January 4, 2013

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. 

Haliburton Communities in Action is a rare, well-documented model for promoting walking and cycling in a small or rural community. It illustrates how infrastructure and policy changes can be important elements of the social marketing mix, in this case to remove key barriers to walking and cycling. Find out what the Committee did and the results of its recent formal impact evaluation (preliminary impact results showed dramatic increases in walking and cycling.) Designated a Landmark case study in 2012.

Wednesday April 10, 2013, 12 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Registration is $50; free for the first 25 connecting locations that tell our
registrar how they have used information from past Tools of Change webinars or from the Tools of Change website.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 44, Iss 1, Jan 2013, Pages 76–84
Nordic walking exerts beneficial effects on resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity, maximal oxygen consumption, and quality of life in patients with various diseases and can thus be recommended to a wide range of people as primary and secondary prevention.

A list of four improvements that could make walking safer or easier in your neighborhood…

An interactive resource for citizens, planners, and engineers on how to create walkable communities. The site offers tactics and case studies on six disciplines – advocacy, design and engineering, encouragement and education, policy, land use, and enforcement – to help local advocates and practitioners create their own pro-walking plan

Journal of Adolescence In Press, Corrected Proof
This research is unique in its examination of the long-term associations between social relationships, self-perceptions, hope, attraction to physical activity, BMI and program participation in a physical activity-based PYD program for low-income youth.

We found that many states have laws to improve student safety when walking and bicycling to school. We also found that some types of state laws, such as those requiring crossing guards, speed zones and traffic calming around schools, were linked with more principals reporting that more students were allowed to walk/bike to school….

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 44, Iss 1, Jan 2013, Pages 48–55
Physical activity of female adolescents, as opposed to boys, may be more strongly influenced by friends. These current findings support previous research on correlates of sports participation indicating that girls rate social aspects (e.g., being a member of a team, being with friends) as some of the strongest appeals for their sports participation.

Physical environmental characteristics promoting independent and active transport to children's meaningful places
Applied Geography Volume 38, March 2013, Pages 43–52
Dense residential structure increased the likelihood of coming to the place alone. ► Dense residential structure decreased the likelihood of using active transport. ► The most suburban settings were likely to be reached actively and independently. ► Children's PA in different environments can be studied with self-reported mapping.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth will be released in early 2013. 

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:133
doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-9-133
The findings strongly suggest older adults are motivated to walk if there are opportunities for social contact whether it is planned e.g. attending a church or going to a restaurant or the social contact is unplanned e.g. while visiting a hairdresser. These destinations are important to not only promote walking but to allow seniors to remain socially engaged.

A new free app, developed by an associate professor at the University of Toronto, enables seniors to rate locations on their age-friendliness…

International Journal of Medical Informatics In Press, Corrected Proof
Active Lifestyle is a tablet app to assists elderly to follow physical training plans at home. ► The app proves feasible to support and motivate elderly to perform balance and strength exercises. ► The participants’ enjoyed following the training plans using the Active Lifestyle app. ► The participants felt proud about using the tablet and shared this experience with their families.

Social participation is an important correlate of health and well-being in older adults. It may be that social support gained through social contacts is as important in these associations as the number of activities in which one participates frequently.

Browse the latest data on physical activity in the UK, including achievement of guidelines, sedentary behavior, international differences, types of physical activity, active travel and influencing factors.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 44, Iss 1, Jan 2013, Pages 23–29
The current study shows that leisure-time physical activity has a meaningful association with longevity. Although adhering to a physically active lifestyle over the life span is a substantial time investment, this is a sound investment that is likely more than compensated for by the years of life gained. 

Health & Place Volume 19, January 2013, Pages 33–44

Controlling for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors and for vascular diseases had negligible impact upon the influence of built environmental factors highlighting the importance of urban design and planning in community public health interventions.

The present study provides longitudinal evidence of the independent effects of the built environment upon the weight outcomes after adjustments for a range of individual level variables. That a set of built environment morphometrics related to neighbourhood walkability remained significant subsequent to individual level adjustments is indicative of a physical activity related mechanism involved in obesity causation.
Health & Place Volume 19, January 2013, Pages 89–98
Disadvantaged neighbourhoods have greater street connectivity and a more diverse land use mix. ► Residents of disadvantaged neighbourhoods are less likely to have access to a motor vehicle. ► The built environment of disadvantaged neighbourhoods and limited motor vehicle access contribute to higher levels of walking for transport. ► Built environment interventions that increase walking for transport in disadvantaged neighbourhoods may reduce inequalities in chronic disease.

A new, helpful guide for communities looking to implement Complete Streets policies. The guide provides case studies and real-life examples of implementation strategies to improve the walking environment.

Public transportation is vital in giving residents choices in how they travel, and it is a key component of planning and building Complete Streets. This video from Everybody Walk! explores the reasons why.

The first in a series of reports from EPA's Smart Growth Program designed to inform developers, businesses, local government, and other groups about the benefits of smart growth development. 

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