December 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.

Welcome to the final Info Round-Up for 2012. We’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. From all of us here at the Centre, we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

This study by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium indicates that shoppers who arrive by walking, cycling or public transport tend to spend less per trip but make more trips per month and so spend more in total than automobile shoppers.

The latest Travel Actively report from the Active Travel Consortium, More people more active, shows that over the last four years two million people have been encouraged to be more active by walking and cycling for everyday journeys.

This Australian checklist is designed to help suburbs improve cycling conditions. It enables planners to make sure new sub-divisions meet current planning and engineering requirements.

If you missed a breakout session, or are interested in what Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012 was all about, you can now view PDFs of many sessions.

In Jeff Speck's excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades.

This is the final version of the draft guidance from May 2012. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced new guidance urging people to travel on foot or bike rather than by car for short journeys.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, bicycles played a few key roles in recovery and morale boosting.  On the Lower East Side of New York, volunteers generated electricity with their bikes, offering free cell phone charging….. bicycles were an important source of transportation when roads and trains were blocked and out of commission to cars. 

A move to make urban centres more pedestrian friendly leads to economic benefits.
David Israelson - Special to The Globe and Mail

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport In Press, Corrected Proof
Studies on independent mobility suggested that children who have the freedom to play outdoors and travel actively without adult supervision accumulate more physical activity than those who do not. Further investigation of children's active travel to leisure-related destinations, measurement of diverse sedentary behavior beyond simply screen-based activities, and consistent thresholds for objectively measured sedentary behavior in children will clarify the inconsistent evidence base on associations of active travel with sedentary behavior and weight status.

Sustrans has released a report calling for the (UK) Government to introduce more stringent measures in schools to encourage children to cycle more. Currently, just 2% of children cycle regularly, despite the recommendations from health experts that the easiest way to increase activity in children is to include walking and cycling in their daily routine.

His knowledge and skills are so deep that I would say that Marco has “mastered” his neighborhood, both geographically and socially. That feels very good for an eight-year-old kid.

The Welsh Government is placing a duty on local authorities to assess the sufficiency of play and recreational opportunities for children in their areas. It sets out criteria for assessing play opportunities in each local authority area including audits of open spaces, play and recreation provision, traffic, transport and community initiatives. The assessments will be used to develop local authority action plans to improve play opportunities for all children across Wales. The deadline for the completion of assessments is 1 March 2013.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School is pleased to announce the release of an online audio/video training program that provides strategies and tips for planning a Walking School Bus program.

Journal of Sport and Health Science In Press, Uncorrected Proof
The beneficial effects of increased PA and decreased sedentary behavior are extremely important in youth with diabetes because of the markedly increased long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in this population compared to persons without diabetes. This review aims to comprehensively summarize the epidemiologic, observational research published and listed in PubMed between 1970 and 2012….

Diabetologia Nov 2012, Volume 55, Issue 11, pp 2895-2905
Sedentary time is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality; the strength of the association is most consistent for diabetes.

This paper outlines the broad roles of municipal recreation (II), the roles that it can and does play in supporting sport (III), the key shifts in sport in terms of policy and focus (IV), the nature of the partnership and common challenges (V), and key areas in which collaborative approaches may take place (VI).

Discusses the importance of interpretive signage in parks and provides examples of signs for different purposes. Tips on wording, photos and installation are provided.

APAQ Volume 30, Issue 1, pgs 40-58 Jan 2013
The participants with relatively minor degrees of disability and with the least visible disabilities were the ones who most often reported negative experiences regarding PE. This suggests the experiences were not generated solely by the actual physical or sensory limitations, but equally by how well the participants’ challenges were understood by their teachers and to what degree adaptations were implemented.

In February 2009, the Ministry of Health launched the NSW Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service®, as part of New South Wales’ response to the Australian Better Health Initiative. The GHS is a telephone based service supporting NSW adults make sustained improvements in healthy eating, physical activity and achieving or maintaining a healthy weight.

Produced by the Canadian Obesity Network this is a set of practical tools to guide primary care practitioners in obesity counseling and management.

An active lifestyle helps preserve gray matter in the brains of older adults and could reduce the burden of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation In Press, Accepted Manuscript
The multifaceted fall prevention program with exercise intervention improved functional performance at 3-months for community-dwelling elders with risk of fall, but did not reduce falls over 1-year follow-up. Fall incidence might have been decreased simultaneously in both groups by heightened awareness engendered during assessments, education, referrals, and recommendations.

In an age-friendly community, there are walking trails with hard-pack surfaces, suitable for a walker or a baby stroller. There might be lights for nighttime safety, and benches for a quick rest. The benches would have armrests to aid the user in getting up or down.

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association In Press, Corrected Proof
Among the oldest old, not only continuing but also becoming physically active is associated with reduced health service use. Initiating PA among the very old should be encouraged.

Performed by residents of the Waverly Retirement Residence London, Ontario.

This report outlines the evidence that exists showing how more physical activity can have beneficial effects on society. It contains chapters on physical health, mental health, education and employment, antisocial behaviour and crime and social cohesion.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Vol 9 Iss 52 2012
This Health Evidence report gives this paper a review quality rating of 7 (moderate).

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.

Of interest to note is this related page: Public health guidances in development
"This program builds on the Small Communities Transit Fund launched in 2010, making $1 million in federal Gas Tax funding available to cost-share active transportation projects with eligible municipalities over the next two years," said the Honourable Ron Lemieux, Local Government Minister.

This new report by Reconnecting America describes why and how to create more complete communities where everybody, including non-drivers, has convenient access to services and activities. It defines and discusses various accessibility indicators and defines “Opportunity Areas,” based on whether a neighborhood achieves walkability and density thresholds needed for a complete, multi-modal community.

This study indicates that during the 2007-2012 period houses located in more accessible and multi-modal neighborhoods exhibited greater price stability than those located in lower-density, automobile-dependent suburbs.

This report discusses reasons to implement complete streets and how it relates to other planning innovations. Complete streets can provide many direct and indirect benefits including improved accessibility for non-drivers, user savings and affordability, energy conservation and emission reductions, improved community livability, improved public fitness and health, and support for strategic development objectives such as urban redevelopment and reduced sprawl.

Aging population, rising fuel prices, increasing urbanization, improving travel options, increasing health and environmental concerns, and changing consumer preferences are reducing demand for automobile travel and increasing demand for alternatives. Automobile travel will not disappear but at the margin (compared with current travel patterns) many people would prefer to drive less and rely more on walking, cycling, public transport and telework, provided they are convenient, comfortable and affordable. This paper discusses ways that transport policies and planning practices can respond to these changing demands.

The Healthy Built Environments Program has completed a major scholarly literature review examining the role of the built environment in supporting human health as part of everyday living. The principal aim of the Review is to establish an evidence base that supports the development, prioritisation and implementation of healthy built environment policies and practices. The Review identifies current gaps in the evidence to inform future research directions. It includes an annotated bibliography of key research articles and a glossary of terms…….

Active employees are productive employees. The tools and resources found here are designed to encourage physical activity in the workplace. This is an Australian resource that references the Centre’s Workplace Audit Tool.