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.

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