Walkolution News - March 2014  
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In This Issue
Welcome to 2014 and our March issue of the Walkolution News. 

We have lots to report in this issue - enjoy!

  carolynPearl3Carolyn Code, our terrific Canada Walks communications coordinator left GCC in December on maternity leave and is the proud Mum of beautiful Pearl.Carolyn2
Beth2

BethJones  
In January our esteemed Associate Director Beth Jones left for a prolonged stay in Cuba, where she's completing work on her first book. While she's enjoying the warm temperatures and musical vibes of Cuba she'll be participating in a Charity Challenge bike ride, pedaling 350 kms across the country between March 21 to 29, raising funds for Green Communities. You can support Beth's ride, and Green Communities, by making a donation here;  charitable receipt available.

 

WALK Friendly Ontario Spring IntakeWFO2

WALK Friendly  

How walk friendly is your community? The spring intake of applications to the WALK Friendly Ontario (WFO) designation will be open from March 1 until April 30.

 

WFO is a recognition program from Green Communities Canada that encourages municipalities to create and improve the conditions for walking by awarding Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum designations. The application involves a comprehensive assessment of indicators for walkability within planning, policy, engineering and community design, education and encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation.

 

 Creating walk friendly communities can lead to improved health outcomes, revitalize local economies, foster social connections, support aging in place, and contribute to safer and more sustainable cities and towns.  

 

Visit www.walkfriendly.ca to access the Application Guide which contains instructions for completing the application as well as all of the questions included in the assessment for designation. There will be a second intake from August 1 until September 30, 2014.

 

 Walkable Communities for Everyone!Jacky

Jacky







Canada Walks Director Jacky Kennedy

Here at Canada Walks we know that walking is terrific exercise, it's good for your physical and mental health, it boosts local economies while improving the perception of safety and crime, and when communities invest in walk friendly neighbourhoods property values can increase and highly skilled young people are attracted to them for living and work. So why is it so hard for many politicians to support walking through equitable funding? Why isn't walking at the very top of government priorities for infrastructure improvements? Why invest heavily in transit if you're going to ignore the walking environment? There is so much evidence today to support walkable environments and how they contribute to our personal and community health and well-being. In our Research File segment below we've reported on several encouraging studies from our colleagues at University of Toronto and Ryerson University that show that elegant solutions like a walk or bike to school are increasing daily physical activity for children and have promising long-term impacts on cardiovascular health. Walking has also been shown to be a great economical investment (see the School Travel Planning cost-benefit study results below). The obesity epidemic, the traffic congestion nightmares, economic prosperity, rising health care costs, traffic fatalities - all have shown rapid improvements when local governments have invested in walkability. Talk and vote with your feet - ask your elected officials to support walkable communities for everyone!

 
Spreading the Message of Active School Travel with Social MediaSocialMedia

 

tweet

Six months into the active school travel social media campaign (September 2013 - June 2014), there have been over 480,000 views on Twitter and Facebook! The campaign - hosted on www.metrolinx.com/schooltravel - shares colourful 'infographics' once a month and weekly tips and tools using common hashtags like #walktoschool and #biketoschool over Twitter (twitter.com/SmartCommute) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SmartCommuter). The messages have resonated with parents and schools and the most shared content has included the monthly infographic, the iSchool Travel calculator and the School Travel Planning Toolkit. For spring and summer the campaign will be warming up: featuring content on idle-free zones and cycling to school. Please help spread the word by sharing with your networks!

 

  Infographic

 Join the social media campaign for active school travel!

Active School Travel Policy and Planning in TorontoTorontoSchoolBoard

 

The Toronto District School Board Charter, adopted by the Board of Trustees in November 2013, represents a commitment to supporting and promoting safe, active and sustainable transportation to and from school for its students. In December 2013, the Toronto Catholic District School Board approved a Transportation Demand Management Plan to go for public consultation, including active and sustainable travel strategies for students and staff.

We encourage schools, students, parents and practitioners to 'sign' the Active Travel Charter for Canadian Children and Youth  http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/node/220.

Support for the Charter at the Toronto Active Safe Sustainable Transportation Workshop, Nov. 20, 2013
STP
Ontario STP Strategy Roadmap. As part of the movement in response to school travel trends in Ontario, the Active and Sustainable School Transportation Strategy Roadmap was co-created by more than 30 stakeholders for the purpose of Ontario-wide coordination, including provincial ministries and agencies, municipalities, school boards and NGOs.  The process to develop the strategy was funded by Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation. 
 
 HASTe

Comox Valley, BC: School Travel Planning was initiated in November 2012 under the guidance of HASTe BC www.hastebc.org. During the 2013/14 school year the Comox Valley municipal STP steering committee is working with three elementary schools with the STP Facilitator position covered by the school district. "The comments by the [BC School Board No.71] Chair that the Active Student Travel may be the best initiative they've supported during their term in office, and how it is in complete alignment with the work they are doing to define a successful student was spot-on. What started as a difficult issue to sort out has turned into a Comox Valley success story ..."

 

Russell Horswill, DBA

Secretary Treasurer

School District No.71 (Comox Valley)

Inspiring Winter WalkersWinterWalkers

February was Heart Month and many schools took advantage of the wintery weather to hold Winter Walk events. We're highlighting some of their success stories here:

 

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School and King Edward Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto are working with Green Communities on an intensive School Travel Planning (STP) project to encourage more families to walk to school more often. This two-school project was made possible through funding from RioCan and the Heart and Stroke Foundation and support is provided by both school boards, the Toronto Student Transportation Group, Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto Transportation Services, University of Toronto, both Police Divisions, School Trustees, City Councillors, Principals, parents, school staff and residents groups.

 

Our Lady of Lourdes celebrated Winter with an invigorating community walk to school event on February 19, holding a pre-event assembly on February 14 where Constable Lynne Robertson provided tips on safe walking, and Toronto Public Health highlighted all the great walking health benefits. Students in the leadership group previewed their walking cheer which certainly got everyone excited!  And it all paid off - on February 19 540 out of 600 students walked to school, compared to 330 on a typical week day. Students and parents were welcomed with cheers, horns, and stickers!  The school's STP committee is planning more events and implementing actions, including monthly walks that will help to keep the momentum going!

    

 

King Edward Junior and Senior Public School held a Winter Walk event on a chilly and snowy February 5.  The younger students loved the stickers, handed out by enthusiastic police officers from 14 Division, and everyone enjoyed the hot chocolate to warm themselves. Prizes were donated by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Toronto Public Health and distributed by Principal Moulton to students in their classes.

 

 

Robert Bateman Public School, OttawaRobertBateman

 

Thanks to parent volunteer Andrew Pullin for this great article, reproduced here with his permission from the Hunt Club Park Community Association Winter 2014 Newsletter.

 

You step out your front door and head towards the street. Despite your snowsuit having been zipped up tight and snug inside your warm home, you still feel a little shiver rippling from your head down to your toes. It is, after all, a chilly -16�C outside with the breeze. But that little shiver will not dampen your enthusiasm, because today is Winter Walk to School Day! You make your way to Blohm Drive where you expect to find the teachers and parents that have volunteered to walk with you and your schoolmates on this special day. As you come around the corner you notice there are also firefighters and paramedics. What is going on? In a few moments, the mystery is solved - they will be joining you on your walk! You hold your head high, walking close on the heels of the firefighters. You can almost believe you are heading off with them to fight a fire! You glance back to see their fire truck pulling up next to your group. It is going to "escort" all of you to school. How cool is that! You take in the sights and sounds, enjoying the beautiful winter scenery and great company. You feel ever more alert and energetic as your body soaks in this perfect morning workout. The steady pace and excitement of the moment has extinguished all memory of that earlier shiver. From the side streets, more schoolmates fall in beside you. Soon passing cars start to pull over, and more schoolmates jump out. Before you know it, you can see your destination - Robert Bateman Public School.

 

Your own group snakes far behind you and you can now see other groups coming from different directions. As you approach the front door, Phyz the Beaver is greeting people, struggling to give high-fives to everyone. You make your way to the gym and as you sit at a table you learn that the ticket that mysteriously appeared in your hand is your ticket to a hot chocolate!

 

What a way to start the day! Principal Jocelyn Fagan says a few words: More than 250 of your schoolmates walked today - some as far as 1.5 km! Many people came to participate - the firefighters and paramedics, Phyz the Beaver with his friends from Ottawa Public Health, and Councillor Diane Deans. You listen, but you also do not completely hear it - after all, you are trying to concentrate on that hot chocolate! 

 

As a three year participant in the Ottawa School Travel Planning project with Green Communities Canada, the School has sought to increase Active Transportation (walking, biking, etc) by raising awareness. Walk to School days, road safety workshops, and bike rodeos, are just some of the School's many events. Active Transportation will continue to grow in priority as the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority's mandate now includes Active Transportation alongside bussing. You can follow the Ottawa active school travel initiative on Twitter at @walk2schoolyow.

Students and parents at Robert Bateman PS in Ottawa accompanied by firefighters and a fire truck! An awesome way to start the day.

 

National Sweater Day and Walk, Roll, and Ride to SchoolSweater 

 

At St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School in Hamilton two very important environmental initiatives were celebrated on February 6: National Sweater Day and Smart Commute Hamilton's Walk, Roll or Ride to School Day. One day a month the school's thermometer is turned down to conserve energy consumption; by wearing a sweater everyone stays warm and cozy. As a platinum Eco School all initiatives at St. Kateri encourage all students to respect ourselves, each other and the environment. On Feb. 6 students and staff were asked to wear white/red shirts or Canadian t-shirts/jerseys to support Canada's Olympic Athletes. Because it was very cold that day with massive snow drifts all the students and staff gathered in the gym for a celebration that included a 15 minute walking activity "CANADIAN KIDS ON A WINTER WALK" to the tune of "I Have Walked 500 Miles".

 

National Sweater Day
Our students are always ready and excited to participate and make a difference in promoting healthy living, and environmental stewardship. Way to go Kateri!

 

 Southwood Park Public School  Southwood2  

A snowy morning could not stop students at Southwood Park Public School in Ajax from participating in Winter Walk Day. All 650 students and staff put on their winter gear and headed outside for a walk around the school property. They circled the school three times and then some classes decided to stay outside and play in the snow. Everyone had a ton of fun!

Winter Fun in LondonLondon

 

London's Old South Community Organization and Middlesex-London Health Unit partnered to host Winter Walk Day activities with three Old South elementary schools: Wortley Public School, Tecumseh Public School and Victoria Public School. Part of the Move for Health in Old South initiative, grade 5 and 6 student representatives from each elementary school formed a student advisory group and worked together to plan the Winter Walk events. Led by local athletes from Western University, the students began their day with a walk around the neighbourhood followed by football, hockey, and lacrosse activities organized by the athletes. The students gathered inside their school afterwards to enjoy hot chocolate and apples donated by local businesses, and held a Q&A session with the athletes to learn about active living and team sports. Thanks to the athletes for being such great role models for the students; to the community partners and businesses for their support; and to the students at the three schools for taking on a leadership role to ensure the event was a success.

  
Old South Community schools enjoying vigorous activity as part of their Winter Walk celebrations.  
  
Winter Walking in York Region        York           
KYS the Cat accompanying walkers in York Region 
 

Wednesday February 5 was a snowy Winter Walk Day at Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Vaughan. York Region Police greeted everyone and provided pedestrian and traffic safety tips to students and parents, including vehicle safety checks. York Region's Healthy Schools team along with the York Catholic District School Board provided incentives and the students participated in fun activities in the gym.

 

Reinforcing messages around healthy living and pedestrian safety creates safer, healthier communities that benefit everyone. To learn more about York Region's pedestrian safety initiatives here.  
     

 Schools! Now that winter is coming to an end why not plan a Spring into Spring challenge to encourage your students to walk/bike to school more often SpringIntoSpring

Spring into Spring
Walk (jog, skip or bike) to school as often as possible between Earth Week (April 21-25) and Clear Air Day (June 4).

 Students who participate in Spring into Spring benefit from: 

  • Daily physical activity; 
  • A healthier environment Safer streets; 
  • Making friends and having fun!  

   

 Cycling to School Success in MiltonMilton

 

Craig Kielburger Secondary School is located in the most south eastern part of Milton, Ontario.   Surrounded by 50% undeveloped farmland, the school has reached 1400 students capacity with 12 portables.  The school is located just 6 km from the Velodrome being built for the 2015 Pan-Parapan AM Games.

 

A challenge for the school from the outset has been transportation.  Fortunately, Milton town planned for substantial transportation bike lanes around the school, providing a great opportunity to promote active youths, but........! the bike racks at the school were installed incorrectly and half the spots were lost. With an average ridership of ~130 cyclists in optimal weather, bikes are squeezed into 72 spots.  Awesome Co-op Teacher Geoff Sheppard, a keen fitness enthusiast, went into action to develop an innovative cycling support program for the school.  

 

To address the bike parking problem, parking lanes were hand painted and numbered on the asphalt and each cyclist had their picture taken, their bikes labelled and their own parking spot assigned.

Student Kay Shah, a member of the Craig Kielburger cycling committee.

The school ran encouragement events earlier in the school year, including Bike Day 200: staff and students were challenged to see if 200 cyclists would ride to school on Sept 25; the first attempt saw 158 cyclists riding; they're now preparing for a retry in June.  The Ride to 25 Bike program will challenge staff and students to ride 25 times to school in May and June and to beat last year's total of 64 students. Achievement is recognized through incentives, prizes and their names are posted on a wall placard.

  

Milton Bike 200
Bike 200 Day at Craig Kielburger SS. Photo courtesy of Jason Misner, Communications Officer, Halton District School Board.

  

Bike Rack and Education Pilot in Peel RegionPeel

 

Peel Region is working with School Boards to launch a school bike rack pilot project with up to 30 elementary and high schools over 2014-16. Selected schools will receive resources and support to do cycling action planning, education, outreach and monitoring, while receiving bicycle racks!

   

Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest WinnersCrossingGuard

 

Crossing guards play an important role in pedestrian safety by helping children make the safe journey to-and-from school. To recognize the contributions of our crossing guards, Parachute invited students, teachers and parents across the country to nominate their "Canada's favourite" crossing guards. "Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest", which ran from Sept. 23, 2013 to Nov. 22, 2013, received an overwhelming number of nominatons, detailing how their crossing guards kept the children safe and why are they good role models.

And the winners of "Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard" contest are:

 

  • Jake Apacible of Toronto,
  • Leonard Gordon Sr. of Whitehorse,
  • Wilf Hunt of St. John's, and
  • George Drad of Winnipeg.

These amazing crossing guards received $500 and an engraved plaque and the winner's school received $500, provided through Parachute and their partner FedEx. Embracing the position of crossing guard to the fullest extent, their energy and enthusiasm reflects an awareness of the immense impact their role has on the daily lives of school children. All the entries reflected a high calibre of hard-working and dedicated individuals and Parachute and FedEx thank all those who took the time to share their appreciation for their community crossing guards.

 

FedEx Express Canada is a proud supporter of Parachute's Walk This Way program, a global initiative that advocates child pedestrian safety.  For more information visit:  http://parachutecanada.org.

  Parachute-Xing Guard-Stop

  

                   FedEx
                                              

    

 Pace Car Introduced in Vernon, BCPaceCar

 

The City of Vernon, under the leadership of TDM Coordinator Wendy Majewski, piloted a Pace Car program at two School Travel Planning Schools with the support of a $1,500 grant from Parachute: Okanagan Landing and Silver Star Elementary. The Pace Car program is a locally delivered, nation-wide program that focuses on raising awareness around speed reduction in the community, especially in school zones and pedestrian-dense areas.  Pace Car is part of Parachute's child-pedestrian safety program, Walk This Way, which is proudly sponsored by FedEx.

In the Fall of 2013, the City's Crime Prevention Officer conducted two speed watches, on Okanagan Landing Road and 32 Avenue. These will be used as a documented speed indicator and benchmark for the program. There will be a follow-up speed watch in the same locations this spring to help evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program.

 

Both schools held launch events that attracted media attention:

  • At Okanagan Elementary school the students expressed their enjoyment for walking to school but noted they wished drivers would slow down for student safety. In attendance, Mayor Sawatzky and Councillor Cunningham noted the Pace Car's effectiveness in preventing crashes and reducing the severity of injuries: a pedestrian struck by a car travelling 50km/hr is 8 times more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck at 30 km/hr. Thanks to Principal Smyth, Parent Advisory Council President Evelyn Huss, Community Policing Coordinator Rachael Zubick and Wendy Majewski. 
      
Okanagan Elementary School Principal Brian Smyth
with Mayor Sawatzky and Councillor Cunningham
  • Silver Star Elementary School held their Pace Car event on November 5. Mayor Sawatzky showed his continued support along with local Councillor Nicol who walked to school with students to launch the East Hill neighbourhood Pace Car program, in partnership with East Hill Community Church. Principal Godfrey, Worship Director Dave Unrau of East Hill Community Church and Parent Advisory Rep Melissa Verleg added their voices to the event.
Silver Star Elementary School parent and Pace Car
                              champion Melissa Verleg and Principal Godfrey                                      

   

 The Canadian School Travel Planning (STP) model has been tested through key partnerships in the GTHA and other Ontario communities to help address school traffic congestion and promote physical activity by supporting walking and cycling for students and families.CostBenefit

 

"The Costs and Benefits of School Travel Planning Projects in Ontario, Canada - January 2014"

 (Executive Summary,  Full Report) is the first benefit-cost analysis of School Travel Planning (STP) projects con�ducted in Canada and provides a baseline method for evaluating the STP model. It analyzes the results of 19 STP projects from various Ontario communities, ranging in population size and geographic location.  Findings illustrate a benefit-cost ratio of 1.8, supporting the STP model as a cost-effective intervention that can result in an increase in walking and cycling to school, providing economic, health and environmental benefits each school year.  Based on an annual collective cost of $93,000, the 19 STP projects as a group were estimated to yield $200,000 in annual health and societal benefits from car trip reduction and increases in walking.

 

The study is a collaboration of Metrolinx, Green Communities Canada, and the University of Toronto. Data was contributed by STP steering committees including representatives from municipalities, public health units, school boards, schools, and other community stakeholders.

 

Please feel free to share the study with your connections; comments and questions are welcome!

 Share the Road Cycling Coalition hosts the 6th Annual Ontario Bike Summit April 14-15, at the Hyatt Regency on King, Toronto.Share

 

We invite you to join delegates from across Ontario and North America at the 2014 Ontario Bike Summit where you'll have the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with colleagues, gain powerful insights and share and learn best practices. Whether you are facing a design and engineering challenge, are looking for assistance with effective behavior change and marketing strategies, examples of successful safety campaigns, and the latest in travel and tourism ideas -- this event is for you! For additional information, and to register:

http://www.sharetheroad.ca/obs-2014-p155726.

   

 Active Transportation in Rural Communities:Rural

 

In 2011-12, the Communities in Action Committee in Haliburton County undertook a study to evaluate the impact of their work on changes to active transportation (AT) policy, infrastructure and activity. Four evaluation strategies were used: an inventory, community survey, observational study, and key informant interviews. Haliburton County is a rural community in south-central Ontario characterized by lakes, forests and many small villages and hamlets, and findings from this study may be of interest to others planning for and promoting AT in similar rural communities.  Read the full report Seven Years Later: Evaluating Impact on Active Transportation in Haliburton County or the Executive Summary of findings  

 

   

Canadian Municipal Active Transportation Policy MapMap

 

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) has created the Canadian Municipal Active Transportation Policy Map, the first of its kind in Canada. This past January the Partnership hosted a webinar to showcase the policy map and their portal website: http://cancerview.ca.  

 

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) has created the Canadian Municipal Active Transportation Policy Map, the first of its kind in Canada. This past January the Partnership hosted a webinar to showcase the policy map and their portal website: http://cancerview.ca.  

 

The policy map is being populated with active transportation policies unique to local governments and offers great opportunities for collaboration and networking amongst municipalities and active transportation advocates. With over 5000 municipalities across Canada the opportunities for knowledge exchange and learning are immense. One of the many benefits of this policy map portal is the unique opportunity it creates for cross collaboration between public health, urban planners and transportation engineers. As of January there were 22 diverse municipalities across Canada, both urban and rural, with policies posted, including Hamilton, Peel Region, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Arviat in Nunavut, Vancouver, Calgary, and Yellowknife. Visit  tinyurl.com/md7cgj3 to learn more. If your municipality has an active transportation policy you would like to share you can submit it online through the Partnership's web site, or email Chris Politis at  christopher.politis@partnershipagainstcancer.ca.

 

 

 

The Premier of New South Wales and the Mayor of Sydney, Australia are pleased to be hosting the XV International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities in October 2014.Sydney

 

 

"Winning the opportunity to host Walk 21 will allow us to work with the world's leading experts, to increase the number of walking trips and ensure we get best value for money from our investments."

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell

"Winning the opportunity to host Walk 21 will allow us to work with the world's leading experts, to increase the number of waking trips and ensure we get best value for money from our investments."

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell

 Key Themes for Walk21 Sydney are:

  • Connecting places on foot - focusing on the economic benefits of walking
  • Walk alive - focusing on healthy, active living 
  • I walk! - focusing on new, innovative technologies
  • Paving the way - focusing on the built environment

 Full details of the key themes and complimentary themes are available on the website

www.walk21sydney.com

  

 US

 Canada Walks is closely following the exciting walking movement in the United States, Everybody Walk! Led by America Walks and powered by the corporate support of Kaiser Permanente, this is a fantastic nation-wide effort involving hundreds of organizations to get more Americans walking. Canada Walks is currently in conversations with potential corporate sponsors to launch a similar movement across Canada. Everybody Walk! launched in December 2012 and was supported by a call to action from the U.S. Surgeon General, culminating in a sold out Walking Summit held in Washington last October (proceedings perused here).  Read about the launch here and watch the video Walking Revolution that explains the need for ..... a walking revolution!   

 

 

RESEARCH FILEResearch

 

Active School Travel: An Evaluation of the Canadian School Travel Planning Intervention

Preventive Medicine. 2014 Mar;60:55-9. Doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.12.008. Epub 2013 Dec 14

Authors: George Mammen; Michelle Stone; Guy Faulkner; Subha Ramanathan; Catherine O'Brien; Jacky Kennedy

The objective of this study was to evaluate the Canadian School Travel Planning (STP) intervention (2010 to 2012) by examining changes in school travel mode and predictors of mode change. Active school travel (AST) may provide a significant source of physical activity for children although rates of AST are declining in many countries. Read more ...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24342505

 

Independent mobility is an important source of children's physical activity

Children's independent mobility is a child's freedom or parental permission to explore their neighbourhood unsupervised. Researchers at University of Toronto and Ryerson University explored children's independent mobility in Toronto, using data collected from more than 1,000 children attending public elementary schools in Toronto, and their parents. The research reports that more than one-third (35%) of all grade 5/6 children were never allowed to go out on their own or with a friend (i.e., without an adult). Their findings also demonstrate that children who enjoyed some independence accumulated up to 20% more daily physical activity on average, compared to those who were never allowed to go out unsupervised. The study also reports that perceptions related to stranger danger and sociability were associated with parental permissions, while traffic safety perceptions did not have much of an influence. In addition, girls and younger children were less likely to enjoy independent mobility compared to boys and older children.

This research provides a Canadian case study in emphasizing the importance of a child's independent mobiltiy for their healthy development.

 

The findings are critical particularly in the context of declining physical activity participation among children, and increasing parental supervision over the last decades across the Western world. The authors recommend that to reverse these trends, future interventions should focus on enhancing the neighbourhood social environment. Increasing the independent mobility of girls is also something that warrants particular policy attention.

 Raktim Mitra, Guy EJ Faulkner, Ron N Buliung and Michelle R Stone, 2014.

Do parental perceptions of the neighbourhood environment influence children's independent mobility? Evidence from Toronto, Canada. Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098013519140.

http://usj.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/05/0042098013519140.abstract

 

2013-16 Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Network Strategy and Action Plan launched.  The Strategy provides an important opportunity to increase awareness about the impact of cardiovascular disease in the Champlain region and to build commitment for the necessary coordinated efforts that are making a difference for all Champlain residents http://ccpnetwork.ca/index.php/2013-16-strategy-action-plan/

 

The findings of a 2012 study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health noted that active school travel should be promoted to increase physical activity levels in children and adolescents and that cycling to/from school is associated with increased cardiovascular fitness. Intervention studies are needed to increase the quality of evidence. The results of our intervention project can provide researchers with more data towards the culmination of this important evidence.

[Associations Between Active School Transport and Physical Activity, Body Composition, and Cardiovascular Fitness; Larouche R, Saunders TJ, Faulkner G EJ, Colley R, Tremblay M.; J Phys Act Health. 2014 Jan;11(1):206-27. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2011-0345. Epub 2012 Dec 17.]

 

The Anti-Blues Walk
A brisk daily stroll is not only good for your heart, it could also prevent depression in your golden years. The Daily Mail recounted a new study asserting that light physical activity not only has the ability to treat depression, but can actually prevent it from happening. A team from the University of Toronto reopened a quarter-century of data from 30 previous depression-related studies and were surprised to discover that 25 of them showed a strong link between lack of activity and a depression diagnosis later in life. "If you're not physically active, you should start," said study co-author George Mammen.

 

Australia's Victoria Walks has released new research Senior Victorians and walking: obstacles and opportunities. This unique and comprehensive study of the barriers and enablers for seniors' walking for transport and recreation included:

  • A survey of 1128 senior Victorians
  • Eight focus group discussions with a total of 32 senior Victorians
  • A literature review of supports and constraints on walking by seniors
  • Secondary analysis of available seniors walking data.

For summary and full reports www.victoriawalks.org.au/seniors/. 

Canada Walks can help you meet your walkability goalsGoals

  

We offer a full range of workshops and consulting services to help you:

 



Training flow chart
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
School Travel Planning training is now available - contact us to learn more.  The training is offered in a modular format so that each community can learn about topics that are relevant to their current level of experience with active school travel. Content is customized for each community.



If you have story ideas or walking news you'd like to share please send to us at asrts@sympatico.ca. Be sure to include your contact details.ideas
 
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Canada Walks Walkolution News profiles actions across Canada undertaken by Green Communities Canada and our many local partners to help create communities where walking is safe, easy, enjoyable, and inviting. By making a donation to the Green Communities Foundation you can provide vital support for this work.  Just click on the Donate Now button and indicate in the comments section that you'd like your gift to go to the work of Canada Walks. 
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