November 23, 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.

This paper published by the Dietitians of Canada provides information to inform decision makers about the dietitian’s role in Aboriginal communities for the purpose of enhancing nutrition services currently offered and increased health and well-being in Aboriginal people.

BIKESAFE is intended to provide practitioners with the latest information available for improving the safety and mobility of those who bicycle. The information on the site falls into two categories, Resources and Tools.

Bicycling creates healthier communities, supports local business, and leads to less pollution and congestion. But people are reluctant to bike when they worry they won’t find a good place to lock their bicycles. Bicycle parking ordinances provide an easy way to ensure plentiful bicycle parking and make it clear that bicycles are welcome.

For people with a chronic illness, adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as smoking cessation, increased physical activity, eliminating heavy alcohol consumption and improving diet, can extend longevity, reduce the recurrence of an event and enhance quality of life.

British Journal of Nutrition / FirstView Article, pp 1-7
Input from a 24-hour dietary recall survey (participants write down everything they eat and drink) was assessed for 4,731people 60 years and older participating in the US Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Individuals who had limited mobility and low physical activity were categorized as “frail” and were five times more likely to report that they often do not have enough to eat compared to older adults who were not frail.

The authors conclude that physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive impairment, mainly vascular dementia, in older people living independently.

Older age is a transitional period when people experience changes not only in physical health, but also in social roles that can influence opportunities for social participation… social ties may encourage individuals to engage in health-promoting behaviors such as physical activity…..

These guidelines from the Parkinson Society Canada describe aerobic, strengthening, flexibility, and balance exercises, and provide tips and a chart for mapping progress

Today millions of Americans live in what we call "sprawl" – communities where cars are the primary mode of transportation, and it can be difficult for residents to walk, bike, or take public transportation to meet their daily needs.

This Guide provides a broad overview of development strategies for healthier communities. The guide links health risks (poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, etc.) to particular aspects of the built environment, highlighting policies to consider and specific “action steps” for public health professionals.

The study shows trip lengths and automobile travel are substantially reduced by compact, transportation-efficient land uses. The key is to create an environment so folks can complete many activities without using a car…….

The Make a Place for People project is based on the idea that community participation is key to the creation of vibrant and healthy public spaces.  With support from the Ontario government, 8-80 Cities is facilitating a community-led visioning process in order to inject new life into currently underperforming public spaces…. The document includes useful engagement and park assessment tools that could be used in and by any community.

The New York City DOT has been called upon to share the secret behind successful street design suitable for the 21st Century. The current report presents an assembly of goals and strategies that they have relied upon to create streets with wonderful public spaces while maintaining efficient traffic flow.

Project for Public Spaces, experts in transforming public spaces, has released a draft handbook of best practices in placemaking. Highlighted in the report are international case studies as well as 10 ways to improve your city through public space….. 

This evaluation was commissioned to evaluate the Paths to Health Workplace Pedometer
Loan Pack, an initiative designed to increase walking levels among employees. Pedometer loan packs containing 10 pedometers and supporting materials were distributed to 18 workplaces across Scotland…..Staff members at each site volunteered to coordinate the scheme and issued employees with a pedometer, educational materials and a step-count record card containing instructions for setting step-count targets over a 12- week walking program.

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