March 22, 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.

This report synthesizes academic behaviour change literature with the practical application of cycling programs to present an adaptable, evidence-based guide to the development of a “toolkit” to accelerate the adoption of cycling for transportation.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume 44, Issue 4, Supplement 4, Pages A1-A4, S297-S400 (April 2013)
This supplement includes articles related to prevention and the role of physical activity.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport published online 25 February 2013
Due to the high prevalence and incidence of co-morbidities in CKD patients, exercise training programs should be prescribed and delivered by individuals with appropriate qualifications and experience to recognize and accommodate co-morbidities and associated complications.

Canadians understand the connection between their lifestyles and their health, an Ekos survey for the Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care has found. Although Canadians understand the importance of lifestyles, the Conference Board points out that only a fraction of the 6.2 per cent of government health expenditures on public health goes to health promotion.

Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Online 14 March 2013
Exercise could probably be tailored to increase cardiovascular health or to prevent bone loss. It is of great importance for healthcare providers to recommend slowly increased frequency, duration and intensity and to help find activities that suit the individual in order to increase compliance….. Overall, dietary and exercise modifications seem to be strong promoters of healthy ageing.

Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability in the UK. New statistics released by the South West Public Health Observatory and charity Sustrans show that lack of physical activity could cause as many as 36,815 premature deaths in England each year.
This data is part of the new Health Impact of Physical Inactivity (HIPI) tool. This web-based tool estimates how many excess deaths and cases of certain diseases could be prevented in each local authority in England, if the population (aged 40-79) were to engage in recommended amounts of physical activity.

Physical Activity Research Group (University College London)
In response to growing interest in the field of physical activity epidemiology at UCL, the Physical Activity Research Group (PARG) was established in December 2010 in the Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and is now part of the Population Health Domain. The key aim of PARG is to act as a platform to promote multi-disciplinary collaborations and enhance the presence of UCL in several strategic areas.

This manual focuses on all users and all modes, seeking to achieve balanced street design that accommodates cars while ensuring that pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can travel safely and comfortably. This manual also incorporates features to make streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant as well as environmentally sustainable.

Great public places are the heart of any vibrant and people-oriented city. Parks, markets, public squares and lively streets are popular spots for neighbours to socialize, relax, play and engage with their community. People Make Places is 8-80 Cities’ unique place-making process. It is designed to revitalize underperforming public spaces, by creating inviting community destinations, through authentic community participation.
Featuring nine ways to create streets that are community assets, this project guides planners, engineers, advocates, elected officials, and community members to rethink what streets would look like if they accommodated people of all ages and abilities, promoted health, business, and the environment. In addition to strategies to improve mobility and access for people of all ages, abilities, and modes of travel, the guide includes best practices and case studies to support commerce, wayfinding, and green infrastructure

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages e41-e47
This project aimed to develop and evaluate the utility of a computerized, tablet-based participatory tool designed to engage older residents in identifying neighborhood elements that affect active living opportunities….. Elements identified as affecting active living were commensurate with the existing literature (e.g., sidewalk features, aesthetics, parks/playgrounds, crosswalks). However, within each housing site, the profile of environmental elements identified was distinct, reflecting the importance of granular-level information collected by the tool.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 406-415
A systematic literature search was conducted identifying RCTs, published before June 2012, evaluating the effect of a WHPP aimed at smoking cessation, physical activity, healthy nutrition, and/or obesity on self-perceived health, work absence due to sickness, work productivity, or work ability… The effectiveness of a WHPP is partly determined by intervention characteristics and statistical analysis. High-quality RCTs reported lower effect sizes.

March 15, 2012

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.

Why are the relatively modest costs of sidewalks, bicycle lanes and paths, and pedestrian improvements met with suspicion and hostility by the conventional auto-oriented transportation community? What are the true costs and the true benefits of these projects?

Save for walking trips, no trip involves just one form of transportation. We inevitably shift between two or more methods of travel – by foot, bicycle, bus, train, car – so we must be aware that every mode of transportation is connected and strive to make these connections seamless.

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume 50, April 2013, Pages 198–208
This study contributes to walking behavior research in three ways. It presents:
·         a deeper understanding of the varied reasons people choose to walk;
·         a new understanding of how these motivations are correlated with trip satisfaction; and
·         a theoretical framework positing how the same underlying values and motivations lead to home location decision while simultaneously moderating the effect of trip characteristics such as slope and distance.

While 77 per cent of United Nations countries carry out safety audits to ensure the safety of road infrastructure projects for cyclists and pedestrians, Canada does not, and is contributing to a concerning trend of countries promoting alternative forms of transportation without ensuring their safety, according to the Global Status Report on Road Safety.

From the Conservation Law Foundation

Wouldn't you just love to have a superhero sweep down, stand up to the jerk behind the wheel, and block the car so you could cross safely? Enter Peatónito, the masked Mexican defender of pedestrians!... He wears a cape and a mask in the tradition of Lucha Libre, the popular Mexican wrestling style.

Swedish auto major Volvo has unveiled a new "pedestrian airbag," which pops up on the outside of the car to protect people who get struck.

No one is suggesting that it is, or should become a crime, however media reports about walking and bicycling injuries and deaths more often than not lead one to the conclusion the victim was somewhere doing something he shouldn't have been doing

Perhaps the most important lesson drawn from the case studies is that no single measure suffices. A coordinated package of infrastructure provisions, promotional programs, and transportation and land-use policies is the trademark of every city that has succeeded at significantly raising cycling levels.

This document was updated 13 March 2013

The HANDS UP for Health and Physical Literacy video series has launched on Youtube. It is a three-part illustrated video series that will engage children and youth in physical and health literacy.

This report identifies interventions that can help increase physical activity in youth ages 3-17 years across a variety of settings. The primary audiences for the report are policymakers, health care and public health professionals

Annual Review of Public Health Volume 34
This article published in 'The Annual Review of Public Health' investigates various ways that transportation policy and planning decisions affect public health, and transport planning can better incorporate public health objectives. It identifies 'win-win' strategies that help improve public health and achieve other planning objectives.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a large, national, long-term study that will follow approximately 50,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 for at least 20 years. The study will collect information on the changing biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic aspects of people’s lives.

UAlberta researcher says terms such as "normal," "healthy" or "successful" aging can prejudice our views of seniors.

Diabetologia March 2013
These studies provide preliminary evidence that sedentary behavior may be a more effective way to target the prevention of type 2 diabetes, rather than just solely focusing on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)…… This approach requires a paradigm shift, so that individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes think about the balance of sedentary behavior and physical activity throughout the day.

Preventing Chronic Disease 2013
Changing the built environment to promote active lifestyles requires collaboration among diverse sectors. Multisectoral collaborative groups in the United States promote active lifestyles through environmental and policy changes. The objective of this study was to examine the characteristics of these collaborative groups and the extent to which they have achieved change.

This article published in "Public Roads" describes current efforts to redesign urban streets for multiple users and uses. (Includes great before and after photos)

A few days ago, I was reviewing some good work by colleagues describing NRDC’s advocacy for sustainable cities. The original draft stressed that dense living is the way to go. Wherever the word "dense" appeared, I crossed it out substituted the word "walkable." Not only is "walkable" a much friendlier word; it also captures so many more of the things we need to make the places where we live and work more sustainable and livable.

Preventing Chronic Disease 2013
We reduced the price of salad bar purchases by 50% during March 2012 and analyzed sales data by month for February through June 2012. …..Although our survey data are limited by a 26% response rate, the survey data and the 366% increase in salad sales by weight in March suggest that cost is a significant barrier to salad consumption….The change in purchases in response to the change of price suggests that salads purchased in a cafeteria are viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity


March 11, 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.
This focus page contains resources for bicycle and pedestrian planning, and other non-motorized transportation modes, including guidelines and design standards, case studies and ideas for integrated planning, funding strategies, and other helpful tools.

The proposed rights-of-way guidelines, which cover access to sidewalks, streets, and other pedestrian facilities, provide requirements for pedestrian access routes, including specifications for route width, grade, cross slope, surfaces, and other features.

This research brief describes types of technologies for counting bicyclists and pedestrians and the benefits and challenges associated with different approaches. It also explains how counting data can be used to inform transportation planning, presents trends in levels of bicycle and pedestrian activity, and illustrates one goal of non-motorized traffic monitoring, namely, estimating bicycle and pedestrian traffic on streets in cities and towns.

If you choose not to complete the declaration just scroll to the bottom of the page to visit the main website. A unique collaboration of organizations working at the intersection of transportation, public health and community vitality to promote greater investment in creating safe trail, walking and bicycling networks for all, and facilitating greater physical activity through active transportation.

A Comprehensive Look at Crash Data From 2000-2010 and Recommendations for Improved Bicyclist Safety.' Forty-one percent of crashes occur at intersections and another 40 percent occur within 50 feet of intersections. There is a clear correlation between the number of bicyclists and the crash rate. As the number of bicyclists has increased over the past decade, the crash rate has decreased. On streets and corridors with higher volumes of bicycle traffic, the crash rate tends to be lower than on streets with lower volumes of bicycle traffic.

The new Walkonomics app -- currently available only for Manhattan, San Francisco and the United Kingdom -- uses open source data to rank streets on a scale of one to five. Whereas Walk Score bases its rankings largely on the accessibility of nearby amenities, Walkonomics looks at sidewalk-level measurements such as street widths, traffic levels, 311 cleanliness reports, crime statistics, and pedestrian injuries.

Scroll down for pdf’s of the presentations. 

At the risk of oversimplification, Active for Life has produced a short list of nine simple physical tests and questions to assess the state of your child’s physical literacy. These questions describe a few of the simple abilities and attitudes that are commonly associated with physical literacy in early school age children.

A report that details the results of a public opinion survey of Canadians and parents on issues of physical education, health education, and physical activity. The findings paint a picture of broad-based support for greater investment in physical and health education.

From OPHEA – this resource is a three part illustrated video series that will teach children and youth about the importance of physical and health literacy in a fun and engaging way.

This document will help you to understand what the guidelines are, what types and amounts of physical activity children and young people should do and why this is important. It will help you to shape your programs and assist in motivating even the least active people to meet the physical activity guidelines.

Health & Place Volume 20, March 2013, Pages 62–65
We find that land uses such as buildings and roads and pavements were generally used for light activity, whilst green environments such as gardens, parks, grassland and farmland appear supportive of vigorous activity. Built land uses such as hard surface play areas were particularly used for activity of short duration.

18 March 2013 to 19 March 2013
An international conference hosted in London
The event will bring together architects, planners, designers, developers, and public health professionals to explore how building design and policy decisions can make communities healthier….

June 20th – 21st Toronto
A conference that will examine the impact of five intersecting themes that are shaping the future of design in our cities.

This Toolbox gives you free access to a wide variety of resources, tools, and tips on promoting healthy eating through your organization’s networks and communities.

A guide for children, youth and adults to track their food intake to ensure they’re meeting the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide

Successfully advocating for and enacting policy change for increasing population levels of physical activity may come as the result of linking physical activity to other relevant policy initiatives…...  Read about New Hampshire's 2013-2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and how it sits within the broader US National Physical Plan.

Preventive Medicine online 27 February 2013 In Press
We report a systematic review of educational interventions for childhood obesity ► Educational interventions to treat childhood obesity reduced BMI and waist circumference ► Educational interventions to treat childhood obesity reduced diastolic blood pressure ► Educational interventions to prevent obesity in school children did not improve outcomes

Completely re-envisioned, the new ICAA site is extremely easy to use. It's also filled with more of the information you've come to expect from us. Featuring 300 videos; 1,500 research studies; 1,200 articles; 80 handouts; 12 PowerPoint presentations, plus much, much more…

British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First 2013
This is a good quality study to contribute to the sedentary behaviour evidence base in an under studied age group. Investigating the effects in older men would be an avenue for future research. More practically, this study highlights the need for ;health programs for older women to aim to  reduce sitting, with particular consideration for chronic health conditions.

$250,000 annual investment into active living programs will boost physical activity levels among Yukoners of all ages and help combat rising rates of childhood obesity, Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor announced.

The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) undertook a project for the Medibank Community Fund, to identify effective and successful strategies for recruitment and retention of participants in community-based health promotion programs. Lots of info about children, and active transport and environmental influences.

The Rural and Small Community Planning focus area page is a one-stop shop for resources about transportation planning in rural and small communities on the TPCB website. It includes links to publications, legislation and guidance, recent peer events, upcoming calendar events, and related websites. Includes reports like: “Forging Transit-Bicycle-Pedestrian Partnerships for
Livable, Sustainable Communities”.

Read the latest facts around sedentary behaviour in this Research Digest from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, including MET values for different types of activities and daily time allocations of sedentary people.

This report describes a methodology for measuring pedestrian and bicyclist exposure based on counts of pedestrian and bicyclist volumes as well as the distances that pedestrians and bicyclists travel on facilities shared with motor vehicles.

Although walking has many benefits, in regard to both transportation and health, it is oddly neglected in most planning exercises. One reason for this neglect is that appropriate data collection and analysis are prohibitively expensive. This research demonstrates how Walk Score data can be used to estimate walk mode share and can be applied in planning practice for the site-development process and for general planning.

The purpose of this white paper is to identify an integrated and flexible approach to how metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and their partners can successfully consider aspects of health during the transportation planning process.

International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics Online 1 March 2013 In Press
Few women achieved the minimum recommendations for exercise before or during pregnancy. Nevertheless, adoption of healthy lifestyle choices during pregnancy seemed to promote other healthy habits, such as participation in LTPA.

Polish Annals of Medicine online 27 February 2013 In Press
The aim of this study was to investigate the selected forms of physical activity undertaken during pregnancy and to compare the level of physical activity before pregnancy and during its duration…. Physical activity during pregnancy is very popular among women in the Lublin area. According to studies by various authors physical activity carries many benefits for both mother and baby, so pregnant women should be encouraged to perform physical exercises if there are no contraindications.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2013 10(1), 210-218
Large colourful stair-riser as well as floor stickers bearing the motivational messages (“I Want to climb the stairs for fitness” and “I’ve burnt 5x more calories using the stairs!”) were put up in two centrally-located, underground air-conditioned train stations. Each of these stations had a 30-step staircase located adjacent to an escalator. On comparing the incidence in stair-climbing between stations that had PODPs and those without, overall the PODP’s increased the likelihood of stair climbing by 48.5%.