October 28, 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 National Complete Streets Coalition had a whirlwind week at the first-ever National Walking Summit in Washington, DC. More than 300 participants came together to discuss ways to support walking through policy, design, advocacy, funding, organizing and engagement in communities large and small. 

PLoS ONE 8(8): e69912.
Active travel may have positive effects on health outcomes, but there is little robust evidence to date of the effectiveness of active transport interventions for reducing obesity. Future evaluations of such interventions should include an assessment of their impacts on obesity and other health outcomes. 

In the 2010-2011 CFLRI Physical Activity Monitor, Canadian parents were asked to report on whether their child had access to supervised programs after school. Parents were also asked to specify how many days their child attends an after school program, where it is offered and its primary purpose. 

The 2010-2011 CFLRI Physical Activity Monitor asked parents about the availability of programs and places in their local community their child can be active. 

Research suggests that physical activity improves physical condition, and it reduces maladaptive behaviour in individuals with ASD. Sowa and Meulenbroek conducted a meta-analysis to explore the effects of physical exercise on ASD.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that include autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett’s disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder– Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Initial studies have shown that physical activity can improve behaviour (reduced aggression, increased endurance, and / or strength, and increased time engaged in self-stimulatory behaviour) and is recognized as one of the potential therapies that can improve some symptoms of ASD.

Health & Place Vol 24, Nov 2013, Pages 203–209

Compared with neighborhood environment factors, the family environment was more frequently associated with children's MVPA. Parental MVPA was positively associated with children's MVPA, but only among children whose parents reported a high presence of sporting venues. Having more restrictive physical activity rules was negatively associated with children's weekday MVPA in neighborhoods with high perceived stranger danger.

The 2010-2011 CFLRI Physical Activity Monitor looks at parental involvement in children’s physical activity and sport. Questions on the survey asked parents about the amount of time that they spend playing active games with their child and transporting their children to their physical activities or sports. 

In this webinar, Dr. Maureen Dobbins, Scientific Director of Health Evidence, will present the key messages and implications for practice from the following Cochrane Review: School-based physical activity programs for promoting physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18. For those who are not able to attend at this scheduled time, a recording of the presentation will be available on our website ( following the webinar. 

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 45, Iss 5, Nov 2013, Pgs 649–657

From a population health perspective, promoting PA may serve as a valuable mental health promotion strategy in reducing the risk of developing depression. 

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases Available online 11 Oct 2013 In Press

Overall, aerobic ET programs consistent with public health recommendations may promote up to modest weight loss (~ 2 kg), however the weight loss on an individual level is highly heterogeneous. Clinicians should educate their patients on reasonable expectations of weight loss based on their physical activity program and emphasize that numerous health benefits occur from PA programs in the absence of weight loss. 

Many of us struggle to be physically active on a regular basis. One approach to this problem is to structure exercise right into our lifestyle. When we think about exercise as an integrated part of daily life, it stops being an add-on. Instead, it complements what we do every day.  This SilverTimes article highlights hamstring curls and partial squats. 

Psychology of Sport and Exercise Available online 10 Oct 2013 In Press
doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.09.011

*We review literature on sport and physical activity in combat veterans.
*Sport and physical activity impacts the subjective and psychological well-being of combat veterans.
*We critically discuss the use of sport and physical activity to promote well-being in veterans.
*Suggestions are offered for future research in this area.

Studies have shown that sedentary older adults who engage in regular aerobic exercise can improve their scores on cognitive function tests by 15 to 20 per cent. There is also evidence that exercise can actually stimulate growth in the brain.”  Read more about Exercise and the Aging Brain in Let’s Talk About Aging, a report released by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health earlier this year. 

A short video excerpt from Winnipeg Shaw TV.   Kathryn Njegovan has lived with an MS diagnosis for 13 years, and it wasn't until this last year that she felt her health actually progressing... despite her MS also progressing. She attributes the change in direction to Candace Swick, an Older Adult Rehab Therapist. 

Journal of Aging Studies Vol 27, Iss 4, Decr 2013, Pages 398–409

* Resourcefulness, social, built and natural environments enable physical activity.
*Positive self-perceptions of aging facilitate preventive health behaviors.
*Local community centers supports physical activity and social connections.
*Accessible built environments support walking and promote social interactions. 

Physical Activity is a component of the new is an initiative of the NSW Government which focuses on kilojoules. 

Perceived barriers to sport can influence an individual’s decision to participate in sport or not. The 2011-2012 CFLRI Sport Monitor explores the barriers perceived by those who do not participate in sport. For the purposes of this bulletin, these barriers are divided into three categories: time or financial barriers; personal barriers; and, barriers related to the social or physical environment. 

Psychology of Sport and Exercise Available online 17 October 2013
Influences on four levels provided evidence for the complexity of PF and health (outcome level). Initial behaviors predicted current PF and health status, as well as their course. Thus, preventive measures should ensure that healthy behaviors are adopted early in adulthood. 

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases Available online 11 Oct 2013 In Press
Compared to normal weight-fit individuals, unfit individuals had twice the risk of mortality regardless of BMI. Overweight and obese-fit individuals had similar mortality risks as normal weight-fit individuals. Furthermore, the obesity paradox may not influence fit individuals. Researchers, clinicians, and public health officials should focus on physical activity and fitness-based interventions rather than weight-loss driven approaches to reduce mortality risk. 

Brought to you by McGill University’s Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health. Like the Prize, which rewards groundbreaking research and discovery that encourages healthy living, we are here to bring you the latest news about innovative practices and ideas from around the world that we hope will inspire and empower you to lead a more active, healthier life. 

American Journal of Preventive Medicine Vol 45, Iss 5, Nov 2013, Pgs 590–597
An RCT intervention from October 2007 to April 2012 was used, with partial blinding of observers to the condition. All data were analyzed in 2012….. Providing park directors and PABs with training on outreach and marketing, feedback on park users, and modest funds increased the amount of physical activity observed in parks. 

In the 2011-2012 CFLRI Sport Monitor, Canadians were asked about their perceptions of short- and long-term outcomes as they relate to participation in sport. In particular, the survey asks about their views on the possible beneficial and harmful aspects of participation in sport. 

To understand the core processes and benchmarks that can transform cities into superior places to live and work, McKinsey developed and analyzed a comprehensive database of urban economic, social, and environmental performance indicators. The research included interviewing 30 mayors and other leaders in city governments on four continents and synthesizing the findings from more than 80 case studies that sought to understand what city leaders did to improve processes and services from urban planning to financial management and social housing. Smart Growth is identified as a key component. 

Landscape and Urban Planning Vol 121, Jan 2014, Pages 34–44

*Uses participatory GIS methods to measure physical activities and benefits of urban parks.
*Examines relationship between park activities and benefits with park type, size, and location.
*Park type and size are significantly related to the type and amount of physical activities and community benefits received from urban parks.
*Participatory GIS research methods have limitations but appear useful for examining spatial relationships to inform urban parks planning.


October 15, 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. 

Walking Works, an extensive overview of the mounting research into the life threatening consequences of inactivity, which concludes that walking is the answer. Supported by Public Health England, this new report demonstrates walking is the solution to getting the nation active, and shows how Walking for Health is already changing people’s lives.

Here are 10 ways helping your child become a better reader and someone who loves to read are similar to helping them develop physical literacy and a love of being active. 

The purpose of this project was to provide training and resources to independent nurseries to support the promotion of physical activity, specifically targeting practitioners who work with non-walkers, ie, children aged 0-2 years.

Human Movement Science Available online 4 Oct 2013
There is a lack of studies on children’s motivation for physical activity.
Motivational research should take the relationship between various constructs into account.
The relationship between motivational constructs in adults may be generalizable to children.
Facilitation of constructive motivation in children could promote positive physical activity habits. 

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has released its annual Taking Part Survey Child Report for 2012/13. The survey looked at sport participation and cultural engagement for children aged 5-15. This year’s report also asked questions on the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the participation in sport. 

Congratulations to the Town of Raymond as a recent recipient of a $25,000 Community Award from The Sports Network (TSN) in recognition of their community spirit and passion for sports and a healthy and active lifestyle. 

February 12 and 13, 2014 | Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
A one-of-a-kind event and the first to bring this much discussed and sought-after expertise to North America. The two-day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities though out the year, even in challenging winter conditions.  

Governor Hotel Portland, ORJune 8-12, 2014
Call for Papers – Deadline for Submission 01 November 2013. 

This web site is intended as a one-stop shop for any Alberta employer with an interest in workplace wellness. Whether you have three employees or thousands, we hope you'll useful find ideas that you can put into practice in your workplace.
The concept for this site arose during planning for the Best Practices in Workplace Wellness seminar held in September 2013 in conjunction with the Alberta International Symposium on Wellness sponsored by Alberta Health and Alberta Blue Cross.


October 8, 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. 

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Available online 26 Sept 2013
Recreational cycling is a plausible way to accumulate sufficient health-enhancing physical activity. The majority of recreational cyclists do not cycle in organized rides. Targeted efforts are needed to exploit the full potential of recreational cycling for public health. 

The purpose of this report is to synthesize the scientific literature that has examined the association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance, including indicators of cognitive skills and attitudes, academic behaviors, and academic achievement. 

This BHFNC practice briefing suggests practical strategies for promoting physical activity with children aged 6-11. The resource is split into three sections looking at:

* promoting physical activity in schools and the community

* promoting physical activity to children specifically within the school setting

* promoting active travel to children. 

Establishing and implementing high-quality physical education (PE) programs can provide students with the appropriate knowledge, skills, behaviors, and confidence to be physically active for life. High-quality PE is the cornerstone of a school’s physical activity program. 

This report, offers recommendations as a ‘blueprint’ for the next steps Edmonton can take in seeking ongoing community vitality, and recommends courses of action for supporting and enhancing the viability of mature neighbourhoods and neighbourhood institutions. 

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:787
To conduct a systematic review to determine what is known about economic evaluations of actions to promote better physical health in individuals identified as having a clinically diagnosed mental disorder, but no physical co-morbidity. Systematic searches of databases were supplemented by hand searches of relevant journals and websites.  

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 10 (strong). 

European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 2010, 17:127–139
doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e32832ed875
In this review, key definitions and theoretical aspects, which underpin the measurement of physical activity, are briefly discussed. Methodologies particularly suited for use in epidemiological research are reviewed, with particular reference to their validity, primary outcome measure and considerations when using each in the field. 

Transl Behav Med. 2013 Jun;3(2):172-9
doi: 10.1007/s13142-012-0190-z
The release of new Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines led to increased guideline adoption on service organizations' websites. However, adoption was not universal. In order for the uptake of the new guidelines to be successful, further efforts need to be taken to ensure that service organizations present physical activity guidelines on their websites. Comprehensive, active dissemination strategies tailored to address organizational barriers are needed to ensure online guideline adoption. 

Br J Sports Med Published Online First 30 April 2013
Green spaces include parks and other open areas that may encourage active lifestyles, explain the authors of a new study. The results of an earlier release from the study found that people 45 years and over who lived in areas with more than 20% green space within a 1 kilometer (3,280 feet or 0.6 mile) radius of their homes were significantly more likely to walk and participate in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities.

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 5 (moderate). 

TBM is an international peer-reviewed journal that offers continuous, online-first publication. TBM's mission is to engage, inform, and catalyze dialogue between the research, practice, and policy communities about behavioral medicine. We aim to bring actionable science to practitioners and to prompt debate on policy issues that surround implementing the evidence. 

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 10 (strong).

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 10 (strong). 

A Health Evidence Review gave this research a Review Quality Rating of 9 (strong).