November 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. 

The City of Calgary Parks undertook a safety review of the existing pathway system at the direction of Calgary City Council.  The Key Findings are included in this report. 

 A comprehensive source of information on walking and cycling improvements. 

This document (and associated database) is intended to provide meaningful estimates of infrastructure costs by collecting up-to-date cost information for pedestrian and bicycle treatments from states and cities across the country. Using this information, researchers, engineers, planners, and the general public can better understand the cost of pedestrian and bicycle treatments in their communities and make informed decisions about which infrastructure enhancements are best suited for implementation. 

This guide provides a roadmap to making all types of communities bicycle friendly... One of the most powerful ways to increase the amount of bicycle travel is the adoption of bicycle friendly laws and policies. Policies can remove obstacles to bicycling, create incentives for bicycling infrastructure, and make it easier and safer to bicycle. This guide helps policymakers figure out where to start, and spells out how to effectively use policy to promote bicycling..." 

Health & Place Available online 2 November 2013

·         This study explored variation in the association between walkability and walking across life stages, and by neighborhood buffer.
·         There were few differences in strength of associations across 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, and 1600 m for all adult life stages.
·         The results suggest that neighborhood walkability supports more walking regardless of adult life stage and is relevant at smaller and larger neighborhood buffers. 

At the ECF, we also have opinions on how certain policies (namely: pro-cycling measures) can improve the people's well being, thus their productivity and the economy as a whole. Therefore it came as little surprise to us discovering that the world's happiest countries rank at the very first places also in the ECF Cycling Barometer. In other words: the more a country rides, the happier it is....

Health & Place Volume 24, November 2013, Pages 44–53

·         Fewer children in urban areas met screen-time public health recommendations.
·         Mothers from rural areas have more positive perceptions of their neighbourhood.
·         Area of residence moderated some associations between home/neighbourhood and PA and ST.
·         Physical activity as a family may be important for urban children′s sedentary time.
·         Similar neighbourhood and home environmental features appear to be important for rural and urban children′s physical activity. 

From the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects. A critical abstract by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. 

Journal of Pediatric Nursing Available online 31 October 2013
doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2013.10.011
The study results support the findings from other research regarding the high prevalence of overweight and low levels of physical activity in rural children and higher levels of self-efficacy associated with higher levels of physical activity, aerobic fitness, and healthy body composition in youth. 

A report from the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. Municipalities of all sizes and in rural, urban and remote settings will have increasing populations of senior citizens in the years ahead. This reality has many implications for municipal policy and decision makers. This FCM QOLRS report highlights demographic trends associated with an aging population, and presents innovative municipal practices addressing them. (Includes a chapter on Active Aging). 

North Western University researchers note that the location of the phone can have a significant impact on how well the app can pick up a person's movement. Therefore, they have created a computer algorithm that can be used in conjunction with a physical activity app that is able to "predict" the location of a mobile phone throughout the day with "near perfect accuracy."  

From the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. This review examines the effectiveness of face-to-face interventions for physical activity promotion in community dwelling adults. 

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. This review examines the effectiveness of remote and web 2.0 interventions for physical activity promotion in community dwelling adults. 

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Available online 31 October 2013
doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2013.10.011
The Fitbit One activity monitors are valid and reliable devices for measuring step counts in healthy young adults. The distance output of the monitors are inaccurate and should be noted with caution. 

This new book by Barbara McCann provides detailed information on complete streets, which are designed to be safe for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, driving, bicycling, or taking the bus. The book describes how the complete streets movement united bicycle riders, transportation practitioners and agencies, public health leaders, older Americans, and smart growth advocates to reframe roadway design goals and practices. 

Planning cannot force people to exercise, love their family or become friendlier with their neighbors, but good community design can support these objectives. Urban design can help create:

* Walkable neighborhoods, in which it is convenient, safe and comfortable for families to walk to local services and activities,… 
* Multi-modal transportation systems, with good walking conditions and public transport services, so young people, seniors, and other people who cannot drive have independence.  
* Small-scale, participatory neighborhood activities, such as local festivals and celebrations, cultural and art events, adult education, sports and games.

Public places play a key role in building community and placemaking can empower local communities to create a sense of "belonging" through place. A new report by a DUSP research team, led by [#Susan Silberberg], examines the interactions between placemaking, community participation, and the expanding ways communities are collaborating to make great public places. 

Research by the National Association of Realtors has consistently revealed that Americans prefer walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods and shorter commutes….. For detailed information go to NAR's 2013 Community Preference Survey Analysis and slides: 

This briefing note by Quebec’s National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy introduces the 'road diet,' an engineering technique that redesigns arterial roadways to control traffic speeds and better accommodate walking, cycling and public transit.  

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects: A critical abstract by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. 

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