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

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