Issue 20, September 2013

Issue 20, September 2013

Active Living Research News

ALR Conference

Registration to Open in October for ALR 2014

The theme of the 11th annual Active Living Research Conference, “Niche to Norm,” will recognize the importance of advancing active living from an emerging research field with limited results and impact to well-accepted findings that regularly guide decision-making across sectors to create more active communities. Sessions will include examples of integrating evidence into practice. Join us March 9-12 in San Diego, Calif. at the Paradise Point Hotel.

ALR Resources

A Great Place to Start Your Literature Review

Start the new academic year with the right tools to make your work easier. Our online literature database can help you find papers on the relationships between environments and policies and physical activity and obesity. The searchable database, containing nearly 700 studies which have been carefully vetted for relevance and methodological rigor, provides detailed information on study characteristics and results. Also, we welcome feedback on the database and suggestions for additional papers.

Spotlight on Webinars

Is Your School Ready for Recess?

Remember to register for the September 17 Ready for Recess web forum for teachers and other school staff who are directly involved with leading recess activities. Presenters will share easy and fun activities to get students more active during recess. Topics will include how support and participation can motivate children to be more active, and how to be creative with equipment and space to promote physical activity. The web forum is scheduled for 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST.

Best Practices for Increasing Cycling

On August 14, John Pucher delivered a webinar for the Institute of Transportation Engineers entitled "How to Increase Cycling for Daily Travel: Lessons from Cities around the Globe."  The webinar highlighted findings from an ALR brief that make the case for bicycling as a healthy, affordable, and safe form of daily transportation. Many photographs from throughout North America and the world showed different types of bike facilities (lanes, parking, traffic signals, and other features that support bicycles). Watch the recorded webinar.

Zoning for Walkable and Safer Communities

The Network for Public Health Law held a webinar, “Zoning for the Public’s Health: Using Mixed-Use Zoning to Increase Walkability and Reduce Crime” on August 15. Presenters shared the latest research on the potential of mixed use zoning for increasing physical activity, improving access to healthy foods, and making communities safer. The recorded webinar is available on the Network for Public Health Law website.

Grantee Publications

Get Your City Rolling with a Ciclovia

More cities are recognizing the power of ciclovias— events that close down streets to traffic and open them to bicyclists, walkers, and others— to get people active in a fun and social atmosphere. Aaron Hipp assessed ciclovias in San Francisco, Calif. and St Louis, Mo. to understand the processes and structures involved in their development and implementation, so that lessons learned from these two cities can help others bring ciclovias to their neighborhoods. Hipp concluded that one of the most important factors for success is having buy-in from community partners, merchants, residents, and city agencies.

How Well Do Teens Know Their Local Parks?

Sandy Slater examined how well lower-income, African-American, and Latino adolescents could recall information from memory about their local parks (i.e. presence and condition of the park) and other settings for physical activity (e.g. recreation  centers, YMCA’s, schools) in order to develop a self-report park survey tailored to populations most at risk of obesity. Findings indicated that the survey is a useful tool for gathering information about where adolescents go to be active. Local stakeholders can use the survey to inform the improvement of existing and the creation of new places and programs where youth can be physically active.

Announcements and Other Resources

Playgrounds, Bike Racks, and Trees

What do playgrounds, bike racks, and trees have in common? They all can help people live healthier lives. The new Active Design Guide for Community Groups can show you how to put these, and other health-promoting elements, into your neighborhoods. The guide provides ideas and information about resources available to community groups in New York City to help make their communities places where people can be physically active, have access to healthy foods and beverages and be socially engaged. The guide focuses on NYC but will be relevant to communities across the nation.  Free copies are available for download.

Funding Opportunities

The Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) announces the launch of two new upcoming grant opportunities for Native American communities. The Promising Program grant cycle, which will open on Sept. 18, 2013, willl support and evaluate existing promising model programs for youth in Native communities focused on physical activity and/or nutrition education.  The Capacity Building grant cycle, which will open on Nov. 6, 2013, will provide support for planning and community health assessments to inform community driven childhood obesity prevention strategies. 

For a summary of other funding opportunities related to obesity prevention, see this table compiled by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). Grant proposal deadlines vary.


Can Active Video Games Solve Obesity?

Sponsored by Active Healthy Kids Canada, the 2014 Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children will convene leading researchers, practitioners, and advocates to address the growing childhood physical inactivity crisis. The 2014 summit, which will take place May 19-22 in Toronto, Canada, will feature two debates— one on the potential or pitfalls of active video games, and another on the importance of increasing physical activity versus decreasing television watching and other sedentary behaviors. Registration will continue through January 15.

Promoting Play to Create Healthier, Happier Lives

The US Play Coalition 2014 Conference on the Value of Play will be held February 16-19, 2014 in Clemson, S.C. Early bird registration ends November 8. In addition to keynote speakers and educational sessions, research and action grant funding will be awarded through a competitive application process. To be eligible for grant competition, individuals must first be accepted as presenters at the conference.

Newsletter Date: 
Monday, September 16, 2013