News Archive

USC PRC Director Dr. Sara Wilcox Elected to join the National Academy of Kinesiology

(September 30, 2015)

Prevention Research Center Director and Exercise Science Professor Sara Wilcox has been elected to join the National Academy of Kinesiology as an Active Fellow, signifying her contributions to the field.

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USC PRC to Host Seminar on Engaging Faith-Based Organizations in Health Initiatives

(September 8, 2015)

The USC PRC will host a seminar, Engaging Faith-based Organizations in Health Initiatives, focused on strategies for partnering with faith-based organizations in health initiatives on September 29; Reverend Kenneth Taylor will give the keynote address. 

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USC PRC Student Wins National Award for Research Excellence

(April 30, 2015)

Ms. Danielle Schoffman was presented with the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s 2015 Distinguished Student Award for Excellence in Research at the Society’s Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions in San Antonio on April 23, 2015.

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USC PRC Researchers Establish the South Carolina Healthy Brain Research Network

(April 10, 2015)

Research network, led by PRC Affiliate Dr. Daniela Friedman with PRC Director Dr. Sara Wilcox and Professor and Endowed Chair of Social Work Dr. Sue Levkoff, will advance research in the areas of cognitive health and healthy aging through a strategic research agenda.

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Study Determines Efficacy of Self-Directed Programs for Adults with Arthritis

(January 14, 2015)

Study, led by PRC Director Dr. Sara Wilcox, determines efficacy of self-directed exercise or nutrition programs for adults with arthritis, significant improvements in multiple areas for both types of interventions.

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USC PRC Student Featured on Arnold School of Public Health Website

(January 5, 2015)

In America’s battle against climbing obesity rates and other health complications associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity, Danielle Schoffman’s research offers a possible answer: using mobile technology (e.g., apps and physical monitoring devices) in a family setting to improve healthy behaviors.

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USC PRC Affliate Launches Global Energy Balance Network

(December 5, 2014)
USC PRC Affiliate and Professor of Exercise Science, Dr. Steve Blair collaborated with Dr. James Hill of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado Denver to launch the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) on December 5.

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USC PRC Director Named to Presitigous SEC Program

(October 8, 2014)
Dr. Sara Wilcox has been named a 2014 - 15 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellow. The program seeks to advance academic leaders for leadership throughout the SEC.

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Study Focuses on Pregnant Women

(August 29, 2014)

Arnold School of Public Health researchers Dr. Sara Wilcox and Dr. Jihong Liu have been awarded a $2.9 million grant for a five-year study on the best methods to help overweight and obese women have a healthy weight during pregnancy and after the birth of their children.

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PRC Awarded $4.35 Million

(June 9, 2014)

First funded by the CDC in 1993, the Prevention Research Center at the Arnold School has received a $4.35 million grant to implement a faith-based program to improve health.

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Getting America Moving

(May 13, 2014)

Americans’ lack of physical activity is saddling the country with a heavy public health burden. Dr. Russ Pate’s research is aimed at getting America moving again, and he focuses on the problem where it starts — in children.

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USC PRC Researchers Participate in Healthy Aging Forum

(December 3, 2013)

Drs. Sara Wilcox and Daniela Friedman presented an overview of the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network and the brain health initiatives of this network at the USC Healthy Aging Forum on December 3.  The program featured Emmy Award winning talk show host, Leeza Gibbons, a USC alumna and founder of Leeza’s Place. 

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USC PRC Researcher to Delivery Keynote Address at International Physical Activity Conference

(November 4, 2013)

Dr. Andrew Kaczynski, faculty affiliate researcher for the USC PRC, was selected to deliver the opening keynote address at the ninth Brazilian Congress on Physical Activity and Health. The conference, was held Nov. 13 – 16 at the Pontiff Catholic University of Parana in Curitiba, Brazil, with the theme, "Active People, Healthy Cities."

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USC PRC Celebrates 20 Years of Excellence

(October 17, 2013)

Established in 1993 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the PRC is one of a national network of 37 academic research centers, each at either a school of public health or a medical school that has a preventive medicine residency program. Every center has a particular focus area. At the Arnold School's PRC, the focus is on improving health and preventing disease through physical activity. After two decades of work, the center's impact on public health practice, policy is seen across state, nation.

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USC PRC Researcher Receives Grant to Examine 'Food Deserts' in Two South Carolina Communities

(October 3, 2013)

A study led by Dr. Patricia Sharpe at the University of South Carolina will look at food shopping behaviors and access to food in Spartanburg and Florence in an effort to better understand how food choices impact health.

The areas selected for the study are considered "food deserts," said Dr. Patricia Sharpe, a researcher with the Arnold School of Public Health's Prevention Research Center.

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USC PRC's Physical Activity and Public Health Course Highlighted on the CDC's "Prevention Stories" Website

(April 19, 2013)

The CDC recently highlighted the accomplishments of the University of South Carolina PRC’s Physical Activity and Public Health (PAPH) Course, a program that the USC PRC has run since 1996. The PAPH trains health department professionals and post graduate researchers in exercise science and public health evidence-based practices. The experiential learning focus of the course has allowed course attendees to apply their knowledge and improve the physical activity environment in Bluffton, South Carolina and Park City, Utah, where the course is taught.

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PRC Student Recognized for Contributions to USC Graduate Student Association

(April 8, 2013)

Danielle Schoffman is always on the go -- between completing homework, writing her dissertation proposal, working in the Prevention Research Center and maintaining a social life.

And, as if she weren’t busy enough, the second-year doctoral student in the Arnold School of Public Health’s Health Promotion, Education & Behavior program has taken on the Graduate Student Association (GSA), trying to bridge the gap between the colleges and schools. Schoffman says she wouldn’t devote time to something if she wasn’t passionate about it.

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Keeping the faith: USC partners with AME churches to improve health

(February 5, 2013)

As part of a project led by USC’s Arnold School of Public Health, 74 African Methodist Episcopal (AME) churches participated in a program to help members lead healthier lifestyles through increased physical activity and healthier food choices. Researchers worked in partnership with AME church leaders and members to design and implement the Faith, Activity and Nutrition (FAN) program and trained church leaders to incorporate it into their congregations.

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PRC Core Project, Sumter County on the Move!, Featured on Columbia, SC News Broadcast

(September 21, 2012)

Sumter County on the Move! (SCOTM!) was recently featured on WLTX News in Columbia, SC and Sumter, SC; click here for the WLTX interview SCOTM! participants and program coordinator, Lili Stoisor-Olsson. SCOTM! is a walking program for residents of Sumter County, SC focused on getting people active and utilizing the buddy system to stay motivated.

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Screening of HBO's Weight of the Nation Featured on Columbia, SC News Broadcast

(September 7, 2012)

The USC PRC teamed up with the Arnold School of Public Health, Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, Palmetto Health, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to bring a screening of the HBO documentary, "Weight of the Nation" and a panel discussion about obesity to the USC community.

The screening attracted about 125 attendees, and was featured on Columbia's WACH Fox News; click here for the WACH Fox interview with USC PRC Director, Dr. Sara Wilcox.

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USC PRC and Partners to Host Screening of HBO's Weight of the Nation

(August 17, 2012)

The USC PRC is teaming up with the Arnold School of Public Health, Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, Palmetto Health, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to bring a discussion about obesity to the USC community.

The screening of the documentary, the fourth film in the critically acclaimed HBO series “Weight of the Nation,” will include a panel discussion by local experts who are on the front lines of battling the problems of childhood and adult obesity. The event will be held on September 6th from 6-8pm at the Public Health Research Center, located at 921 Assembly St., is free and open to the public.

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USC PRC Students Receive Recognition

(May 4, 2012)

USC PRC Student Jorge Banda Recognized for Outstanding Achievements at USC Graduation

Congratulations to USC PRC student, Jorge Banda, for his recognitions and awards at this year’s Arnold School of Public Health graduation ceremony.  Jorge will be graduating this August with his PhD in Exercise Science.

USC PRC Student Danielle Schoffman Wins Top Prize for Poster Presentation

USC PRC Graduate Assistant and PhD student Danielle Schoffman was recognized for her research achievements at the 11th Annual USC Graduate Student Day Awards, winning first place for her scientific poster in the Health and Life Sciences category.

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USC PRC Researcher Mentors Undergraduate Student

(May 4, 2012)

Arnold School of Public Health faculty members are mentoring the research projects of seven Magellan Scholars from a university-wide total of 67 beginning this semester. Megan Brown, Honors, Junior, Public Health; Dr. Melinda Forthofer (EPID/BIOS). In her work with Forthofer, Brown will analyze the relationship between social networks and health status, particularly in the impoverished and medically undeserved communities of Sumter County. The study is titled Assessment of Social Networks and Health Status in Sumter County.The Magellan Scholar program was created in 2005 to enrich the academic experience of USC's undergraduates. U.S.News & World Report's 2011 college guide lauded the University of South Carolina for having one of the nation's best programs for "Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects." Since the first Magellan Scholars were named in 2006, USC has awarded more than $1 million for undergraduate research.

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Dr. Sara Wilcox to lead PRC; her research focuses on physical activity in underserved populations

(January 25, 2012)

Dr. Sara Wilcox has been named director of the Prevention Research Center at the Arnold School of Public Health.

Wilcox was named the interim director of the PRC in May. She succeeded Dr. Steve Hooker who took a post at Arizona State University.

Dr. Tom Chandler, dean of the Arnold School, said that after a national search for a new director, "It became clear that we had the best possible candidate here. Dr. Wilcox has the opportunity to move this long-standing and accomplished center to new heights with everyone's participation and help."

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Walking Intervention Recruiting Participants in Sumter County, SC

(January 17, 2012)

The USC PRC Core project, Sumter County On The Move!, a walking intervention in partnership with Sumter County Active Lifestyles, began enrolling participants at the end of January.  Under the direction of Dr. Lyndie Forthofer, researchers at the PRC are investigating whether strategies for mobilizing, supporting, and reinforcing existing social networks are effective for increasing physical activity levels among residents of Sumter County, SC. During the 6-month active program period, participants will be offered free workshops on community resources, strategies for staying motivated and keeping group members motivated, tips for overcoming common barriers, and health and safety information. 

The SCOTM! website provides more information and links to the registration surveys.

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USC PRC Partner Improving Cycling Opportunities

(January 17, 2012)

Sumter County Active Lifestyles (SCAL), the community partner of the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center (PRC), is in the news for work being done to get residents' thoughts and opinions about bicycling. SCAL is in the process of conducting a community survey to help Sumter County be a more bicycle-friendly community. The results of the survey will help inform educational and environmental changes, such as training children and youth about bicycling safety or installing bike lanes. To learn more about the efforts of SCAL, watch the video above or click on the link below.

Dr. Sara Wilcox is featured in RWJF profile

(August 22, 2011)

Dr. Sara Wilcox, interim director of the Prevention Research Center, is profiled on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation site for her work as an evaluator of the Active for Life® program.The profile of Wilcox lauds her efforts in evaluating the $17-million Active for Life® program between 2002 – 2009. The article states: "Evaluators conduct rigorous studies aimed at advancing knowledge. They share findings via scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Program managers and directors, on the other hand, look for insights and conclusions that reflect their real-world fiscal, staffing and community environments. Sara Wilcox has earned a reputation for integrating these diverse perspectives, thereby both advancing knowledge and improving practice."

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'Drive and Cycle Friendly' encourages Sumter County residents to take to two wheels for physical activity

(July 22, 2011)

Sumter County Active Lifestyles (SCAL), the community partner of the Arnold School's Prevention Research Center, is continuing its efforts to combat obesity by encouraging Sumter County residents to spend more time on two-wheels. The bicycling effort – "Drive and Cycle Friendly: Share the Road" -- is one of several public health programs connected to the USC center, said PRC interim director Dr. Sara Wilcox. The cycling program recently was featured on WLTX-TV in Columbia when SCAL was asking area residents to share their opinions on what was needed to help make Sumter County more friendly to bicyclists.

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USC PRC Receives Best Practice Award

(May 6, 2011)
The University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center (PRC) is one of 11 PRCs that have been awarded the Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Best Practices Award by the National Community Committee.  This award recognizes the USC PRCs endeavors to fulfill the principles of CBPR in its research activities. To read more about the award and view the other distinguished recipients, click on the link below.

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USC to Sponsor Sumter County On The Move!

(April 30, 2011)

The USC Prevention Research Center (USC PRC), Sumter County Active Lifestyles (SCAL), and several Sumter County community partners partnered to sponsor Sumter County On The Move!, a walking awareness campaign and celebration in late April and early May that featured six community parks and walking tracks in Sumter County.

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Community Advocacy and Leadership Program Links Sumter County Leaders with PRC Resources

(February 14, 2011)

An advocacy training program by through the USC Arnold School of Public Health's Prevention Research Center (USC PRC)is teaching community leaders in Sumter County to become more effective change-agents for community health and to encourage their fellow citizens to become more physically active at the same time. The USC PRC is working with Sumter County Active Lifestyles organization to give local community leaders the skills to bring about needed changes and to provide them with the know-how to obtain additional financial support, such

as competitive grant aid to fund their endeavors. The Community Advocacy and Leadership Program, developed by the PRC, has provided training in leadership, teamwork, media and policy advocacy and other community health development skills. The program was developed through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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PRC Receives Funding for Next Five Years of Research

(September 16, 2010)

The University of South Carolina’s Prevention Research Center (USC PRC) at the Arnold School of Public Health has received $4.9 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue funding for the next five years. The center’s funding is part of a banner year in USC’s extramural research awards, which reached $218.8 million in fiscal year 2010 (ending June 30). The money will enable the USC PRC to continue and expand work with its community partners, Sumter County Recreation and Park Department and Sumter County Active Lifestyles (SCAL). As a coalition, SCAL comprises more than 30 members who are focused on improving policies, environments, and programs to promote active lifestyles among Sumter County residents.

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The Toronto Charter for Physical Activity

(May 8, 2010)

A Global Call for Action was launched on Saturday 8 May 2010 at the 3rd International Congress for Physical Activity and Health in Toronto Canada during the closing plenary session. The final English version is now available on the GAPA website at www.globalpa.org.uk. The French and Spanish versions will follow shortly.

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National Physical Activity Plan Calls on Communities to get Americans Moving

(May 4, 2010)

A National Physical Activity Plan, released Monday (May 3) in Washington, D.C., is a call to action for communities to help Americans move more and improve their health. The Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina played a critical role in the creation of the plan, unveiled at the National Press Club.

Arnold School exercise science professor Dr. Russ Pate, who led the coordinating committee that developed the plan, spoke at the news conference, along with Robin Ikeda, a deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Barry Ford, National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity; Nancy Brown, American Heart Association; and Dr. Robert Sallis, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

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PRC Researchers Win Teaching Awards

(April 29, 2010)

Two of the University of South Carolina’s top awards were presented Wednesday (April 28) to Arnold School of Public Health faculty in the Department of Exercise Science. Dr. Sara Wilcox, who joined the Arnold School faculty in 1999, is the recipient of the USC Educational Foundation Research Award for Health Sciences. Veteran researcher, professor and administrator, Dr. Russ Pate is the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the USC Educational Foundation.The awards came during the University’s annual awards ceremony for faculty achievement. Dr. Tom Chandler, dean of the Arnold School, said the awards to Wilcox and Pate are well-deserved and are a tribute to the dedication of all of the school’s faculty.

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PRC Student Wins Fellowship

(April 29, 2010)

Jorge Banda, a student with Dr. Steven Hooker in the Prevention Research Center, was presented the Charles Coker Fellowship by the USC Educational Foundation. This is the second consecutive year an Exercise Science student has been awarded this fellowship.

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PRC Researchers Publish Manuscripts from a CDC Special Interest Project on Brain Health

(September 23, 2009)

Arnold School faculty members assembled two years of research on the state of the nation’s perceptions about cognitive health for a special issue of The Gerontologist, the leading journal on the study of human aging.

The special issue, published over the summer, features 13 manuscripts based on data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded special interest project entitled “Prevention Research to Promote and Protect Brain Health.”

Dr. Daniela Friedman, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, is principal investigator of the grant which wraps up at the end of this month. Friedman assumed the role of PI in 2008.

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The League of American Bicyclists Gives Sumter, SC Honorable Mention

(October 26, 2009)

The League of American Bicyclists has announced that Sumter County, South Carolina has received an honorable mention for the Fall 2009 Bicycle Friendly Community review. “While Sumter County has not yet received the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community designation, this honorable mention recognizes its work to promote bicycling in their community,” said League President Andy Clarke.”

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PRC Researchers Play Key Roles in Organizing Conference on the National Physical Activity Plan

(February 17, 2009)

The Arnold School’s Prevention Research Center and exercise science experts Russell Pate and Steven Blair are playing key roles in organizing a landmark conference on the National Physical Activity Plan.

Researchers, healthcare professionals and educators across the U.S. are developing the plan to help Americans become physically active every day.

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Web Visitors Rate Wilcox Article in Top 10

(January 13, 2009)

A report by Arnold School researcher Dr. Sara Wilcox is one of the top ten most influential articles about a research effort supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2008. The article in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is based on studies showing that physical activity programs first developed in research settings can be duplicated successfully in community programs for middle-age and senior adults.

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Translation of Physical Activity Research Programs to Real Life Settings

(October 3, 2008)

Physical activity programs developed by researchers can be made to work in real life settings, offering health benefits to Baby Boomers and other senior citizens, according to a new study. Arnold School associate professor Dr. Sara Wilcox said the findings are important because most programs developed by researchers are never translated into community settings and do not make a public health impact. Wilcox is the lead author of a paper published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The paper is based on research done by the Arnold School in collaboration with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health.

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USC Researcher Calls for More Physical Activity in Schools

(July 25, 2008)

Schools that skimp on physical education and physical activity may be failing their students’ academic progress in addition to their health, a University of South Carolina expert told a congressional committee on Thursday. “A new field of research is providing encouraging evidence that physical activity may help with brain function and activity, and other recent studies have found a positive correlation between aerobic fitness and academic performance,” Dr. Russ Pate said in testimony to the House Education and Labor Committee.

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Mini-Grants May Maximize Health in South Carolina

(June, 2008)

What if a few strategically given grants of $15,000 each could help a community struggling with chronic disease and physical inactivity get on its feet?

That's the question the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center (PRC) is trying to answer with a project in Sumter County, a county in the central part of the state that is home to Shaw Air Force Base. The project aims to jumpstart community members' potential for active and healthy lifestyles by offering mini-grants to community organizations, as well as advocacy training and support in building coalitions.

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The Stars Project

(November 5, 2007)

Dr. Patricia Sharpe, Research Professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Prevention Research Center received an R01 research

grant from the National Institutes of Health, which will take a comprehensive approach to behavior change among overweight and obese women

in economically disadvantaged communities. The project gives attention to individual attitudes and skills, socio-cultural factors, and

environmental barriers and supports to behavior change, including economic barriers for women ages 25 to 50. The intervention will promote behavioral skills and social support for success in the context of challenges to healthy eating, physical activity, and weight loss. 

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PRC Researchers Among USC Faculty Working with Prestigious R01 Grants

(September 10, 2007)

Ten scientists at USC’s Arnold School of Public Health are currently conducting noteworthy studies supported by prestigious RO1 research grants from the National Institutes of Health. University officials say these grants testify to the quality of the individual researchers as well as the significance of their investigations. 

Dr. Sara Wilcox and Dr. Russell Pate are from the Department of Exercise Science. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is supporting a project by Wilcox to promote physical activity and healthy eating in AME churches. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is supporting Pate’s research into physical activity in preschool children.

Dr. Patricia Sharpe of the USC Prevention Research Center is working with a group of overweight or obese women of lower income to help them become more active, eat healthier and trim 10 percent of their weight over a 16 week  period. The study is funded by funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

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New Adult Exercise Guidelines Include Weight Training as Part of Weekly Regimen

(August 8, 2007)

Adults need moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or vigorous exercise at least 20 minutes three days each week, according to updated physical fitness guidelines from two leading health groups. Moreover, the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend weightlifting as part of a weekly regimen to control health problems created by sedentary lifestyles and a national epidemic of obesity.
"I think physical inactivity is the biggest public health problem we face. I think it actually accounts for more morbidity and mortality than anything except maybe cigarette smoking," said Dr. Steven Blair, a professor in the Department of Exercise Science at USC’s Arnold School of Public Health.
Blair and EXSC colleague Dr. Russ Pate were among the panel of experts who crafted the new recommendations released this week.
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USC Study Aimed at Increasing Physical Activity of Older African American Men

(March 14, 2007)

University of South Carolina researchers are working on a two-year project aimed at increasing physical activity among African American men over the age of 45. Dr. Steven P. Hooker, director of the USC Prevention Research Center, said he and a team of colleagues are conducting one-on-one interviews with group of about 50 Midlands-area African American men, seeking to learn about their physical activity attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, barriers, and preferences.

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PRC to Move to New Environmentally Friendly Building

(October 13, 2006)

The USC PRC is among a handful of Arnold School departments set to occupy a new building on the Columbia campus.

Using recycled glass and concrete is among dozens of environmentally friendly features incorporated into the $22 million, five-story building at the corner of Assembly and College Streets. Construction began on the facility in October of 2003 and finished in May of this year. The building is set for a formal opening in a ceremony to be conducted on Friday, Oct. 27.

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Wilcox Investigates Strategies to Help People with Arthritis Get Active

(July 27, 2006)

Although people suffering from arthritis may find the thought of physical activity too painful to contemplate, a study by a University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health Dr. Sara Wilcox finds that healthcare professionals and communities need to do a better job to promote the health benefits of physical activity for those suffering from this debilitating disease.

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PRC Program Helps Promote Physical Activity for Women in Sumter County

(May 30, 2006)

Hundreds of Sumter County participated in Step Up, Step Out, a three-year community effort spearheaded by the Prevention Research Center at USC’s Arnold School. The project that targeted women between the ages of 35-54 who were not getting enough exercise.  Some 430 women were recruited into the program which encouraged the use of South Carolina walking trails. The women were asked to follow guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention calling for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day for five or more days per week, said USC research professor Dr. Patricia Sharpe.

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