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JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH: SPECIAL WALKING SUPPLEMENT
-> The Special Supplement to the Journal of Physical Activity and Health: “Walking and Walkability: Approaches to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health” (http://bit.ly/1BWvJbm) highlights approaches to increase population levels of physical activity through walking and improved walkability. The articles focus on 1) improving the physical environment to support walking, such as having safe streets with sidewalks and crosswalks or attractive areas to walk, including nearby trails or parks; and 2) the role of personal motivation for walking which may include walking the dog or walking to nearby destinations, such as public transit, stores, or schools.

The entire supplement is available open access: all 18 articles are available free to read and download. For example: “Walking for Transportation: What do U.S. Adults Think is a Reasonable Distance and Time?” (http://bit.ly/1dw019g) and “Active Transportation in Kingston, Ontario: An Analysis of Mode, Destination, Duration, and Season Among Walkers and Cyclists” [http://bit.ly/1ei1wZu]

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE: BUILT ENVIRONMENT, OBESITY
-> “Built Environment Assessment and Interventions for Obesity Prevention: Moving the Field Forward” is the theme for 5 articles in the May 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. They are the result of the 2013 Built Environment Assessment Training Institute (BEAT) Think Tank, which brought together thought leaders in obesity, built environment, nutrition and physical activity and related fields, to discuss the state of the science and practice and identify areas for future research, intervention development and training. (http://bit.ly/1CIms1H)

SRTSNP: SAFETY FOR WALKING AND BICYCLING RESEARCH COMPILATION
-> The Safe Routes to School National Partnership Safety for Walking and Bicycling research compilation page identifies patterns of active transportation, injury, environmental attributes associated with pedestrian safety, as well as successful strategies to increase safety implemented by Safe Routes to School projects. Implications of this research suggest infrastructure improvements, traffic education for students, and driver enforcement can provide positive impacts on overall pedestrian and bicyclist safety. [http://bit.ly/1NuuHEY]

IMPACT OF SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAMS ON WALKING AND BIKING
-> Active Living Research’s “Impact of Safe Routes to School Programs on Walking and Biking” research review highlights findings from studies conducted in several states and cities that have examined walking or biking rates, safety, and economic issues associated with Safe Routes to School. (http://bit.ly/1QowtHw) See also slides summarizing this review. (http://bit.ly/1IrWXbj)

OPINION POLL RESULTS RE LEVELS OF SUPPORT FEDERAL TAX $ FOR TRANSIT
-> The report entitled, “What Do Americans Think About Federal Tax Options to Support Public Transit, Highways, and Local Streets and Roads? Results from Year Six of a National Survey,” summarizes the results of a national random digit-dial public opinion poll asking respondents if they would support various tax options for raising federal transportation revenues, with a special focus on public transit. Questions probed perceptions related to public transit, knowledge and opinions about federal taxes to support transit, public transit usage, annual miles driven, and priorities for government spending on transportation in their state, among others. Most people want good public transit service and 2/3 of respondents supported spending gas tax revenues on transit. However, questions exploring different methods to raise new revenues found relatively low levels of support for raising gas tax or transit fare rates. [http://bit.ly/1GX2EvG]

MAKING WALKING AND CYCLING ON EUROPE’S ROADS SAFER
-> The European Transport and Safety Council has released a report (Making Walking and Cycling on Europe’s Roads Safer) that details data and information about deaths of pedestrians and cyclists on European Union roads between 2001 and 2013 and describes recommended countermeasures. [http://bit.ly/1IKzzBA]

WALKING IN NATURE CAN PREVENT DEPRESSION
-> For a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Nature Experience Reduces Rumination and Subgenual Prefrontal Cortex Activation: http://bit.ly/1dvcjyN), Stanford scientists examined whether a nature walk could reduce rumination* in 38 mentally healthy city dwellers. They found natural environments are more restorative, and thus confer greater psychological benefits.

(Rumination is what happens when you get really sad, and you can’t stop thinking about your glumness and what’s causing it. It shows up as increased activity in a part of the brain that regulates negative emotions. If rumination continues for too long unabated, depression can set in.) [http://bit.ly/1U4TX9h]

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