May 31, 2013

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

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.

The 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card Summary

A video featuring prominent active living researchers promoting how to make cities more walkable.

Spacing is pleased to be working with the Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank, a research partnership located at the School of the Environment, University of Toronto, devoted to increasing cycling for transportation. This is the start of an ongoing series of posts looking at some of the research coming out of the think tank.

A relative newcomer in the field of modeling behavior patterns - agent-based simulation - can empower planners to go beyond intuition and predict the outcomes of design decisions at the neighbourhood scale in surprising detail. In addition, it allows “what if” explorations, testing planning scenarios and implementations with ease.

Am J of Preventive Medicine Vol 44, Iss 6, June 2013, Pages 605–611
Data from two longitudinal studies conducted in Melbourne, Australia, were used. Accelerometer data were provided for 2053 children at baseline; 756 at 3-year follow-up and 622 at 5-year follow-up….. The importance of the afterschool period for children’s physical activity increases with age, particularly as children enter adolescence.

A new health fact sheet based on information from the Canadian Health Measures Survey.

The fact sheets look at a range of elements of physical activity including:
•general trends
•travel to school
•provision of PE and sport in schools
•activities outside of school

Today's schoolchildren face future illness because parents insist on driving them to school, according to a new report from the UK.

Am J of Preventive Medicine Vol 44, Iss 6, June 2013, Pages 651–658
This review highlights the importance of establishing recommended levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior during the early years of life. Based on this review, the following recommendations are made: (1) early childhood should be targeted as a critical time to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors through methodologically sound prevention studies; and (2) future tracking studies should assess a broad range of sedentary behaviors using objective measures.

BioMed Central Public Health 2013, 13:399
Football United was successful using a sport-oriented program in developing cross-cultural relationships and creating positive behaviours particularly amongst boys. The impact of Football United has only been assessed for individual impact; further studies are needed to determine the effect of sport-for-development programs on the whole of school environment and the community.

The Journal of Pediatrics Volume 162, Issue 6, June 2013, Pages 1169–1174
This study does not support an independent effect of sedentarism on adiposity. The preventive effect of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity on adiposity in children and adolescents remained strong after adjusting for the effect of sedentarism.

Calgary - Captain Nichola Goddard School teacher Deborah Rheinstein recalls a school meeting in which some parents worried the traffic chaos at drop-off time was too dangerous for kids on foot or bikes, so they chose do drive instead. Although she was too kind to say it, the irony of that situation is sadly rich.

Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice  In Press, Corrected Proof
Performing more than 150 min of intense physical activity a week is associated with better metabolic control in type 1 Spanish patients. No positive impact in metabolic control was observed in relation to the time spent in moderate physical activity.

Canadian Journal of Diabetes Volume 37, Supplement 3, June 2013, Pages S306
Executive Summary: Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada

The Government of Canada is providing more than $1.4 million in funding under the Healthy Living Fund for community-based projects across the country that will help Canadians lead healthier lives…………

The term “active aging” means staying involved in life, and the seven dimensions of wellness are a framework to support that purpose. Staying active appears to be a consistent goal of centenarians—people who are 100 years old.

Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness In Press, Corrected Proof
The aging process occurs at different rates among different tissues. The complication of the definition of aging is due to the occurrence of various diseases that modify body functions and tissue structure. Advances in medicine and public health have considerably increased life expectancy over the past 200 years. An enormous effort has recently been expended to understand how the aging process is regulated at the molecular and cellular levels with hopes to find a way to extend maximal life span. There are several determinants of life span, but one common thread that has emerged in a variety of species from yeast to rodents is regulation of life span by mitochondria. Mitochondria decay that occurs with age cannot be counteracted unless physical activity is enhanced……………………

Many older Canadians are anxious to get winter over with NOW. We want to get out, be in the fresh air, and feel the sun’s rays. With longer days, warmer temperatures, and dryer ground on the way, you can take your first steps to a fun and fit summer.

BioMed Central Public Health. 2012; 12: 41
Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region collect population-level PA data. This review highlights differences in estimates within and between countries. Some differences may be real, others due to variation in the PA questions asked and survey methods used.

The CHMS, which collects both self-reported and direct measures of Canadians' health, measured the physical activity of Canadians through the use of an activity monitor worn by respondents for the week following their visit to a mobile examination centre. Data collected from 2007 to 2011 show that about 15% of Canadian adults and 6% of children and youth met the current physical activity guidelines recommended for their age group.

This site is designed to provide the updated 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities and additional resources. The 2011 update identifies and updates MET codes that have published evidence to support the values. In addition, new codes have been added to reflect the growing body of knowledge and popular activities.

A new health fact sheet based on information from the Canadian Health Measures Survey.

This report captures the lessons and challenges in increasing participation of Victorians (AU) in community sport and recreation in the Participation in Community Sport and Active Recreation (PICSAR) program which funded 61 Victorian projects from 2007 to 2011.

Understanding and interpreting research evidence is an important part of practicing evidence-informed public health. You need to understand some basic concepts. That’s why the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools has developed a series of short videos to explain some important terms that you are likely to encounter when looking at research evidence.
  • How to Calculate an Odds Ratio
  • Understanding a Confidence Interval
  • Forest Plots: Understanding a Meta-Analysis in 5 Minutes or Less
  • The Importance of Clinical Significance
Looks at 17 studies that compare 2 different scenarios. One scenario includes buildings located closer to each other; more walkable neighborhoods; streets with better connections among destinations; a greater mix of home types; and more transportation options. We call this scenario “smart growth development.” The other scenario often includes siting buildings farther away from each other; designing neighborhoods primarily for driving; creating a less-connected street system with longer distances between destinations; and providing fewer public transportation options. We call this scenario “conventional suburban development.”

It has been hypothesized that overbuilding of parking results in increased auto ownership and
vehicle miles traveled, unnecessary congestion of the motor vehicle network, and increased housing costs.

These participation tools provide a broad range of strategies to collect information about community values, aspirations and needs, which can then be incorporated into community plans that meaningfully reflect the community’s vision for its future. This guidebook introduces the tools through summary descriptions, examples of how they are being used, and resources for how to access them.

A Position Statement from the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) to manage urban growth, secure infrastructure investment, determine appropriate settlement patterns for cities and towns and generate economic development.

May 17, 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.
The Round Up will return May 30th.

Health & Place available online 7 May 2013 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
·         The 30 minutes of physical activity can be achieved by walking to and from transit.
·         Daily walking distance varied by individual characteristics and mode of transit.
·         Daily walking distance to public transit was influenced by mode of transportation.
·         Suburban train users walked the highest number of minutes to and from stations.
·         Neighbourhood physical characteristics did not affect walking to public transit.

Produced by the League of American Bicyclists.  Could be something fun to do over any timeframe this spring/summer.

The “Make Walking Safe” campaign was launched as part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, and includes video, posters, an advocacy document, and other resources.

This 132 page resource describes: the magnitude of pedestrian deaths and injuries; key risk factors; ways of assessing the pedestrian safety situation in a given setting and prepare an action plan; and how to select, design, implement and evaluate effective interventions. The manual stresses the importance of a comprehensive, holistic approach that includes engineering, legislation and enforcement as well as behavioural measures. It also draws attention to the benefits of walking, which should be promoted as an important mode of transport given its potential to improve health and preserve the environment.

Read this article on how we can tackle the problem of rising obesity and physical inactivity through sustainable transport.

Also includes links to checklists for other age groups.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise., Post acceptance, 8 April 2013
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318295a9fc
As a low competency of FMS reduces children’s participation in sport and physical activity, this study paid attention to the need to increase FMS amongst school-aged children to ensure they have the ability to be physically active.

Presents six descriptive narratives of specific examples of organizations across Canada, which illustrates the successful use of evaluation findings to inform programs and practices in chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

A webinar with CHNET Works highlighting stories from the Casebook took place on March 7th, 2013.  It was recorded as is available through Presentation Downloads.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehab Available online 10 May 2013
Among those with mild to moderate disability from MS, there is sufficient evidence that exercise training is effective for improving both aerobic capacity and muscular strength. Exercise may improve mobility, fatigue, and health related quality of life.

PCD recently released 8 articles focusing on multiple chronic conditions (MCC).


 A study of 300 men and women ages 18-30. “The group was randomly assigned to a menu without calorie labels, a menu with calorie labels, or a menu with labels for the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn the food calories….. The menu displaying the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn food calories led to fewer calories ordered and eaten compared with the menu without calorie labels. A menu with calorie counts did not change eating behaviors.

Need a faster, more efficient way to find high quality research evidence?
Search Pyramids are designed for public health professionals who need to find research evidence to support their program and policy decisions.

This is a simple self-administered tool that:
1.      Assesses readiness for policy change using a simple, self-administered checklist
2.      Provides targeted, evidence-based policy change strategies for taking action (based on level of readiness)
3.      Recommends general evidence-based resources to foster healthy public policy

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post acceptance, 22 February 2013
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182897e87
This study is one of the first to examine continued exposure to high sitting time and mortality in older adults. Despite some methodological limitations, findings from this study are important---prolonged sitting kills. While it might never be too late to reduce sitting, even at an older age, further studies are needed to confirm that reductions in sedentariness in older adults leads to lower mortality.

Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120244
Safe and well-designed community environments support healthful behaviors that help prevent chronic conditions and unintentional injuries and enable older adults to be active and engaged in community life for as long as possible.

The Lancet Available online 2 May 2013In Press, Corrected Proof
This moderately intense exercise program did not reduce depressive symptoms in residents of care homes. In this frail population, alternative strategies to manage psychological symptoms are required.

Journal of Physiotherapy Vol 59, Iss 2, June 2013, Pages 125
This study has the potential to demonstrate that physical activity interventions can be delivered simultaneously to older carers and care recipients to improve mental and physical outcomes.

ALCOA National Director, Patty Clark, discusses the steps necessary to make active lifestyle changes on Roger's "Aging in Peel" program.

At ages 50-72 years, 68 women who were postmenopausal and diagnosed with osteoporosis were randomly assigned to an exercise group or a control group… After six months, the exercising group significantly improved in muscular strength and balance. The control group declined in strength and balance.

Journal of Physiotherapy Vol 59, Iss 2, June 2013, Pages 81–92
Adherence was measured as the mean proportion of sessions attended, including participants who discontinued the intervention. Falls prevention efficacy was measured as the proportion of fallers in the intervention versus the control group at follow-up. Various program-related factors, including intervention duration, session frequency, and components of the exercise regimen were examined for each of the studies.

CFLRI Research File 05/13. This Research File explores the relationship between gas prices and physical activity; this is explored using periods of marked and unexpected increases in gasoline prices. A positive relationship between gasoline prices and physical activity is observed; increased physical activity having many health benefits, reduction in obesity being one of them.

CFLRI Lifestyle Tips 05/13. There’s some thought-provoking research that puts forward the notion that when we rely less on modern conveniences, we increase physical activity in our daily lives. Researchers who wanted to gauge whether a gasoline tax could potentially be a part of effective policy strategies to reduce obesity rates looked at whether or not higher gasoline prices have any impact on physical activity levels.

Carl believes that we can fix almost any societal problem by slowing down, and that many of our issues, ranging from health to business to parenting, stem from our addiction to speed and the desire for quick results…..

About 20 percent of U.S. adults are meeting both the aerobic and muscle strengthening components of the federal government's physical activity recommendations, according to a report published in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Understanding and interpreting research evidence is an important part of practicing evidence-informed public health. You need to understand some basic concepts. That’s why the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools has developed a series of short videos to explain some important terms that you are likely to encounter when looking at research evidence.
  • How to Calculate an Odds Ratio
  • Understanding a Confidence Interval
  • Forest Plots: Understanding a Meta-Analysis in 5 Minutes or Less
  • The Importance of Clinical Significance
This Australian document includes recommendations for health planners and strategic planners to consider as they develop Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans and Municipal Strategic Statements.

The old paradigm evaluated transport system performance based primarily on the speed, convenience and affordability of motor vehicle travel, and so favored automobile-oriented improvements. The new paradigm is more comprehensive and multi-modal. It considers a broader range of modes, objectives, impacts and transport system improvement options.

Lots of great information/ideas in here to get to motivated to ride your bike to work this spring/summer - including overcoming bike commuting concerns.

May 3, 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.
Environmental Health, 8, 47 (Health Evidence Review)
Evidence is beginning to accumulate that purpose-built bicycle-specific facilities reduce crashes and injuries among cyclists, providing the basis for initial transportation engineering guidelines for cyclist safety. Street lighting, paved surfaces, and low-angled grades are additional factors that appear to improve cyclist safety.

A bicycle barometer is a digital display of the numbers of people on bicycle in the bike lane, summarizing volumes for the day and the annual cumulative total. The purpose of the barometer is to encourage more people to ride their bikes by showing how many bicycle riders have been counted, and to also capture data on bicycle usage.

This video was produced by the Be Fit for Life Network in Alberta and funded through a Canadian Sport for Life Project Grant from the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise Online 24 April 2013 In Press
Intrinsic motivation for exercise among adolescents may be enhanced when the environment supports perceived competence, relatedness, and autonomy, and when adolescents participate in activities that they find enjoyable.

BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:19
The small number of studies on the interrelationship of BMI, fitness and physical activity emphasizes the need for longitudinal studies that would reveal 1) the causality between physical activity and overweight / fitness and overweight and 2) the causal interrelationships among overweight, physical activity and fitness. These results must be carefully interpreted given the lack of distinction between self-reported and objective physical activity and that studies analyzing the metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular disease were not considered. The importance of physical activity or fitness in predicting overweight remains unknown.

School safety zones that reduce automobile speed to 20mph cover a 300m radius around each school, yet the average distance to school is 1.8 km. This article argues that this radius only covers 17% of the journeys that students take if they walk or bike to school. Therefore, school safety zones provide little protection. Instead, the authors suggest that we should ensure that children are given better conditions for walking and cycling for the whole route from their home to school by creating community wide 20mph speed limit zones…

Diabetes Care, 35(12), 2681-2689 (Health Evidence Review)
Behavioral interventions increased free-living PA/exercise and produced clinically significant improvements in long-term glucose control. Future studies should consider use of theory and multiple behavior change techniques associated with clinically significant improvements in HbA1c, including structured training for care providers on the delivery of behavioural interventions.

PCD Volume 10 April 25th (2013)
This week Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) released 8 articles focusing on multiple chronic conditions. The articles within this collection address the current trends in population growth, age distribution, and disease dynamics that forecast rises in the prevalence of chronic diseases, other chronic conditions, and combinations of chronic conditions.


This document is meant to anchor discussions at a May 2013 National Recreation Roundtable in New Brunswick, which is one step along the process of developing a National Recreation Agenda. That event will also explore the alignment of any shared initiatives between Active Canada 20/20, the Canadian Sport Policy, and the National Recreation Agenda.

This series of maps shows the percentages of the U.S. population medically defined as obese.

Cdn J of Public Health Vol 104, No 1 (2013)
In 2003, 22.3 per cent of the population was estimated to be obese, and that percentage has climbed to an average of 25.3 per cent.

Few researchers have considered older adult men’s experiences with physical activity. Older adult men represent one of the least active demographic groups. Identifying elements of exercises programs that older adult men consider appealing holds the potential to inform our understanding of the activity levels demonstrated by this demographic.

“Maturing.”  “Ripening.”  “Evolving.” Call “aging” what you will, but supporting an aging population is becoming a major concern for governments, societies and communities across the globe. Now, new research from collaborators in the School of Public Health sheds light on the challenges seniors face in Edmonton neighbourhoods.

The alternative therapies rarely caused serious side effects and posed few health risks. All three types of exercise reduced blood pressure……..

This report highlights exemplary policy language, and provides leaders at all levels of government with ideas for how to create strong Complete Streets policies. Information about additional resources for local leaders is also included.

Infographic  that looks at the key factors contributing to the decline of suburbia.

Note: Big document (257 pages). This project reviewed available research to determine the underlying relationships between households, firms and travel demand and then turned these relationships into a regional scenario planning tool that can be used to evaluate the impacts of various smart growth policies.

Preventive Medicine Online 26 February 2013
► Supervised physical activity plus diet interventions were the most effective. ► Innovative strategies to maximize the intervention effect should be developed. ► Interventions are needed to start during pregnancy and continue during postpartum.