September 16, 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.

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 7 (moderate).

The report includes a look at the health benefits of cycling.

The province will play a leadership role in striving to achieve our cycling vision, but we are asking municipalities, the public, road users, businesses and non-governmental organizations to partner with us to create a more cycling-friendly future for Ontario.

This slide show documents the boom in cycling in both European and North American cities. It shows that cycling can thrive even in cities with no history or culture of daily, utilitarian cycling, but only if government policies provide safe, convenient, and pleasant cycling conditions

“…it is hard to dispute the fact that bicycling is good for you -- it’s good for your health, and easy on your pocketbook. It is also getting harder and harder to dispute the fact that bicycling is good for the community at large. The economics of bicycling tell us a few key things: bicycles are cheaper to own than cars, bicyclists tend to spend more money in their local communities, property values rise with increased bicycling infrastructure, and more bicycling leads to more health savings…”

This analysis indicates that many active transport benefits tend to be overlooked or undervalued in conventional transport economic evaluation….. It discusses active transport demands and ways to increase walking and cycling activity.

The Planning Checklists for Cycling and Practice Note can be used to help build healthy new suburbs where everyone can ride their bikes as part of their everyday life, developed as part of the 3 year Healthy New Suburbs in Urban Growth Zones VicHealth funded project.

Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2013 Aug;25(3):337-46. Epub 2013 Jul 12
There were no differences in weekend steps or screen time. Being driven to and from school is associated with less weekday pedometer-determined physical activity in 9- to 13-year-old elementary-school children. Encouraging children, especially girls, to walk to and from school (even for part of the way for those living further distances) could protect the health and well-being of those children who are insufficiently active.

Chapter 4 is dedicated to PE and PA. SHPPS is the largest and most comprehensive survey to assess (American) school health policies.

To see the full list of conference sessions go to  (a link near the top of the page also offers a pdf of the full conference program). For a list of conference presentations go to

This award-winning program demonstrates an integrated approach to school travel planning at 30 elementary schools to support the use of active and sustainable transportation modes. Learn about the partnerships, policies and other tools and approaches that led to the success and sustainability of the project, with a focus on  roll-out and sustainability in Hamilton, Ontario.
(This webinar video-recording is now publicly accessible at no charge.)

Alberta Blue Cross has launched a Healthy Communities grant program. “Four $50,000 grants will be awarded each year to support community amenities and facilities that promote active living.”  Deadline September 30th.

Annual Review of Public Health 2013. 34:22.1–22.17
doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031912-114502
Conventional planning tends to consider some public health impacts, such as crash risk and  pollution emissions measured per vehicle-kilometer, but generally ignores health problems resulting from less active transport (reduced walking and cycling activity)……..

Preventive Medicine Available online 30 August 2013 In Press
•We investigate association between green space, mental health and physical activity.
•We focused upon adults in middle-to-older age in Australia.
•Psychological distress was less common among adults in greener areas.
•Physically inactive adults did not appear to benefit from more green space.
•Mental health benefits of green space for older adults depend on active lifestyles.

If you don’t like this commercial, you don’t like anything.

American Journal of Health Behavior, Volume 37, Number 6, November 2013, pp. 841-850(10)
The application of our calibration equations to self-reported data produced closer estimates to actual rates of overweight and obesity. We advocate the use of our correction equation whenever dealing with self-reported height and weight from telephone surveys to avoid potential distortions in estimating obesity prevalence. (Nykiforuk, Plotnikoff, Raine – authors)

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 8 (strong).

Language can be a barrier to health behavior change, as can recommendations that do not fit into an ethnic culture. One advantage of technology is the ability to synchronize culturally-sensitive images and content with sound tracks in different languages.

Arthritis Care & Research, accepted article
Using data from the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project study's first (1999-2004) and second follow-up (2005-2010), we tested the association between meeting physical activity guidelines and incident knee outcomes among 1522 adults aged ≥45 years…. Over six years, people who engaged in moderate physical activity up to 150 minutes/week (equivalent to two and a half hours a week) did not increase their risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

Many of us struggle to be physically active on a regular basis. Exercise—particularly starting an exercise program—challenges people to change their behavior, and that’s hard. More than half the attempts to begin exercise programs lapse within a few months.

Health & Place Volume 23, September 2013, Pages 18–25

•The 30 min 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

The Grande Prairie Get Active Network (GPGAN) has launched a new website to help the community stay happy and healthy.  The project connects residents to information on clubs, sports teams, recreation, fitness and more.

British Journal of Sport Medicine Published Online First 23 July 2013
This review offers insightful lessons that may assist policymakers, practitioners and communities seeking to mobilize political commitment and leadership for physical activity in their own countries.

Haliburton Communities in Action is a rare, well-documented model for promoting walking and cycling in a small or rural community. It illustrates how infrastructure and policy changes can be important elements of the social marketing mix, in this case to remove key barriers to walking and cycling. (This webinar video-recording is now publicly accessible at no charge.)

The Journal of Emergency Medicine Vol 45, Iss 3, Sept 2013, Pages 481
This study demonstrated that low physical activity and increased sitting time increases cardiovascular disease risk both independently and jointly.

Participants have to sign a user agreement/waiver, and take a one-hour bike skills and maintenance course. About 10 percent of the department’s 300 employees have already taken advantage of the program, which was launched in 2012.

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