December 20, 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.

Welcome to the final Info Round-Up for 2013. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off for the holidays. I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Here's why colleges are terrific at encouraging biking, and what Portland and other cities should be learning from them:
·         Universities breed 20-minute neighborhoods...
·         Universities create car-free spaces...
·         Universities use public spaces to enable density...
·         Universities charge for auto parking...

Moscow city officials are now offering free rides on the subway to any passenger who does 30 squats before crossing the ticket barrier to enter the metro in an effort to promote physical fitness and sports, according to Russian state media reports.

This paper identifies four main approaches to working with data for architects, urban designers and planners and provides specific recommendations for Governments.

Preventive Medicine Vol 57, Iss 5, Nov 2013, Pages 533–540
·         We examined the development of research on physical activity and the built environment.
·         Citation network analysis provided insight into the composition and structure of the field.
·         Network structure indicates physical activity and built environment research is focused on discovery of relationships between physical activity and the built environment.
·         Few studies on physical activity and built environment have evaluated interventions.
·         New connections between intervention research and discovery research may strengthen the field.
Health Evidence webinar series, interpreting the evidence from systematic reviews and the implications of these findings on public health practice. There were sessions on school-based physical activity, school-based anti-bullying programs…..

Health & Place Available online 12 December 2013
·         Declines in children's independent mobility (IM) are often attributed to parents fear.
·         We examined the association between parents' fear of strangers and children's IM.
·         Parents fear appeared to inhibit IM, and the effect was most pronounced among girls.
·         The inclusion of informal social control did little to alleviate this association.
·         Initiatives that target parents' fears and normalise walking may best promote IM.

This resource supports educators, and community and recreation leaders in connecting children (Grades 1-8, Ages 6-13) to healthy, active living through the International Children’s Games (ICG). By using Playground to Podium in schools and in the community children learn to make healthy, active living a part of everyday life. The resource is available in English and French.

American Journal of Public Health | November 2013, Vol 103, No. 11
We examine 3 school based strategies for promoting physical activity—Safe Routes to School programs, joint use agreements, and playground enhancement— from a tort liability perspective, and describe how schools can substantially minimize any associated liability risk through injury prevention and other strategies.

This biannual event is a chance for people working in a variety of settings and sectors across the province of Ontario to come together to learn and share experiences and strategies for building healthy, sustainable and resilient communities.

Bone Fit™ is an evidence-informed exercise training workshop, designed for healthcare professionals & exercise practitioners to provide training on the most appropriate, safe & effective methods to prescribe & progress exercise for people with osteoporosis.

A collaborative approach to improving the health of all people by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas. Strategies in the guide are geared toward creating healthy communities, as defined by a broad range of services, including access to safe and affordable opportunities for physical activity. The guide includes three parts: Part I is a discussion of the concept of Health in All Policies; Part II is a about the structure, relationship building, leadership, and messaging needed for this approach; Part III is a case study of the California Health in All Policies Task Force.

Journal of Clinical Gerontology and Geriatrics Available online 12 December 2013
Measures to prevent the development of muscle mass decline should be initiated from midlife. However, the impact of physical activity at midlife on muscle mass in old age remains uncertain. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine whether physical activity at midlife influences muscle mass and physical performance in old age.

Addictive Behaviors Available online 11 December 2013
doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.11.029
·         Developed and tested a brief, family- and web-based health promotion program.
·         Designed for adolescent girls and their mothers who reside in public housing.
·         Focused on dietary intake, physical activity, and substance use risks.
·         Findings indicate the potential to improve multiple health behaviors.

While employers have a general understanding of the connection between healthy workers and productivity and engagement, it is evidence of a clear ROI that is the driving force behind their implementation of wellness programs. And with employers increasingly focused on managing rising healthcare costs, the time is ripe for them to explore the connection between the quality of employee health and the business’ competitive advantage.


December 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.


From the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration

For many Calgary cyclists, the first snow of the season means it's time for their bikes to get tucked away in garages and storage rooms to hibernate for the winter. There are also those hardy riders who keep cycling year round. If you've ever wanted to move from the former to the latter, but were scared to or didn't know how, here is some advice…


When strategically planned, designed, managed and combined with other community components —such as other sustainable modes of transport, high density housing and mixed-use buildings and neighbourhoods— green mobility options can make it possible for residents to go to the places they need or want to go, quickly, conveniently, safely, comfortably and economically, and without having to drive their private cars at all times. They can also make it possible for residents to have increased opportunities for socializing and exercising —and therefore, staying more mentally and physically active and fit…..


This report shares the insight and ideas gained from the Local Spokes project. It also includes lessons learned on creating a project-based youth internship and a national survey on youth and bicycling.

New research from the National Center for Safe Routes to School... shows that more K-8 students are walking to and from school across the country... the percentage of K-8 children who walked to school in the morning increased from 12.4 percent to 15.7 percent (representing a 27 percent increase)……..


A resource for public health practitioners working to advance health equity through community health interventions. While health disparities can be addressed at multiple levels, this guide focuses on policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to improve the places where people live, learn, work, and play.

Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130137.
These findings indicated that a tailored healthy lifestyle program integrating genomics and family history education was socioculturally appropriate and may feasibly be implemented to reduce cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk in a Latino community with limited health care resources. The project highlights contributions of community-based processes in tailoring interventions that are appropriate for community contexts.


Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130077
Health care providers’ recommendations are associated with adherence to physical activity guidelines among adults with arthritis. Providers should recommend physical activity to adults with arthritis.


Scroll down the page a bit to find these webinars and more…
January 22, 2014 - Creating Inclusive Environments for Women and Girls
March 5, 2014 – Celebrate International Women’s Day early with CAAWS!“Manswers”
April 23, 2014 Promoting Girls’ and Women’s Participation Across the Lifespan


December 6, 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.


Walkable commercial districts are a key component of communities that promote active living. Walking has great health benefits, including helping people maintain a healthy weight. This report examines whether there are also economic benefits to businesses in walkable communities

Walking advocacy carries its own set of needs around communications and marketing. What works for messaging bike-friendliness may not work for messaging walkability. From touting vibrant main streets to elevating the health benefits of regular exercise, a unique set of messages can be best for effective walking advocacy.


This research demonstrates that walkshed size varies among neighbourhood types, with the grid block pattern being the most walkable, and the curvilinear pattern the least. Despite the growing body of knowledge regarding walkability, the prevailing practice is to continue to develop the less walkable curvilinear forms.

Health & Place Available online 26 Nov2013 In Press, Accepted Manuscript
“Active Living Research” has been accused of being overly “physically deterministic” and this article argues that urban planners must continue to evolve research and address biases in this area. The article first provides background on how researchers have dealt with the relationship between the built environment and health over the years. This leads to a presentation of how active living research might be described as overly deterministic. The article then offers lessons for researchers planning to embark in active-living studies as to how they might increase validity and minimize criticism of physical determinism.

Designation as a Landmark (best practice) case study through our peer selection process recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful, innovative, replicable and adaptable in the world.   The current list include Edmonton’s Local Motion Program and Haliburton Communities in Action.


From Active For Life this active toy gift guide will make holiday shopping for active kids a breeze.

The ACTIVE AT SCHOOL initiative is a multi-year, multi-million dollar grassroots program focused on reversing the staggering trend of inactivity amongst Canadian children and youth…. The shared goal of ACTIVE AT SCHOOL is to ensure that Canadian children receive one hour of quality physical activity and education before, during or after school every single day.

American Journal Of Lifestyle Medicine Sept/Oct 2013   vol.7  no.5  343-345
doi: 10.1177/1559827613492604
The primary responsibility of (a PA Champion) is to spearhead the creation of an active school culture where youth achieve and learn how to adopt the recommended amounts of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Using the multicomponent approach highlighted throughout Castelli et al’s article, this would entail coordinating a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) whereby physical activity opportunities are provided across at least 2 of the 5 integral components……

A Presentation from the 2013 Alberta Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference and Energize Workshop.

A new (UK) Primary Literacy Framework has been produced by the Youth Sport Trust. The Physical Literacy Framework provides schools with simple, easy to understand guidance on how best to structure PE and sport provision to ensure every opportunity is provided to develop the physical literacy of their pupils.

A progress report that captures the achievements of HIGH FIVE as it has grown to become a nationally recognized standard, being delivered in both official languages across Canada. It also outlines current trends that are having an impact on the health of our children and how HIGH FIVE is responding. You'll see how HIGH FIVE makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children each year.

The Safe Routes to School Policy Workbook for School Districts was designed to help school boards, administrators, and stakeholders create policies that support active transportation to and from school. In using this Workbook, you’ll have the opportunity to select among policy provisions that support active transportation. Within some provisions, different options are available that can make your overall policy even stronger. Each policy is categorized as "beginner," "intermediate," or "advanced" depending on the policy's complexity and likely impact on levels of walking and bicycling.

A slide show related to increasing school-based physical activity.

The SnowPass program, coordinated by the Canadian Ski Council, gives all Canadian kids in grade 4 and 5 an opportunity to get three days on each participating slope, all for only $29.95. More than 150 ski areas across Canada are part of the SnowPass program.


Within this report, ‘living well’ is used as a broadly conceived term, aimed to include components of well-being from physical, functional, psychological, social and emotional health domains.  Physical Activity is mentioned a number of times.


Mood Walks is a provincial (Ontario) program that will provide training and support for community mental health organizations across the Ontario to launch educational walking programs for older adults who experience mental health issues.


Does exercise improve functional abilities, and reduce depression and poor behaviors among people with dementia? The authors of an updated Cochrane Review sought to answer that question because more studies have been completed since the original review was published in 2008.

Watch some younger drivers get frustrated when they encounter a Geriatric Traffic Jam. The old folks are trying to cross the road in an orderly fashion to get to a corner store only to discover it’s closed. At least a few of the motorists saw the humor in this geriatric traffic crossing. Another funny skit from the folks at Just For Laughs Gags.


BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1021
Results of cost-effectiveness analyses suggest that National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) is cost saving in fully adherent participants. Though full adherence to NERS (62%) was higher for the economics sample than the main sample (44%), results still suggest that NERS can be cost-effective in Wales with respect to existing payer thresholds particularly for participants with mental health and CHD risk factors.

Health Evidence Quality Review Rating: 7 (Moderate)
Mass media campaigns may promote walking but may not reduce sedentary behavior or lead to achieving recommended levels of overall physical activity. Further research is warranted on different campaign types and in low- and middle- income countries

Mayo Clinic Proceedings Vol 88, Iss 12, Dec 2013, Pgs 1446–1461
The evidence reveals that especially brief exercise training (ET) counseling is an efficient, effective, and cost-effective means to increase PA and ET and to bring considerable clinical benefits to various patient groups. Furthermore, it can be practiced as part of the routine work of the health care system. However, there is a need and feasible means to increase the use and improve the quality of ET counseling.

The conference took a fresh look at behaviour change research, theory and practice and explored how the latest learning can be applied to the planning of physical activity interventions and behaviours.

The BHFNC annual conference featured a case study zone showcasing examples of physical activity interventions that relate to behaviour change

Tools of Change helps you quickly learn from proven social marketing / behavior change approaches in a wide range of environment, health and safety topic areas. We feature the best ones we can find.  There is a health promotion topic area and under it you will find “active living”.


Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol 88, Iss 12, Dec 2013, Pages 1368-1377
There was a significant reallocation of time by mothers from PA (eg, housework) to SED (eg, watching television) between 1965 and 2010. Given the essential role of PA for health and the potential for the intergenerational transmission of obesity and obesogenic behaviors, these results suggest that maternal inactivity may be an important target for the primary prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases and obesity.


From the University of York Centre for Reviews and Dissemination…
This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the Physical Activity Loyalty (PAL) card, financial incentive scheme, to increase physical activity, in the workplace. The authors concluded that the PAL scheme was potentially cost-effective, but further research was of value to reduce the uncertainty. These conclusions were appropriate, with emphasis appropriately placed on reducing the uncertainty.

StepJockey is a project that raises awareness of the benefits of taking the stairs through smart labels that detail how many calories can be lost by climbing them.