academic achievement prior to and during the past 5 years. A total of 125 published articles were included and reviewed…. The majority of conclusions show a positive effect of PA on constructs related to academic achievement. Future studies should use strong study designs to examine the types and doses of PA needed to produce improvements in academic achievement.

Many individuals have trouble typing, moving a mouse or reading a web page. They can’t access a website without assistive technology…. This application features an array of keyboard and mouse replacement solutions (alternative input methods including a webcam-based hands-free movement tracking system) that allow users to overcome any physical limitation….

Mental Health and Physical Activity In Press, Accepted Manuscript
► Non-leisure time physical activity was not associated with depression. ► Leisure-time physical activity was associated with fewer depression symptoms. ► Improvement in positive and negative affective states mediated the association. ► Increased physical activity self-efficacy mediated through improved positive affect. ► Psychosocial experiences of physical activity are important mediators of response.

This report reveals Canadian wellbeing dropped by 24% between 2008 and 2010 and the decline in our wellbeing continues despite subsequent economic recovery. It shows that  in the seventeen year period from 1994 to 2010, Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by a robust 28.9% while our quality of life only improved by a very modest 5.7%.

The Atlanta Regional Commission and community partners hosted the Lifelong Communities Summit to highlight integrated approaches for creating communities that support healthy aging. Presentations and information for key topics showcased during the event are included here

The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 17 October 2012
Researchers have long assumed that seniors most often fall because they slipped or tripped, information based on interviews with the seniors themselves, incident reports or re-enactments in the laboratory….But Prof. Stephen Rabinovitch said falls his team observed “were really failed attempts at performing daily activities, like walking, sitting down, even standing, reaching or turning.”

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 5, Suppl 4, Pgs S390–S391
Activate Omaha was successful in gaining credibility and leveraging additional funding to implement complementary programming and physical projects, and as a result, changing community perceptions and influencing policy decisions.

Volume 43, Issue 5, Supplement 4, Pages A1-A4, S267-S414 (Nov 2012)
A special issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.  Together, the articles in this supplement give decision makers a sense of how quickly and how much the environment can change within a 5-year period. Increases in physical activity, though modest, tend to support prevailing systematic reviews in the scientific literature.

There is strong scientific evidence that says frequent moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise during the week plays a significant preventative role in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. The human body…. is made to move, yet, hi-tech advances in civilized societies within the last 50 years have created an environment that promotes sedentary

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 43, Iss 5, Nov 2012, Pages 551–561
The goal of the systematic review described in this summary was to determine the effectiveness of stand-alone mass media campaigns to increase physical activity at the population level. This systematic review is an update of a Community Guide systematic review and Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendation completed in 2001.

An updated guide from CPHA ($14.95).  This guide is designed to provide a glossary of terms used in questionnaire construction and question writing and provide a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” when writing questions and formatting questionnaires.

The American Planning Association has released a report that discusses a framework and tools for including public health goals and objectives in jurisdictions’ comprehensive planning processes.

This Province of Ontario project is based on the idea that community participation is key to the creation of vibrant and healthy public spaces. 

This project is designed to enhance capacity at the community, regional and provincial levels to increase healthy living opportunities for girls and young women from ethnic communities.

The top two wellness goals of employees categorized as fit and healthy were to improve general fitness (55%) and eat more healthily (43%). For those who were classified as unfit/unhealthy, the wellness goals were to lose weight (67%) and improve general fitness (56%)…. Major reasons to enroll in a company provided wellness program were that it was free and participation could improve health. Signing up with a coworker and convenience were also factors for some elements of a program.

October 19th, 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.

Health & Place Available online 9 October 2012 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
►Promotion of active travel as a physical activity necessitates an understanding of the influence of built environments. ► Walkability audits used to collect data on pedestrian environments are costly and time-consuming. ► A model-based approach is proposed to select sites for walkability audits. ► A case study based demonstrates that the proposed approach can help to better target scarce resources. 

“I’d never let my child walk to school.  It’s too far.”  Compiled from survey responses and conversations with parents at meetings and informal discussions, the video conveys common answers when parents are asked why they do not let their children walk and bike to school.

Preventing Chronic Disease 2012; 9
This observational study evaluated the effects of Move-To-Improve (MTI), a classroom-based physical education program designed for kindergarten to third-grade teachers in New York City public schools…. Teachers trained in MTI led their classrooms in significantly more physical activity compared with teachers who were not trained. The MTI program is an effective strategy for increasing physical activity during the school day.

The purpose of this report is to share with governments and other stakeholders the key learnings from the literature review and key informant interviews on how to support the integration of healthy eating and food skills into after-school physical activity initiatives. The report synthesizes the current evidence on integrating healthy eating into existing physical activity initiatives and profiles four promising after-school initiatives as case studies.

The Journal of Pediatrics Available online 9 October 2012  In Press, Corrected Proof
The discrepancies found between parents and their children concerning food choices, juice and soft drinks, screen time, and PA are all troubling, particularly in a community where obesity risk is high. The findings indicate a continued need for information about parent and child perceptions of diet behaviors and PA.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Oct 2. [Epub ahead of print]
Based on our data we suggest a new step count target of 6000 steps per day should be used to determine if 3- to 5-year old children are meeting physical activity recommendations.

Journal of Sport and Health Science Online 3 October 2012 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
Includes an extensive reference list (100+ articles).
Many countries have developed PA guidelines, and these guidelines in conjunction with PA promotion tools such as Exercise is Medicine™ are needed to educate health professionals on the importance of exercise in disease management. As more countries incorporate PA and exercise as part of primary and secondary prevention strategies, chronic diseases such as CVD, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and many others, along with their health care costs will be reduced while the quality of life is improved. 

This strategy is about changing how many of us feel about winter – from enduring to embracing it. It's about how we can create a city where people want to be outside on sunny winter days because there are inviting, vibrant public spaces with activities and comfortable places to gather

Leisure Directions West is a group of nine western Canadian cities (Burnaby, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Richmond, Saskatoon, Surrey, Vancouver, Winnipeg), which meet biannually to share resources and expertise in recreation, parks and culture. The group has agreed to submit the resources shared at these meetings…….. 

“If we can improve cognition through exercise, which also has many physical benefits, then this should become a standard of care for people following stroke,” recommended lead researcher Susan Marzolini of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. “Modified exercise programs are desperately needed—they can be adapted for people following stroke, and we think they can provide huge health benefits.”

Journal of Public Health: November 2012, Vol. 102, No. 11, pp. 2141-2148
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300946
Conclusions: Public subsidies enabling free bus travel for older persons may confer significant population health benefits through increased incidental physical activity.

Preventive Medicine Available online 10 October 2012 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
► Only 6% of older adults (≥ 65) engaged in balance training in the past week. ► Twenty-one percent engaged in physical activities that probably challenge balance abilities. ► Twelve percent participated in strength training. ► Socioeconomic status was inversely associated with exercise to prevent falls. ► Older people at high-risk of falling had significantly lower participation. 

Data from the 2008/2009 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)—Healthy Aging were used to examine the relationship between frequent social participation and self-perceived health, loneliness and life dissatisfaction….. Epidemiological studies suggest that social activities may be particularly important for older adults. The possible health benefits include reduced risk of mortality, disability and depression, and better cognitive health, self-rated health and health-related behaviors. 

In many countries, physical activity is disappearing from daily life…... We must also find ways to integrate the physical activity we’ve lost, back into our lives. Amongst many things, this relates to the way our cities are designed, schools are run, workplaces are structured, and how community environments are shaped

New on-line learning module: Quantitative Research Designs 101: Addressing Practice-Based Issues in Public Health 

This report highlights the benefits that complete communities offer all Americans, tells stories about the work being done across the country to create complete communities, and measures progress in every region with a population above 55,000.

Public Health Available online 3 October 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
The findings highlight the associated lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and healthy eating, and possible social and well-being benefits of engagement in such an initiative.

Participants will learn about the main variables found in most physical activity-focused built environment audit tools. Participants will also learn how to customize the tools and train others to conduct assessments


October 4, 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 Information Round-Up will return October 19th, 2012.   

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:109 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-109
Twenty-six commuters participated. Participants were motivated by convenience, speed, cost and reliability when selecting modes of travel for commuting. Physical activity was not a primary motivation, but incidental increases in physical activity were described and valued in association with active commuting……Emphasizing and improving the relative convenience, cost, speed and reliability of active commuting may be a more promising approach to promoting its uptake than emphasizing the health benefits, at least around the time of relocation.

Environment International Vol 49, 15 Nov 2012, Pages 100–109
► We assess the health impacts of replacing car trips by bicycle or public transport. ► Replacement of the car trips reduces mortality in travellers who shift the mode. ► Replacement of the car trips also reduces mortality in residents of urban areas. ► Replacement of car trips can reduce the emissions of CO2.

The Compendium provides a rationale for designing streets that work for people by over viewing strategic and policy imperatives, summarizing learnings from successful national and international redesign cases….

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
New physical activity guidelines recommend that children aged 3 to 4 years should accumulate at least 180 min of physical activity at any intensity spread throughout the day, including progression toward at least 60 min of energetic play by 5 years of age. Step count targets corresponding to these recommendations will help practitioners and researchers monitor physical activity.

PHE Canada is excited to announce the launch of the Active Living Active School (ALAS) initiative.  ALAS is designed to assist after school program administrators in delivering high quality programs to participants. The ALAS initiative includes a How-to Guide and an equipment Activity Kit to help administrators in support of their programs.

A new campaign from ParticipACTION.

Research commissioned by NHS Health Scotland has been developed to explore what motivates people to be regularly physically active in order to identify how best to communicate the guidelines set out in Start Active, Stay Active, in ways that will resonate with the public.

This youth-led program, Fuel Up to Play 60, has wide reach across the United States, with a reported 11 million actively involved students.  It is a collaboration of the National Dairy Council, National Football League, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is focused on empowering youth to take control of their health and learn to make choices about eating healthy and being physically active.

Play Scotland has launched this Toolkit and supporting documents, which local authorities and communities can use to develop a local and strategic commitment to play. This will help to remove barriers and encourage and support children to play outdoors.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced an investment today for a project to promote healthy living and healthy weights among Canadian children, youth and their families.  With this project, the Government is advancing public health by partnering with the private sector to achieve the common goal of healthier Canadians.

International Journal of Nursing Studies In Press, Corrected Proof
This paper shows that:
·         daily physical activity can be increased in male and female students who participate in culturally appropriate school-based interventions
·         school-based interventions can also increase daily physical education class attendance in male and female students.
·         school-based interventions can decrease body composition (e.g., body mass index z-scores) and this decrease can be sustained over a 1 year period for female students.

With the beginning of a new school year, the CDC’s Division of Community Health has launched a new campaign aimed at increasing youth physical activity using the slogan, “Burn to Learn”.  The campaign includes catchy infographics and quizzes about the effects of physical activity on academic performance.

The Young Foundation has published a new report looking at participation in sport and physical activity in England, focusing particularly on young people. The report looks at physical activity levels, the reasons why levels of participation are low and provides a four-point action plan to
get more people active.

the Youth Fitness Test, established in 1946, will be replaced by a new fitness program, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. Instead of recognizing athletic performance, the new program assesses students’ health-related fitness and helps them progress over time. 

In January 2011, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) launched new physical activity guidelines for adults over the age of 65. Recently, the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging at Western created a video and brochure to help make the public aware of the new guidelines.

NAPA supports front line care staff to enable older people to live life the way they choose with meaning and purpose.

The 2012 update of the F as in Fat report warns that if conditions continue as they are, adult obesity and related chronic diseases are poised to increase dramatically in the next 20 years, driving up health care costs significantly.

The purpose of the CDC/DNPAO Health Equity Resource Toolkit for State Practitioners Addressing Obesity Disparities is to increase the capacity of state health departments and their partners to work with and through communities to implement effective responses to obesity in populations that are facing health disparities.

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability In Press, Corrected Proof
► Urban environments influence well-being and health. ► Obesity can be reduced through better planning of urban environments. ► Healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity are both important. ► the transferability of findings across countries or cultural contexts is unclear.

A number of short videos on health and fitness with commentary from members of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.

A new Framework designed to increase physical activity has been released. The report is co-authored by the American College of Sports Medicine, Nike and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, with engagement from a broad base of experts from around the world. Over 70 expert and multi-sector organizations helped to develop the Framework and validate the underlying research.

Research commissioned by NHS Health Scotland has been developed to explore what motivates people to be regularly physically active in order to identify how best to communicate the guidelines set out in Start Active, Stay Active, in ways that will resonate with the public.

Preventive Medicine Available online 4 August 2012  In Press, Corrected Proof
Find out about the successes of the NSW 6-month telephone-based coaching campaign Get Healthy.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:110
Building off data about the micro-environment’s effects on levels of physical activity, researchers used data from the World Health Survey to examine macro-environmental influences on physical activity, including gross domestic product, temperature, gender equality, and government functioning.  The analysis demonstrated that there is a wide range of levels of physical activity between countries, and the national level of physical activity appears to be influenced by many macro-environmental factors, including higher temperature and higher urbanization.

We are leading the way to a happier, healthier, greener, more active Scotland through our work and provision of advice, resources and support to others.

This new British Heart Foundation supplement is the first to focus solely on physical activity statistics. It provides statistics on the levels, types and reasons for physical activity in the UK.

Circulation.  2012; 126: 1514-1563
doi: 10.1161/CIR.0b013e318260a20b
In order to provide recommendations about population-level approaches to improve diet, physical activity, and smoking habits, researchers at the American Heart Association reviewed and graded current research about each health behavior.   The research reviewers also considered the roles of healthcare and surveillance systems in their research recommendations. The report includes the graded research, gaps that were discovered in the research, and the next steps that are needed to facilitate the necessary changes……

The resource builds on the Standard Evaluation Framework (SEF) for weight management interventions, published by NOO in 2009. It takes the principles described in the original SEF and applies them to physical activity interventions……. The framework identifies and explains the information that should be collected in any evaluation of an intervention that aims to increase participation in physical activity. 

This report seeks to identify the evidence base in respect of evaluating the importance of open and public space in supporting active living through a review of the academic and policy evidence…. The report addresses the academic literature under four main headings namely, types of open space, uses of space, location of spaces and design of space.