July 26, 2013

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

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. 

Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University conducted a randomized controlled trial of Playworks, a nonprofit organization that delivers a safe, healthy recess in low-income elementary schools in 22 U.S. cities. They collected data from students, teachers and school staff at the schools that participated in the trial. The findings are reported in four research briefs; this is the fourth of those briefs.

AM J Prev Med Volume 45, Issue 2, August 2013, Pages 150–157
Higher school-day MVPA was associated with higher daily MVPA among U.S. youth with no evidence for same-day “compensation.” Increasing school-based physical activity is a promising approach that can improve total daily physical activity levels of youth.
Australasian Journal on Ageing Article first published online: 3 JUL 2013
DOI: 10.1111/ajag.12076
Ten people with moderate to severe dementia living in two care facilities engaged in water exercises for strength, balance, agility and flexibility over 12 weeks. Evaluations were performed by a registered nurse. Scores showed that participation in the intervention reduced behavior problems and improved psychological well-being.
The renewed Yukon Active Living Strategy (2012) is portrayed in a one-page overview (page 18) and builds upon the original Strategy’s vision. Three guiding principles: Health Equity and Inclusion, Informed Decision Making, and Shared Responsibility and Collaboration embody the beliefs upon which the renewed Strategy stands.

Available online 18 July 2013 In Press, Corrected Proof
Physical activity during and after cancer treatment has beneficial effects on a number of physical and psychosocial outcomes. This paper aims to discuss the existing physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors and to describe future research directions to optimize prescriptions…… In conclusion, current physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors are generic, and research is needed to develop more personalized physical activity guidelines.

Here’s yet another reason to get off the couch: new research findings suggest that regularly breaking a sweat may lower the risk of having a stroke…..

The WHO/Europe has launched a policy summary and full report on promoting physical activity in socially disadvantaged groups. Scientific evidence shows that physical inactivity is a leading risk factor for ill health, and that these groups tend to have low levels of activity…... Owing to the wide range of target groups and possible interventions, the guidance avoids prescriptive recommendations. Nevertheless, socially disadvantaged groups may need more intensive support at all stages of a project, delivered through a variety of strategies that go beyond information provision.

AM J Prev Med Volume 45, Issue 2, August 2013, Pages 217–227
Although studies are limited, on balance, LTPA prior to, during, and after pregnancy may be important for reducing the risk of postnatal depression. Further research is required to determine the optimal dose and domain of physical activity for reducing postnatal depressive symptoms as well as to examine the link between sedentary behavior and postnatal depressive symptoms.

July 19, 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.
Blue Bombers spokesperson Darren Cameron said it's great to hear that the number of people riding their bikes to games has jumped. He said at the old stadium, usually between 60 and 70 cyclists would show up. He confirms that it was 1,200 at the home opener

A Health Evidence Quality Review. Interventions to promote walking in groups are efficacious at increasing physical activity. Despite low homogeneity of results, and limitations (e.g. small number of studies using objective measures of physical activity, publication bias), which might have influence the findings, the large fail-safe N suggests these findings are robust.

Journal of Transport Geography Online July 2013 In Press, Corrected Proof
·         Investigation of how the social environment influences time spent walking.
·         Conceptual framework is adapted from the physical activity literature.
·         Data are from the Hamilton Active Living Study.
·         Role models and neighborhood social cohesion increase time spent walking.
·         Encouragement and companionship have no effect on time spent walking.

While cities like New York struggle to get people onto bikes, Amsterdam is trying to keep its hordes of bikes under control. In a city of 800,000, there are 880,000 bicycles, the government estimates, four times the number of cars. In the past two decades, travel by bike has grown by 40 percent so that now about 32 percent of all trips within the city are by bike, compared with 22 percent by car.

Three quizzes: for a child, adult or motorist.  I tried the adult one – other than 2 questions related to state law the questions are very generic and apply to all.  Not all text questions – some involve diagrams of roads/cars/cyclists. 
If only we had this problem in North America!  While cities like New York struggle to get people onto bikes, Amsterdam is trying to keep its hordes of bikes under control. In a city of 800,000, there are 880,000 bicycles, the government estimates, four times the number of cars. In the past two decades, travel by bike has grown by 40 percent so that now about 32 percent of all trips within the city are by bike, compared with 22 percent by car..."

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has produced four new videos aimed at educating children, motorists and parents about pedestrian safety.
·         Close call: Pedestrian safety for young drivers
·         Kids explain: Pedestrian safety for middle school-aged kids
·         Walk this way: Pedestrian safety for young children
·         One parent to another: Pedestrian safety

A Health Evidence Quality Review. This review indicates that interventions can increase the proportion of time students spend in MVPA during PE lessons. As most children and adolescents participate in PE, these interventions could lead to substantial public health benefits.

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior online 11 July 2013 In Press
Nutrition and health educators work in community settings implementing lifestyle programs focused on obesity prevention and chronic disease risk reduction. These programs typically focus on improving diet and physical activity (PA) behaviors. Many nutrition educators may not be confident in their ability to select, administer, and interpret PA assessments to effectively evaluate their PA or lifestyle programs. This report will assist educators in identifying and selecting appropriate field-based assessments for measurement of PA, physical fitness, and body composition for children and adults. Specific guidelines, references, and resources are given for selecting assessment methods and test within these 3 areas.

By consciously steering kids into places and situations that allow for active play, parents can play a pivotal role in increasing their children’s physical activity levels without the expense of structured sports lessons or the time commitment to get kids to programs.

Children’s perspectives of the meaning of play are very important in determining the right activities to keep them engaged and physically active. Although existing research primarily explores adults’ understanding of play, less is known about children’s views.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: 15 July 2013
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182a33010
A diabetes diagnosis may prompt patients to increase physical activity. Healthcare professionals should consider how best to capitalize on this opportunity to encourage increased physical activity and maintenance.

A Health Evidence Quality Review.  There was a small significant overall effect for PA on depression. More outcome-focused, high-quality trials are required to effectively inform the implementation of programs to reduce depressive symptoms in children and adolescents.

A Health Evidence Quality Review. These studies consistently show that intensive physical rehabilitation enhances mobility and, when administered over a long period, may also improve the physical functioning of patients with dementia.

This bulletin explores the nature of sport participation, including the use of a coach, training, competition, and the primary type of environment and location where Canadians participate.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2013, 10:79
This research identified a relationship between cell phone use, physical and sedentary activity, and cardiorespiratory fitness. This is the first study that we are aware of to assess these relationships in any population. Cell phone use, like traditional sedentary behaviors, may disrupt physical activity and reduce cardiorespiratory fitness.

Compared to 2006-2007, there has been no significant change in the proportion participating in sport. Gender and age disparities generally persist in both time periods.

The physical environment of schools may influence physical activity (PA) levels of the student population. This Research File highlights a study by Hobin et al. which aimed to explore differences in time spent in PA among secondary school students attending schools in rural, urban and suburban environments, and to identify environment-level and student-level factors pertaining to between-school differences among students.

A recent research paper reveals that environmental differences in where we live and go to school do have an impact on how high school students get active and how much physical activity they tend to get.

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry In Press, Corrected Proof
Higher level of very late-life physical activity was associated with a lower risk of subsequent dementia in oldest-old women. These findings support future studies for late-life physical activity interventions for the prevention of dementia among oldest-old women.

July 12, 2013

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

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 New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity.
Showcases stories of powerful local efforts opening up new lanes to bicycling in communities too often overlooked by traditional transportation planners and bicycling advocates. Intended to be a conversation-starter rather than a comprehensive analysis, the report highlights new data, analysis and organizational profiles that show women, youth and people of color are playing a key role in making bicycling safe, accessible and inviting in diverse communities

The Relationship Between Self-Determined Motivation and Physical Activity in Adolescent Boys
Journal of Adolescent Health In Press, Corrected Proof
The findings of this study suggest that motivation is an important correlate of adolescent boys' physical activity levels in PE lessons and during leisure-time. Also, results indicated that teachers' behavior could be an important determinant of physical activity in PE lessons, while individual motivation may be important in leisure-time.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013; 10: 49.  doi:  10.1186/1479-5868-10-49
No single study has definitively identified a precise and unyielding steps/day value for youth. Considering the other evidence to date, we propose a reasonable ‘rule of thumb’ value of≥11,500 accelerometer-determined steps/day for both children and adolescents (and both genders), accepting that more is better. For practical applications, 9,000 steps/day appears to be a more pedometer-friendly value.

LiveWell Colorado
Take a look at this new initiative in the U.S which provides training and technical assistance to help municipal officials adopt policies that improve access to physical activity and healthy food in their communities.

Three Frameworks to Predict Physical Activity Behavior in Middle School Inclusive Physical Education: A Multilevel Analysis
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly Volume 30, Issue 3, pgs 254-270, July 2013
The findings suggest that the ecological framework should be considered to effectively promote PA of adolescents with and without disabilities in middle school PE classes.

Adherence to and efficacy of home exercise programs to prevent falls: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of exercise program characteristics
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects. A critical abstract by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination found that: Despite limitations in the included trials and in the analyses, and high variability, the conclusions of the review were cautious and broadly reflect the evidence, making them likely to be reliable.

Journal of Aging and PA Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2013 167-185
These results confirm the effectiveness of structured walking interventions with systematic training progression and underscore the value of community-based senior organizations as intervention settings for older adults.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009, 6:59
The purpose of this review is to update expected values for pedometer-determined physical activity in free-living healthy older populations…. The range of 2,000–9,000 steps/day likely reflects the true variability of physical activity behaviors in older populations. More explicit patterns, for example sex- and age-specific relationships, remain to be informed by future research endeavors.

This research looked at how important everyday physical activity was in maintaining enough blood flow to the brain.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011; 8: 80. doi:  10.1186/1479-5868-8-80
They found “the evidence suggests that 30 minutes of daily MVPA accumulated in addition to habitual daily activities in healthy older adults is equivalent to taking approximately 7,000-10,000 steps/day. Those living with disability and/or chronic illness (that limits mobility and or/physical endurance) display lower levels of background daily activity, and this will affect whole-day estimates of recommended physical activity.”

A step-defined sedentary lifestyle index: less than 5000 steps/day
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2013, 38(2): 100-114
di: 10.1139/apnm-2012-0235
Although few alternative values have been considered, the continued use of less than 5000 steps/day as a step-defined sedentary lifestyle index for adults is appropriate for researchers and practitioners and for communicating with the general public. There is little evidence to advocate any specific value indicative of a step-defined sedentary lifestyle index in children and adolescents.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has called upon all of America’s public schools to strengthen and improve programs and policies for physical activity and physical education in the school environment. PE teachers and educators will appreciate to see included in the IOM report’s six major recommendations a call to have the U.S. Department of Education designate physical education as a core subject.

Do Neighborhoods Make People Active, or Do People Make Active Neighborhoods? Evidence from a Planned Community in Austin, Texas
Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120119. doi:
This study supports the role the environment plays in physical activity. These data suggest that moving to an activity-friendly neighborhood can positively affect physical activity levels, particularly among residents who had previously been least active.

Preventive Medicine In Press, Corrected Proof
  • Having green spaces was associated with a higher likelihood of walking maintenance.
  • No green space attributes were associated with walking initiation.
  • Green spaces may be an important resource for adults to maintain walking habit.
  • Non-environmental strategies are needed to help inactive adults to take up walking.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2013, 10:57
Increasing empirical evidence supports associations between neighborhood environments and physical activity. However, since most studies were conducted in a single country, particularly western countries, the generalizability of associations in an international setting is not well understood. The current study examined whether associations between perceived attributes of neighborhood environments and physical activity differed by country.

Women and Bicycles: The ins and outs of urban bicycling
This workbook is designed to be used as an educational tool in small group sessions with Roll Models to provide an initial overview on the main aspects of bicycling, through conversations and activities.

Creating Healthy Workplaces - Prolonged sitting
Learn about the effects of prolonged sitting and what can be done to minimize their impact in this video created for Vic Health as part of their creating healthy workplaces program.

Obesity Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
doi: 10.1002/oby.20342
Participation in this 4-month, pedometer-based, physical activity, workplace health program was associated with sustained improvements in chronic disease risk factors at 12 months. These results indicate that such programs can have a long-term benefit and thus a potential role to play in population prevention of chronic disease.