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News from July 2009

Active Transportation Gets Physicians' OK

July 16, 2009

The Canadian Medical Association currently released a three page position statement on active transportation. Findings include:

  • major diseases affecting the quality and quantity of the lives of Canadians (obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, depression and cancer) are all linked to physical inactivity.
  • in Canada, 77% of women and 74% of men are physically inactive (less than 30 minutes a day of physical activity).
  • a 10% increase in physical activity could potentially reduce direct health care expenditures by $150 million a year.

The study cites the difficulty in changing behaviour of individuals to increase physical activity and recommends an emphasis in urban planning active transportation initiatives. Walkable communities, facilitating bicycle traffic, and designing recreation and business areas for walking rather than driving are a few of the recommendations contained in the report.

Of course, here at the Provincial Fitness Unit of Alberta, we would add bicycling or walking to one of the many private and public agencies that hire CSEP personal trainers, and AFLCA certified group exercise leaders to bolster anyone’s active living plan.

A key recommendation of the CMA is that all sectors (business, government and public) work together as a matter of priority to create a culture that supports and encourages active transportation. As personal trainers and group exercise leaders, how can we contribute to a healthy and active culture? Let us know!

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