Issue 32, February 2016

Issue 32, February 2016

Active Living Research News

ALR Conference

Equity in Active Living

We would like thank everyone who attended, presented, and participated in a very successful and engaging  ALR 2016 Conference. Nearly 350 delegates from many parts of the globe came together to discuss the conference theme, Equity in Active Living. Consistent with previous years, nearly half of the attendees were newcomers – indicating the continued growing interest in active living. Thank you to our conference chair NiCole Keith for her leadership in executing a wonderful event!

This year’s distinguished keynote, Julian Agyeman, PhD, FRSA, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, discussed the full integration of social justice and sustainability, also known as ‘just sustainabilities’. The conference agenda also featured two panels of experts that highlighted how they address equity in their active living work.

For more highlights from the ALR 2016 Conference, read NiCole Keith’s event re-cap.

The Science of Policy Implementation

A 2016 special issue of Environment & Behavior features papers from the 2015 ALR conference. Full text articles include research papers on the science of policy implementation in active living in various sectors, with a focus on physical activity in communities, transportation and land use, schools and after school, and parks and recreation.

ALR Resources

Using Policy to Encourage Walking and Biking

Walking and biking for transportation can be a significant source of regular physical activity when built into daily routines, and in most cases, it requires few skills, little extra time, and is inexpensive. Most daily trips are within easy walking or biking distance. A new ALR research brief, Moving Toward Active Transportation: How Policies Can Encourage Walking and Bicycling, summarizes current research on the health benefits and safety of active travel, and examines policies and programs that can help increase active travel rates.

Los Ninos Activos Aprenden Mejor

Our popular Active Kids Learn Better infographic has now been translated into Spanish. This graphic features evidence on how physical activity and fitness helps schools-aged children maximize their academic performance, and provides an overview of the effects of physical activity on the developing brain. Both the English and Spanish versions of the infographic are available for free download.

Tool Helps Cities Measure If Their Streets Are Designed For Safe Walking

Cities are often unsure of which walkability reforms to focus on or how to prioritize investments. Based upon 10 years of research, the Microscale Audit for Pedestrian Streetscape (MAPS) Mini tool can help city leaders assess the activity-friendliness of streets, sidewalks and crossings, and identify specific features that are feasible to modify and related to physical activity. The 15-item MAPS -Mini audit tool, designed specifically for practitioners and advocates to use in their work to create healthy environments, can help communities identify the types of micro-level design elements that can be expected to result in increased walking for people of all ages. Cities can use the MAPS-Mini tool to conduct neighborhood walk audits, compare scores across neighborhoods and across cities, create maps showing ratings of streets and overall neighborhoods, organize community groups to assess whole neighborhoods and advocate for improvements, or use the data to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of streetscapes across cities. A web-based app is available for data collection.

Announcements and Other Resources

Open Streets Build a Culture of Health

In our most recent posting in the ALR Move! blog, guest author Sharon Roerty, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), writes how Open Streets and a Culture of Health go hand-in-hand. Sharon shares some great stories from open streets she’s attended and discusses how RWJF is working to expand these events across the US.

Using Coalition Building to Uplift Equity

A recent article in the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal by Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s Keith Benjamin discusses how a group of nearly 25 organizations have banned together to engage in a national conversation around equity and support outreach that elevates street-scale from a local issue to a state and national issue. The National Active Transportation Diversity Task Force helps identify and assist states and local communities with Safe Routes to School, promote Complete Streets, and secure new funding to support active transportation in the communities with the most need. Active Living Research is a proud member of the Task Force.

Fellowship and Conference Assistance Awards

The Yancey/Edgley Fellowship for Health Promotion, Physical Fitness and Community Education seeks to develop leaders of color who are committed to fighting obesity in underserved populations through community participatory research, intervention and prevention using physical activity and other health promotion strategies. The Fellowship provides financial and fellowship support to DrPH students and professionals in the field of public health with two pathways of support: Fellowship Award for DrPH Students; and Public Health Conference Assistance for Public Health Professionals.


Building a Healthier Future Summit

Partnership for a Healthier America is holding the 2016 Building a Healthier Future Summit on May 18-20, 2016 in Washington, DC. Registration for the event is open. The Summit is focused on creating solutions to ensure every child grows up at a healthy weight.

Transport and Health Conference

Registration for the International Conference on Transport and Health is now open. The event will be held in San Jose, CA on June 13-15, 2016. The conference theme of Changing Perspectives will highlight cross-disciplinary demonstrations of how non-traditional thinking can lead to creative problem solving in the transportation arena to improve health.

International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health

Registration for the 6th ISPAH International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health is now open. The conference will be held November 15-19, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme for the event, Active People, Active Place, Active Policy, will highlight the importance of integrating physical activity in all policies in the national, regional and global context.

Newsletter Date: 
Monday, February 29, 2016