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

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