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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Seasons Greetings! We hope you are well and have survived another busy fall term. The cooler weather is here. Nothing feels better than to exercise outdoors in cool, brisk air. It is perfect for wearing the cool weather exercise gear that you keep in your drawer most months of the year. Our December newsletter provides information about physical activity initiatives, research reviews, upcoming activities, and new web pages. We hope the information is useful. Best wishes for an active and healthy holiday season. See you in 1998.

Barb Ainsworth and Fran Wheeler



NEWS FROM THE PREVENTION CENTER - Lifestyle Education for Activity Project

NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL LEVEL - Washington Report, National Trails Day >98, East Coast Greenway, Guide to Community Preventive Services

RESEARCH UPDATE - More is Better; Exercise is for Women, Too; Television and Physical Activity Don't Mix; Physical Activity May Prevent Gestational Diabetes

RESOURCES - Rockport Guide to Lifelong Fitness, Combined Health Information Database

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS - SC Rural Health Association Annual Meeting, Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting; Of Primary Concern: Health and the Female; National Conference on Cardiovascular Health

WEB PAGES OF INTEREST - Express Newsletter, Women's Health Electronic Network, National Women's Health Resource Center



LIFESTYLE EDUCATION FOR ACTIVITY PROJECT: The USC School of Public Health has received a $2.3 Million grant from the National Institutes of Health to determine how a comprehensive high school physical activity program will impact physical activity and physical fitness, as well as teenage girls attitudes toward physical activity. The Lifestyle Education for Activity Project (LEAP) is a four-year project, beginning in 1998. The project will study how changes in physical education, health education, school health services and the school environment can help promote physical activity among teenage girls. In addition, the project will seek to help students develop a lifelong interest in exercise and fitness. Dr. Russ Pate, Chairman of the Department of Exercise Science, is Principal Investigator for this study; Co-Investigators include Drs. Dianne Ward and Ruth Saunders.


WASHINGTON REPORT: (1) Congress finished its work on the Labor-HHS- Education Appropriations bill in mid-November. Overall, there was strong support for public health programs funded through the Centers for Disease Control -- increases were approved for diabetes, tobacco, breast & cervical cancer, cancer registries, injury control, and communicable disease prevention and control. Prevention Centers funding was the same as FY 97 ($8.009 million). (2) Dr. David Satcher's nomination for Surgeon General and HHS Assistant Secretary for Health has run into serious opposition from Senators who oppose abortion. Senator Ashcroft (R-MO) led an effort to place a A hold on the nomination, which has prevented it from being scheduled for full Senate consideration. A number of organizations are pressuring Ashcroft to allow the nomination to proceed C this will be something to watch when Congress re-convenes in January. (3) The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) passed back its FY99 budget recommendations to the various federal agencies just before Thanksgiving. Departments have about two weeks in which to seek the President's approval to amend the OMB recommendations. There is a major, well-funded public relations and lobbying effort underway to double the NIH budget for basic research, thus raising concerns about how to protect the non-NIH public health agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control. This will be another issue to follow in the new year.

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY: National Trails Day is set for June 6, 1998. Now is the time to start thinking about how you or your organization can contribute to this national effort to raise public awareness of trails. Hosting a National Trails Day event is a good way to bring attention to local trails, grow grassroots constituencies, and build partnerships with local businesses and organizations. For additional information, contact National Trails Day Coordinator Brad Wilson; phone 301/565-6704, ext 112 or email ahsbrad@aol.com.

EAST COAST GREENWAY: The first AState of the Trail Report was released earlier this year, outlining the East Coast Greenway Alliance's vision for a 2,000 mile off-road trail that will connect Maine to Florida. The East Coast Greenway currently has 150 miles open to the public, most of which are in the Boston to Washington, DC, area. Much of the northern and southern routes of the trail await more dialogue and consensus among agencies, interested organizations and individuals on the most feasible routes. To obtain a copy of the report or for other information, contact Karen Votava at 401/789-1706 or check out their web site at http://www.greenway.org.

GUIDE TO COMMUNITY PREVENTIVE SERVICES: Under the auspices of the U.S. Public Health Service, the AGuide to Community Preventive Services@ is being developed to summarize what is know about the effectiveness of population-based interventions for disease prevention and control. The Guide will provide public health practitioners, their community partners and policy makers with information needed for making decisions about the most effective and cost-effective public health strategies, policies and programs for their communities. The target date for publication is July 1, 2000, but individual sections will be published as they are completed. For more information, check out their web at at http://web.health.gov/communityguide.


MORE IS BETTER: While moderate physical activity has many health benefits, the National Runners Health Study has shown that people who push beyond the Surgeon General's recommendations can reap even greater rewards. Paul Williams, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, surveyed some 8200 male runners about their exercise habits and health status. Most of the men ran 10 to 30 miles per week. Overall, the more miles they logged, they better the men scored on health measures such as cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Taken together, those changes substantially reduced the risk of heart attack. See A Relationship of Distance Run per Week to Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors in 8283 Male Runners, by Paul Williams in Archives of Internal Medicine, 157: 191-198 (1997).

EXERCISE IS FOR WOMEN, TOO: Epidemiologists at the University of Minnesota analyzed seven years of health data on some 40,000 Iowa women between the ages of 55 and 70 (at the outset of the study). Results showed that women who exercised moderately even once a week had a lower risk of dying in those years than women who exercised rarely or not at all. The more frequently the women exercised, the more their death rates dropped, but the greatest improvement came with that initial switch from little or no exercise to any regular amount. See A Physical Activity and Mortality in Postmenopausal Women, by Kushi et al., in The Journal of the American Medical Association, 277: 1287 - 1292 (1997).

TELEVISION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DO NOT MIX: Dr. Russ Pate (USC Department of Exercise Science) and colleagues measured physical activity habits and attitudes of students and families in two rural counties in South Carolina. They measured 361African American and Caucasian students enrolled in fifth grade. Students were active if they did two 30-minute sessions of moderate intensity activities (such as brisk walking or riding a bicycle) or one 30-minute session of vigorous intensity activity (such as running or playing sports) in the past day. Nearly 35% of students were classified as inactive. Correlates of inactivity were female gender, watching tv > 3 hours, having low self-efficacy for seeking out physical activity, and little home exercise equipment. According to Dr. Pate, ATelevision watching continues to be one of the most frequently studied and controversial environmental determinants of physical activity behavior in youth. The strong association between physical inactivity and television watching in this study, taken with evidence linking television watching to obesity, suggests that parents should at least limit the number of hours their children watch television. See ACorrelates of physical activity behavior in rural youth, by Pate RR, Trost SG, Felton GM, Ward, DS, Dowda M, Saunders R., in Research Quarterly in Exercise and Sport 68:241-248, 1997.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MAY PREVENT GESTATIONAL DIABETES: 12,776 women living in Central New York were surveyed following giving birth to determine if exercise during pregnancy was preventive in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus. Exercisers performed at least 30 minutes per week of intentional exercise during their pregnancy. Non exercisers reported no exercise or less than 30 minutes per week of exercise. Results showed that regular exercise during pregnancy was protective for gestational diabetes mellitus among heavier women only (body mass index > 33 kg/m2). Heavier, sedentary women were 1.9 times more likely to report gestational diabetes mellitus than active, heavier women (95% confidence interval = 1.2, 3.1). According to Dr. Dye, A . . . obesity in America is an increasing, not a decreasing, health problem with specific public health goals for its prevention. If exercise does play a role in reducing the risk that morbidly obese women who become pregnant will develop gestational diabetes mellitus, it is crucial that this relation and its correlates be explored further. See A Physical activity, obesity, and diabetes in pregnancy, by Dye TD, Knox KL, Artal R, Aubry RH, Wojtowycz MA, in American Journal of Epidemiology 146:961-965, 1997.


ROCKPORT GUIDE TO LIFELONG FITNESS: This is an easy-to-use test that helps you design your own walking program. Send a self-address, 45-cent stamped envelope to Walking Test, The Rockport Walking Institute, 220 Donald Lynch Blvd, PO Box 480, Marlboro, MA 01752.

COMBINED HEALTH INFORMATION DATABASE (CHID): This database provides access to a wide range of resources, such as book chapters, reports, health education materials and program descriptions, that are not found in other data bases. CHID is a cooperative effort of CDC, NIH, ODPHP and HRSA and it includes information on subjects such as AIDS, Alzheimers disease, arthritis, cancer, CVD, school health, diabetes, genetics, physical activity, weight control, and smoking cessation. The CHID information is available on CD-ROM from the Centers for Disease Control (call 770-488-5080) or through the Internet at http://chid.nih.gov .


SC RURAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE: The SCRHA is gearing up for its second annual conference, to be held in Columbia on January 29-31, 1997. The theme of the meeting is AKeeping Rural South Carolina Health: Challenges, Opportunities and Collaborations. Dr. Earl Fox, Director of the US Health Resources and Services Administration, is among the featured speakers. For more information, contact David Hayden at 803-771-2810.

SOUTHEAST AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE (SEACSM) ANNUAL MEETING: January 29-31, 1998, at San Destin Resort, Florida. The program includes symposia, free communications, and research poster presentation on exercise physiology and human performance issues. Featured speakers are: Dr. Priscilla Clarkson, Dr. Roger Enoka, Dr. Charlotte Tate, Dr. Larry Golding, Dr. Ed Howley, Dr. Sanders Williams. Registration Fee $45 (SEACSM members) and $90 (non members). For more information, contact Sonja Snowden at 803-777-4789.

OF PRIMARY CONCERN: HEALTH AND THE FEMALE: February 6-8, 1988, the 7th Annual National Health and Education Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. Sponsored by the Women=s Institute on Sport and Education, Chatham College and National Organization for Women Foundation. Doubletree Hotel, Pittsburgh. Topic areas include chronic, infectious, and mental health issues among women and policy for women's health. Featured speakers: Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Dr. Carol Gilligan, Dr. Barbara Drinkwater, Dr Vivian Penn, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, Dr. Christine Wells, Sandra Thurman, and others. Registration Fee (until January 16, 1998) - $225.00

CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: COMING TOGETHER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: Final call for early registration for this national conference, to be held February 19-21, 1998, in San Francisco. The program is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the agenda reads like a AWho's Who list for cardiovascular disease prevention and control -- Henry Blackburn, Ilona Kickbusch, Roz Lasker, and others. There are four major sessions focusing specifically on physical activity: (1) Interventions to Promote Physical Activity - Andrea Dunn, Abby King, Jim Sallis, and Wendell Taylor; (2) Relationship of Physical Activity to Other CVD Risk Factors - Marcia Stefanick, Jim Hagberg, Ann Albright, and Randy Eichner; (3) Physical Inactivity: Another Risk Factor for CVD - Carl Casperson, I Min Lee, and Jack Wilmore; (4) Role of Physical Activity in Secondary Prevention of CVD - Kent Smith, Phil Ades, and Nancy Houston Miller. For a complete agenda, see Fran Wheeler in the Prevention Center office or call the conference office at 415-476-5808. The final date to take advantage of reduced fees for advance registration is December 19, 1998.


EXPRESS NEWSLETTER: For the latest word on Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart, access the Express Newsletter on-line. The newsletter is updated quarterly and will feature national news and upcoming events. It includes sections for sharing information on local events, articles and testimonials. Check it out at http://www.aahperd.org/aahperd/template.cfm?template=jumprope_hoops.html.

WOMEN'S HEALTH ELECTRONIC NETWORK: This is a directory for people working in academic and community aspects of women's health so that they can network with each other. Check it out at http://www.sunnybrookandwomens.on.ca/.

NATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH RESOURCE CENTER: Here you will find the A National Women's Health Report, the A Women's Health Info Search, and the A Healthy Women's Database Good jumping-off place for lots of information on women's health issues and services. Check it out at http://www.healthywomen.org.


Prevention Research Center
Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
730 Devine Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



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