This is a common issue throughout North America... pitting walkability vs. design standards for fire engines.
David Patman, P. Eng.
Winnipeg Transit | Service Development Division
421 Osborne Street | Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 2A2
P: 204-986-5737 | dpatman(a)winnipeg.ca<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canadian kids need to be active throughout the day, in every way
Green Action Centre supports global findings in the 2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
Winnipeg, Manitoba; MAY 20, 2014 – Green Action Centre supports the 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, released today by Active Healthy Kids Canada and its strategic partners, ParticipACTION and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute – Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO).
For the first time, the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card looked at how Canadian child and youth physical activity stacks up against 14 other countries and reveals Canada is among the top countries for having well-developed physical activity infrastructure and programs, but trails at the back of the global pack for overall physical activity levels. In Canada, we have successfully built sophisticated infrastructure and programs to support kids’ activity, but this alone is not enough to add up to an active population. The global comparisons highlight a need in Canada to examine our own culture of convenience.
“Our society values efficiency—we build more, do more and impose more structure—but perhaps this approach is somewhat misguided when it comes to getting kids more active,” says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific Officer, Active Healthy Kids Canada. “A child’s day is so structured that there is no room for free play or walking or biking to school. Having plenty of local playgrounds is important, but what if they never get used? To increase daily physical activity levels for all kids, we must encourage a mix of opportunities, such as organized sport, active play and active transportation.”
Jackie Avent, Coordinator of Manitoba’s Active and Safe Routes to School Program agrees. “Walking and wheeling to and from school is a great way for kids to incorporate physical activity into their day while having fun with friends, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motorized vehicles and exploring their neighbourhood. School Travel Planning is an important way to learn about what schools and parents need to foster this behavior.”
“Overall, child and youth physical activity levels remain alarmingly low—the Report Card tells us that only five per cent of five- to 17-year-olds are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines,” says Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. “That’s why we need to encourage a wider variety of opportunities to improve the grade on kids’ physical activity levels, and in some cases we need to step back and do less. Many parents see active transportation and active play as inconvenient or unsafe, which results in kids spending their free time indoors being sedentary. In fact, these are great, cost-efficient ways to get kids moving more.”
New Zealand and Mozambique lead the pack with “B” grades in Overall Physical Activity. The global comparisons reveal that New Zealand seems to have found success in providing a balance of opportunities for organized activities and active play, with most kids saying they spend an average of 78 minutes per day in free play. And, in Mozambique, where the majority of the population lives in rural environments, high physical activity levels consist largely of transport and domestic chores.
“Considered in a global context, Canada is a developed country, but it might be fair to say Canada is overdeveloped when it comes to its physical activity infrastructure and programs for children and youth,” says Jennifer Cowie Bonne, CEO, Active Healthy Kids Canada. “Canada will never reap the benefits of our well-developed policies, programs and places unless we relax our grasp and give our kids room to move. Parents and families, policymakers, schools and community leaders must work together to make it easier for our kids to make the active choice, more often.”
More on the global comparisons
For its 10th anniversary Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, Active Healthy Kids Canada brought research teams from 15 countries across five continents together to establish and compare grades, and seek solutions to the worldwide childhood inactivity crisis. Countries that participated in the international comparison process, based on the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card framework, included: Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, Finland, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, South Africa and the United States. The results of the global comparisons and Canada’s Report Card were shared with 700 international delegates at the first-ever Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children, hosted by Active Healthy Kids Canada on May 19 to 22 in Toronto.
Among the ten grades assigned to Canada, key grades and comparisons include:
• “D-” for Overall Physical Activity – Mozambique and New Zealand lead with a B, and Scotland lags with an F.
• “C+” in Organized Sport Participation – New Zealand leads with a B and Mozambique lags with an F.
• “B+” in Community & the Built Environment – Australia leads with an A-, and Mexico and Mozambique lag with an F.
• “D” in Active Transportation – Finland, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria lead with a B, and United States lags with an F.
• “F” in Sedentary Behaviours – Ghana and Kenya lead with a B, and Scotland, South Africa and Nigeria also received an F.
• “C+” in School – England leads with an A- and Colombia lags with an F.
Full copies of the short-form and long-form Report Card, plus free presentations, articles and media materials can be found at www.activehealthykids.ca.
GreenAction Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organization focused on greener living at home, at work, at school and in the community. We share a greener, better living message through the delivery of community programs, events, education and policy work.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Active and Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator
Green Action Centre
3rd Floor, 303 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2B4
Jackie Avent | Active and Safe Routes to School
Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Avenue | (204) 925-3773 | Find us here
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a member
Want to get creative? Study suggests a walk
By: Deborah Netburn
LOS ANGELES -- If you find yourself in a creative slump, scientists have a
suggestion: Take a walk.
People generate more creative ideas when they walk than when they sit,
according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental
Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.
"Everyone always says going on a walk gives you new ideas, but nobody had
ever proved it before," said Marily Oppezzo, a professor of psychology at
Santa Clara University and the lead author of the study.
In fact, Oppezzo got the inspiration for the research while she was taking
a stroll as a graduate student with her thesis adviser, Stanford University
education professor Daniel Schwartz.
To measure creativity, Oppezzo recruited 176 people and gave them various
verbal tests. For instance, some volunteers were asked to come up with
alternative uses for a common item, like a button. Oppezzo defined a
creative response as one that was both appropriate (a button could serve as
a tiny strainer or the eye for a doll, but it wouldn't work as a light
bulb) and original, meaning no one else in the study had said it.
In the first experiment, volunteers were asked to complete the creativity
test twice -- first while sitting at a desk in a small room for four
minutes, and then while walking on a treadmill for the same amount of time.
Researchers found 81 per cent of participants improved their creative
output when walking.
Walkers were more talkative than sitters, but Oppezzo said the increased
output of creative ideas while ambulatory was not simply the result of
having more ideas in general.
"We took everything they said and divided the total creative ideas by the
total ideas mentioned," she said. "Walkers had more thoughts, but they also
had a higher density of creative thoughts than sitters."
To see whether walking improves brainpower overall, Oppezzo and her team
had volunteers complete a task that measures convergent thinking. Study
participants were given three words and asked to come up with another word
that would combine with each of them to make a common phrase. For example,
"Swiss," "cake" and "cottage" can all be combined with "cheese."
On this test, volunteers performed slightly worse when walking compared
with when sitting. That led the researchers to conclude the cognitive
benefits of walking were specific to creative thought.
In subsequent experiments, the researchers found this creative boost can
linger for a period of time. People who took the creativity test while
walking, and then while sitting, came up with more creative ideas in their
chairs compared with other seated volunteers who hadn't gone for a walk.
To make sure this wasn't just a sign the volunteers were getting used to
the test, the researchers asked some participants to take the test twice
and remain seated both times. Under those conditions, test performance did
not improve with experience.
In another set of experiments, the researchers found walking inside was
just as good for creativity as walking outside, although being outdoors
made participants more talkative.
In the final experiment, Oppezzo tried pushing volunteers around the
Stanford campus in wheelchairs and compared their creativity with that of
volunteers who went for a walk outside, those who walked indoors on a
treadmill and those who sat inside a lab room with no view of the outdoors.
The results were clear: Walking (whether inside or outside) trumped sitting
(either inside or outside).
Other researchers said they found the results convincing, especially
because they were confirmed in four different experiments.
Jennifer Wiley, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois,
Chicago, who was not involved in the study, said Oppezzo's results were in
line with what she called the "bed, bath, bus and bar syndrome."
"When we take a break from active perusal of solutions and go about our
other daily activities, new ways of thinking about the solution may pop
into our minds," she said. But Wiley and others were at a loss to explain
why walking seemed to enhance creativity.
Perhaps walking increases arousal in the brain, said Jonathan Schooler, a
professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of
California, Santa Barbara, who wasn't involved in the study. If so, that
would explain why most volunteers became more chatty when they were
ambulatory, he said.
Oppezzo thinks it's possible that walking interferes with the brain's
ability to filter thoughts. "We really don't know," she said.
Oppezzo and Schwartz intend to continue their research into the connection
between walking and creativity. "We've had many walking meetings to think
about future ideas," Oppezzo said.
-- Los Angeles Times
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 18, 2014 A6
*NEW YORK PLANS TO ELIMINATE ALL TRAFFIC DEATHS — BUT COULD IT WORK FOR
By employing a strategy embracing community outreach, city planning and
increased enforcement, New York City has set the ambitious goal of bringing
traffic deaths to zero. But can the Big Apple’s plan achieve the same
effect in our city?
By: Mary Agnes Welch
Crash consequences: Victim's recovery a long journey With radical traffic
reform, others may not have to suffer
NO ACCIDENTBy: Mary Agnes Welch
[Link includes video introducing the WFP's "No Accident: How we can make
Winnipeg's roads safer:
Here's the sum total of what Bev Bungay remembers after she left for work
one slushy Tuesday in December 2012.
"Great, I'll be able to catch the earlier bus."
Asking a paramedic if she was dreaming. He replied, "No, but you're going
to be OK."
Someone in the emergency room saying, "I've got her backpack and her
Hearing her sister, saying, through tears, "You hurt her. You have to be
Looking up to see a dozen people hovering over her bed, while someone
rubbed her breastbone with their knuckles because she'd stop breathing.
When Bungay began to wake up two or three days later, still in a haze of
shock and painkillers, she asked her husband, David, to let her boss know
she'd be working from home for a while.
"Honestly, I thought four to six months and I'd be completely back to
normal," she said. "I had no clue it would take this long."
That's what happens when you're hit by a speeding Monte Carlo, land face
down about seven metres away in a yard and shatter 11 bones, including four
ribs and a neck vertebrae. You spend weeks in hospital with your head
immobilized in a metal halo, months sleeping in the dining room because you
can't get upstairs to your bed and nearly a year off work.
And you join the 1,300 Winnipeggers, most of them nameless except to family
and friends, who were killed or critically injured in bad car crashes over
the last decade.
If Bungay had been injured on the job, there would be a provincial
investigation. If she had been hurt in a nursing home, health executives
would launch a critical incident review. If it had happened in a STARS air
ambulance, the minister would have suspended the service.
Instead, remarkably little happens to prevent the next pedestrian from
being hit while crossing Portage Avenue at Woodlawn Street, or to prevent
any of the other 14,000 collisions Winnipeg sees in a year.
Vehicle makers have done their bit. Airbags, crumple zones and backup
cameras have made vehicles much safer, meaning even the worst crash tends
to kill one person in the car, instead of two or three. Seatbelt use is now
ubiquitous. Photo enforcement is widespread. And paramedics, in the word of
one veteran Winnipeg traffic cop, do "phenomenal" work at the scene.
That has helped shrink the total number of crashes in Winnipeg by about 30
per cent over the last two decades, even though the city's population has
grown. More recently, though, the figure has plateaued. In fact, since
2010, the number of Winnipeggers badly injured by traffic has risen
steadily, according to Manitoba Public Insurance data. And, there were so
many crashes this terrible winter MPI is threatening to hike insurance
So far this year, several bad crashes, including the death of 23-year-old
Amy Gilbert on Broadway last month, have captured the public's attention.
Despite that, Winnipeg has not followed other cities -- New York, Paris,
Stockholm, Chicago, Seattle -- by making traffic deaths and injuries a
public-health issue. Elsewhere, that shift has sparked huge investments in
enforcement, traffic engineering, pedestrian and bike infrastructure and
public education, and in turn made those cities more livable.
If Winnipeg cut the number of crashes in half, through innovative road
design, more cycle tracks and tougher enforcement, nearly 100 lives could
be saved over the next decade, while also making the city more livable and
less car-centric. Using cost estimates gleaned from Transport Canada
research, Winnipeg could also save close to $5 billion in health care, lost
work time, traffic delays, disability payments, property damage and other
spinoff social costs related to crashes.
"It is a reasonable goal to have. These are things we can do. We have the
tools," said University of Manitoba traffic engineer Jeannette Montufar. "We
have a very important issue in our hands right now, a very important
problem of people dying in motor-vehicle collisions. It affects society
today but also in the future... We need to hear much more about that than
we're hearing today."
Winnipeg averages 18 traffic deaths a year. There are roughly 28 homicides
annually, sparking billions in spending on police, courts and prisons.
Perry Gray, the doctor in charge of Health Sciences Centre's surgical
intensive care unit, said violence and crime get all the attention, but his
biggest customers are victims of motor-vehicle collisions, just like Bev
Bungay. They tie up nearly half the beds in the trauma unit, and they often
need multiple surgeries on multiple body parts by multiple surgeons.
"You have the un-fixable in the worst category, the spinal injuries, the
time-will-tell category and then the stuff we can actually fix," said Gray.
"You get this whole array thrown at you when your family member is the
victim of a bad accident, a series of events that go on for days and days
and days... Is he going to wake up? Is he or she going to be like they
That is exactly what David Bungay was wondering as he raced to HSC an hour
after his wife's crash, using his Bluetooth to frantically call family.
Soon, the couple's grown kids converged on the hospital, along with
Bungay's dad. Sisters and nephews arrived from across town and from
Thompson. David camped out for a week in Bungay's room. Two weeks after the
crash, the couple's new granddaughter celebrated her first Christmas at HSC
with a groggy, bruised, swollen, immobilized Bungay in the background of
fluorescent-lit family photos.
None of the 11 bones Bungay broke was a nice, clean, easy-to-fix fracture.
Her C2 bone (the second of seven bones in the cervical spine) was smashed
in several pieces but on the side furthest away from the spinal cord, which
was good. X-rays show bits of jagged shin bone floating in space, a metal
rod acting as the leg's structure.
The 30-year-old driver who caused all this pulled a classic Winnipeg move,
darting out of traffic to zip ahead of a slow-moving lane. Bungay was
crossing Portage at the light, a few steps from the curb when she was hit,
likely at close to 70 kilometres per hour.
Many people stopped to help. They did all the right things, resisting the
urge to turn Bungay over and, instead, covered her up with coats to keep
her warm until paramedics arrived.
Over the last 18 months, Bungay has gone from a wheelchair to a walker to a
cane and a leg brace. She is back at work at Manitoba Justice halftime,
squeezing in physio three times a week to improve mobility and deal with
pain in her neck.
Before the crash, Bungay had just started to run, doing the "couch to 5k"
program. She really misses running, something she never thought she'd say.
She can't drive yet -- using the gas and brake pedals hurts her right shin
too much -- which is also making her nuts.
It would have been nice if the driver had reached out to the family, come
to the hospital or offered an apology, said David, but neither is wasting
energy on ill will.
"People have asked me about that -- 'Aren't you angry?' " said Bungay. "I
don't feel anger toward the driver. I don't believe he had the intention of
hurting anyone that day. He just made a careless mistake."
FIVE NUMBERS THAT MATTER
*177*: Number of deaths on Winnipeg roads in the last decade, 2004-2013
*1,094*: number of serious injuries, 2004-2013
*46*: percentage of trauma patients in the Health Sciences Centre intensive
care unit with crash-related injuries
*$1.17 billion*: estimated annual spin-off cost of all traffic crashes in
*$12.6 million*: what the city and Manitoba Public Insurance are spending
this year on traffic safety
*Source: Manitoba Public Insurance; City of Winnipeg collision statistics;
Analysis and Estimation of the Social Cost of Motor Vehicle Collisions in
Ontario Final Report, August, 2007, Transport Canada*
NEXT IN THIS SERIES
- *Today:* The problem
- *Saturday:* New York City's vision
- *Tuesday: *Bike lanes
- *Wednesday:* Slow zones
- *Thursday:* Enforcement
- *Friday:* Intersections
- *Saturday:* Political will
- *Sunday:* The jerks