February 22, 2013

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc
Resource Coordinator

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.

Cycling in Cities is a research program investigating factors that encourage or discourage bicycling, transportation infrastructure associated with increased or decreased risks of cycling injuries, and air pollution and cycling. The research program is based at the University of British Columbia School of Population & Public Health.

North American cyclists are eight to 30 times more likely to be seriously injured while cycling than their European counterparts

Ontario’s chief coroner’s review of 95 pedestrian deaths reminds us of the need to create more walkable cities.

After some controversy and hesitation to change, the Prospect Park West redesign proved to be greatly successful for the community. Previous to its redesign, the Prospect Park West consisted of three one-way travel lanes with a parking lane on each side of the road. In response to local concerns about speeding and to improve community safety, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) removed one lane and accommodated a new two-way bikeway. The new design not only improved street mobility and street safety, but also contributed to a more active community.

March 21st – 23rd.  Held at the Grande Prairie Regional College and the Eastlink Centre, this is a fantastic opportunity to connect to athletes, coaches and leaders in the adapted physical activity community.

Take PART offers children and youth (8-21) with physical disabilities recreation and sports opportunities across Nova Scotia. Weekly recreation sessions expose participants to a variety of adapted recreational, sport and leisure activities.

35% of U.S. adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition; of these, half followed up with a visit to a medical professional.

Half of smartphone owners use their devices to get health information and one-fifth of smartphone owners have health apps.
Annals of Internal Medicine 5 February 2013;158 (3):162-168
Higher midlife fitness levels seem to be associated with lower hazards of developing all-cause dementia later in life. The magnitude and direction of the association were similar with or without previous stroke, suggesting that higher fitness levels earlier in life may lower risk for dementia later in life, independent of cerebrovascular disease.

Visits to a health practitioner are usually accompanied by some measurement, such as stepping on a scale for body weight or wearing a cuff for a blood pressure check. Levels of physical activity or servings of fruits and vegetables are widely publicized as indicators of a healthy lifestyle. Given that these health indicators are well known, do people pay attention when it’s their own health?

Health Evidence Review Quality Rating 9 (strong). 

The Air Miles Reward Program, via its AIR MILES for Social Change activities, will partner with the YMCA at 15 locations in Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick to enable families to earn AIR MILES reward miles in a variety of ways that encourage physical activity, such as registering their children for day camps, using participating fitness facilities or buying YMCA memberships.

It contains 35 proven programs, traffic calming treatments, and community projects that are used around the country to create great places.

Preventing Chronic Disease  Vol 10 Feb 7th 2013
Coordinators were asked whether their collaborative had used any of the following approaches to promote active living or physical activity in the community: environmental change (eg, trail building), policy change (eg, complete streets), program development (bike/walk-to-work event), educational programs (eg, bike safety), social media (eg, Facebook), or social marketing (eg, advertisements).

We asked whether the collaborative had identified any of the following areas as a core strategy: parks, open spaces, and recreation facilities; transit and parking; children’s play areas; public plazas (ie, community destinations, such as gardens and farmers’ markets); streetscaping (eg, traffic calming); street improvements (eg, street connectivity); infill and redevelopment (eg, mixed use development); and Safe Routes to School.

Health & Place Online 15 February 2013 Accepted Manuscript
In this prospective study of non-sedentary older women, neighborhood walkability did not explain change in BMI or obesity during follow-up. Our results are consistent with a longitudinal study in older men (mean age 70 years) reporting no direct association of built environment with 5-year change in BMI…. Neighborhood walkability may have a greater impact on maintaining normal BMI in older populations. Our results contribute to the small number of longitudinal studies evaluating built environment and obesity

It may seem odd that design could be related to health, but it’s true: pleasing predictability encourages participation. If the basics are well provided, people will flock to the system and use it to the fullest.

Healthy public parks can do wonders to support mental health, reduce stress levels, and foster community engagement. However, the opposite is also true for parks that are deserted, overcrowded, or riddled with inappropriate behaviour. This article explores various factors that contribute to both safe and dangerous park environments, and offers examples on how park spaces can be improved.

PowerPoints and materials from this international conference Breakout Sessions are now available on the individual session pages of this website.

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