Active Living Resources

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for those who promote active living. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources


Latest News

April 2, 2019 Two New Video Summaries, Full-Length Case Studies. Nominations Due June 3, 2019
Ready for an inspiration break? Need to convince or inspire a room-full of decision-makers? Each of our our new case study videos summarizes a recently designated Landmark case study in under five minutes ... short enough for a break or to show to others at Board, Council and other planning meetings. Our new format features more video-recorded sections of the programs-in-action and of the program managers sharing their perspectives. The full-length written case studies are also now available for these two programs: Capitol Hill In Motion and Chicago's GO Programs, both designated in 2017.

We are now soliciting nominations for 2019. If you have been working on or have seen a particularly effective or innovative approach for changing energy or transportation behaviours, please consider nominating yourself or them (June 3 deadline)

Nov. 1, 2018 Three New Case Studies, Seven New Resources
We've posted the summary of one of this year's Landmark case studies: Brisbane's Active Schools Travel Program. We've also posted the full-length case study for two of last year's Landmark case studies: Capitol Hill In Motion, and Chicago's Go Program. Landmark designation recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America and world-wide.  Over the past year, we've also added seven new resources in this topic area. You can see the case studies in the left hand column below and the resources in the right hand column below. Let us know what you think
Nov. 15, 2017 Virtually Everyone Benefits From More Physical Activity
Systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses (based largely on epidemiological studies consisting of large cohorts) have demonstrated a dose-response relationship between physical activity and premature mortality and the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic medical conditions. The relationships between physical activity and health outcomes are generally curvilinear such that marked health benefits are observed with relatively minor volumes of physical activity. More

Most Recent Active Living Case Studies

Bike Smarts  EnvironmentHealthSafety

The Bike Smarts program was introduced in Lochside Elementary School to educate students about bicycle safety and to encourage them to travel by bicycle. As part of the program, parents of the students became involved in cycling to school with their children and participated in a cycling field trip.

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The Clean Air Commute  EnvironmentHealth

Pollution Probe hosts an annual, month-long Clean Air Campaign to raise awareness about smog, vehicle emissions and related respiratory problems. The main event of this campaign is The Clean Air Commute, a one-day event in which employees pledge to carry out cleaner commuting practices. In 1996 a pilot was conducted to build on the one-day event and measure the resulting changes over a period of three months.

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The Environment Network  EnvironmentHealth

This comprehensive program utilized several strategies including home visits, incentives and starter kits to induce households to reduce energy, water consumption, waste to landfill and pollution.

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Landmark Case Study Go Boulder  EnvironmentHealth

To promote a shift from single-occupant vehicle use to more sustainable modes of transportation, the City of Boulder uses several synergistic approaches. It offers transit passes to entire workplaces, schools and neighbourhoods, with guaranteed rides home for workplace pass holders needing to stay late at work or in case of an emergency. The city has continually improved its physical system to be more supportive of alternative transportation methods, with high-profile monthly reminders and opportunities to try these alternative methods.

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Vancouver's Employee Trip Reduction Program  EnvironmentHealth

The Greater Vancouver Regional District's (GVRD's) Employee Trip Reduction Program took an integrated, multi-modal approach. By supporting the use of all modes of alternative transportation, a higher rate of employee buy-in could be obtained. This case study also shows how a municipality first developed a program for its own employees and then used it as a model for other employers. Even though GVRD has more resources to draw on than many other municipalities, the program's elements can be replicated by any community. This case study documents a program that took place between 1996 and 2002. A separate case study covers more current details on the public program that resulted.

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Marley Station Mall  EnvironmentHealth

This pilot used simple signs to promote health and weight control by encouraging the use of stairs instead of escalators.

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Spare the Air  EnvironmentHealth

When air pollution concentrations approach unhealthy levels, people living and working within the San Francisco Bay Area are notified, and encouraged to avoid activities that pollute the air. Partnerships with local businesses and public agencies allow the program to target commuters at work, and offer information, incentives and services to help them choose less polluting alternatives.

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Landmark Case Study Green Communities Active and Safe Routes to School (1996 to 2005)  EnvironmentHealthSafety

The Green Communities Active and Safe Routes to School program encourages families to reduce automobile use and increase physical activity for children as they travel to and from school. This case study covers pilot implementation by Greenest City, and expansion to other schools across the Greater Toronto Area and then throughout Ontario. Green Communities Canada now supports delivery of Active and Safe Routes to School programs nationwide. Updated in 2005. More recent information is contained in a new case study.

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Ottawa's Commuter Challenge  EnvironmentHealth

Ottawa's Commuter Challenge is a week long event that encourages people of legal driving age (16+) to reduce air pollution by using active or sustainable transportation to get to and from work or school. People are asked to walk, cycle, take the bus, telework, carpool, or a combination of those, instead of driving alone.

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Improving Employee Transportation: The Cambie Corridor Consortium  EnvironmentHealth

The Cambie Corridor Consortium (CCC) was the first transportation management association (TMA) established in Canada. A TMA is an alliance of business, government, and other groups that aims to reduce traffic in a particular area by pooling resources and expertise. Cambie's aim is to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles commuting to the Cambie/Broadway area of Vancouver and improve air quality by providing alternative transportation solutions and information. Approximately 25,000 employees are represented through CCC's 21 members.

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Commuter Challenge: Environment Canada's Participation  EnvironmentHealth

This case study illustrates the successful engagement of a large organization (Environment Canada) in a broad-scale staff participation program. That program, the Commuter Challenge, is a Canada-wide NGO-led event that challenges commuters to reduce the use of single-occupant vehicles during a specific time frame. It is used as an awareness raising initiative and to promote trial of an activity, not as a scientific auditing or survey tool.

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HEADSTART  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Hampshire County's Transport Awareness Initiative (HEADSTART) encourages more sensible use of cars in order to reduce road traffic and environmental pollution, protect human health and minimize future infrastructure cost. Based on the notion of public participation and community mobilization, the program developed and implemented a discussion workshop to help explore various transport issues, directly involve the community in the policy-making process, and engage the citizens in supporting the resulting policies. Volunteers were trained to lead the workshop, supported by a CD-ROM technology and a how-to manual that is available for use by other interested groups or organizations.

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off ramp  EnvironmentHealth

Off ramp is an out-of-class initiative that encourages secondary school students to walk, cycle or take transit to school more often, thereby reducing car use. It increases awareness of transportation and climate change issues, provides incentives, and reduces barriers to transportation alternatives. In short, it improves the availability and popularity of sustainable transportation within the schools and their communities. Its student handbook is available at a nominal cost.

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Landmark Case Study U-PASS: University of Washington's Transportation Management Program  EnvironmentHealth

U-PASS is a comprehensive, flexible program designed to encourage University of Washington students, staff and faculty to use alternative modes of transportation and thereby reduce the volume of traffic in Seattle's University District. The program provides many inexpensive commuting options and incentives to program participants, including: increased and subsidized transit service, shuttle service, carpools, vanpools, ridematch services, bicycle incentives, reimbursed rides home, daily flex permits, and merchant discounts. U-Pass was designated a Landmark case study in 2009.

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Århus Bike Bus'ters  EnvironmentHealth

Over a one-year period more than 150 people in the City of Århus, Denmark were actively encouraged to use bicycles or public transit for their daily commute. One of the goals of Bike Busters was to assess the extent to which motorists would switch to sustainable means of transportation.

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Most Recent Active Living Resources

Guide to Community Preventive Services  Health

Evidence-based interventions for public health Read More »

Social Marketing Downunder  HealthSafety

Includes sections on: introduction to social marketing, research, case studies, and professional development. Covers a range of topics including: physical activity, alcohol, domestic violence, tobacco, and workplace health and safety.

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National TDM and Telework Clearinghouse  EnvironmentHealth

The resources section on this site contains survey and program evaluation resources, as well as approaches for overcoming barriers relating to walking, cycling, telework and the use of public transit.

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On Social Marketing and Social Change  Health

Covers such topics as audience research, behavioral design, distribution channels, media trends, mobile thoughts, obesity prevention, physical activity, research methods, sexual health, social media, and tobacco.

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CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity  Health

Includes social marketing case studies related nutrition, physical activity and obesity; and a segmentation of U.S. adults by attitudes and behaviors (using the five energy balance segments developed from Porter Novelli's ConsumerStyles© and HealthStyles© survey databases)

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TravelSmart Research Documents  EnvironmentHealth

Contains research reports supporting the development and delivery of the Victoria Australia TravelSmart program, including a good number on program evaluation methodology and on individualized marketing initiatives. Most of the papers date back to 2003 and 2004 yet remain quite relevant today. TravelSmart in Victoria has since shifted from an  individualised marketing to a travel planning approach.

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International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity  Health

Contains open access research articles focusing on the behavioural features of diet and physical activity

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Obesity Prevention Coordinators' Social Marketing Guidebook  Health

Contains instructions, tools and worksheets specific to nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Developed by the Florida Prevention Research Center at the University of South Florida.

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Resources for (Transportation) Practitioners  EnvironmentHealth

Provides access to a range of resources developed by Transport Canada for transportation practitioners and decision makers.

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Spare Change  Health

This blog covers living (physical activity, fitness), AIDS, nutrition, obesity and tobacco.

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Program Impact Attribution  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This document provides a brief summary of options for assessing what portion of any measured behavior changes resulted from your program and what portion resulted from other influences. These options can also be used to attribute the affects of your program on a wide range of related variables such as resources used, pollutants released, accident rates and health status.

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Changing Transportation Behaviours: A Social Marketing Planning Guide  EnvironmentHealth

If you want to influence transportation choices, this planning guide is written for you. You may be working on a very small or large program. This guide has been designed to help you focus on practical first steps and explore additional social marketing considerations. The guide's worksheets walk you through each step, provide quick access to the key questions to ask, and link to associated recommendations for further details.

Read More »  EnvironmentHealthSafety

A free, searchable online registry of systematic reviews on the effectiveness of public health and health promotion interventions. The content has been quality rated. Bilingual (English and French).

Topics include: AIDS, environmental health, fitness, injury prevention, nutrition, safety, cycling, walking, water quality

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Bikes Belong  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Includes statistics and research on cycling trends, bike sharing, bike events, retailers, safety campaigns; an image library, and tips on how to make towns more bicycle friendly

Sponsored by the U.S. bicycle industry with the goal of putting more people on bicycles more often

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CDC Public Health Image Library  EnvironmentHealth

Provides photographs, illustrations and multimedia files, with image collections for environmental health, natural disasters, anatomy, biological sciences, heart health, nutrition, chemicals and drugs, diseases (including AIDS) and organisms.

Most of the images in the collection are in the public domain and are thus free of any copyright restrictions.

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