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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Hello from the USC Prevention Research Center Staff! The weather is perfect now for outdoor activities of all kinds. To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we’re organizing an after-work canoe trip. What will you do? Our May newsletter provides information on physical activity resources and research. Let us know what you find useful – and what you don’t. Have a great spring!

Barb Ainsworth and Fran Wheeler
Regina Fields, Editor (RMFields@sph.sc.edu)

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Fitness Fun Factor, Physical Education and Health Education Curricula, The New South Millenium Ride, NHLBI Women’s Health Initiative, How Much Exercise? How Hard?


RESEARCH NOTES: Does Physical Activity = Physical Fitness in Youth? Disability Postponed in Adults with Lower Health Risks, Cholesterol and Physical Activity in Children, Self-Reported Exercise and Weight Loss 

REPORTS AND SURVEYS: Report on Smoking and Health, Rx for Healthy Weight, Best Bike and Pedestrian Projects, Trails are Safe Places

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Physical Activity and Health, Diabetes in Native Americans, Trail Development Workshops, Social Marketing, Intervention Mapping, Pro Bike/Pro Walk 1998, Worksite Health Promotion, Call for Abstracts for Chronic Disease Conference

WEBSITES OF INTEREST: Melpomene Institute, Association for Worksite Health Promotion, American Council on Exercise

SC NEWS: Mother’s Day Women’s Health Event

PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH: May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The first week is National Physical Education and Sports Week, and the second week is National Running and Fitness Week. The third Wednesday, May 20th, is National Employee Health and Fitness Day, and the fourth Wednesday, May 27, is National Senior Health and Fitness Day. It’s not too late to plan something large or small to bring attention to the problem of physical inactivity – or better yet, to celebrate physical activity!

FITNESS FUN FACTOR: The Mayo clinic suggests three ideas for making fun part of starting an exercise program. (1) Set your sights on 6 months – People who stick with a new behavior for 6 months usually have long-term success, as the behavior becomes a habit. (2) Join a class – many health clubs now offer classes for people not accustomed to exercising. (3) Enjoy the exercise – make your goal the exercise itself, rather than a long-term aim such as weight loss.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH EDUCATION CURRICULA: Materials from the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) are now available through NHLBI. Nationally-tested and "kid-tested" program components include a Physical Education Curriculum, Guidebook, Activity Box, and Videotapes, Heart-Health Classroom Curricula and Family Components for grades 3,4, and 5, and an Eat Smart School Cafeteria Program Guide. For an information brochure and order form, call the NHLBI Information Center at (301) 251-1222.

THE NEW SOUTH MILLENIUM RIDE: Bicyclists in six southern states are planning a 2000-miles bicycle ride from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in the year 2000. This event will connect cross-state bicycle rides in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. These rides are not races; they are tours of the New South. They will travel lightly-traveled back roads of the rural countryside, with one state’s ride ending at or near the next state’s ride beginning point. For more information contact your state’s cycle club or email mr10speed@aol.com.

NHLBI WOMEN’S HEALTH INITIATIVE: What are the effects of hormone replacement therapy, low-fat diet, and calcium supplements on heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast and colon cancer? This and other puzzling heart health questions for women will be answered by the Women’s Health Initiative, a 15-year study involving 167,000 American women ages 50 to 79. Begun by NIH in 1991 and transferred to NHLBI management last year, the initiative also includes an observational study to examine associations between lifestyle, health, and disease risk factors and development of specific diseases. Also included is a community prevention study to test ways to get women to adopt heart-healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation and physical activity. To find out more, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi/. Also available on NHLBI’s website are publications on women and heart disease.

HOW MUCH EXERCISE? HOW HARD? Brisk walking is frequently suggested as an excellent moderately intense activity, with a 150-pound person burning 500 calories in 80 minutes. How do other activities compare? For that same 150-pound person, here’s how many minutes are required to burn 500 calories: strolling (150), bowling (130), golfing with cart (120), doubles tennis (90), leisurely biking (80), singles tennis (70), hard biking (60), jogging (60), aerobics (50), running (45), cross-country skiing (45).


ISTEA REAUTHORIZATION: Both the House and Senate passed ISTEA reauthorization proposals before adjourning for their spring recess. Although the bills are quite different, they both call for significant increases in funding for transportation enhancements, such as bicycling and trail facilities. A conference committee will now make final decisions about the content of the ISTEA reauthorization bill; the conference committee will include 18 members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and (all) 18 members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. To lean more about the conference participants, check out the House and Senate websites at www.house.gov  and www.senate.gov.


DOES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY = PHYSICAL FITNESS IN YOUTH? Not necessarily, according to investigators at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, the Human Performance Laboratory, and the Physical Activity Sciences Laboratory. Researchers evaluated the relationship between indicators of physical activity and health-related fitness in youth 9 – 18 years old. They determined subjects’ estimated daily energy expenditure, estimated moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and one estimate of physical inactivity (time spent watching television), and measured skin folds, number of sit-ups in one minute, physical work capacity at 150 beats per minute, and static strength of the leg. The conclusion was that there was a weak to moderate association between activity and health-related physical fitness, but that a large part of the variability (80 – 90%) in fitness was not accounted for by physical activity as measured by this study. See Katzmarzyk et al., Physical activity and health-related fitness in youth: a multivariate analysis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30: 709-714, 1998.

We know that people who have lower health risks live longer. But do they just have more years of being disabled at the end of life? Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine studied 1741 university alumni who were first surveyed in 1962, and then were surveyed annually beginning in 1982. Subjects were stratified by high, moderate and low risk based on smoking status, overweight, and physical inactivity. Researchers found that the disability for the low-risk subjects who died was about half that of the high-risk subjects in the last one or two years of observation. Disability was postponed by more than five years in the low-risk group as compared with the high-risk group. See Vita, et al., Aging, health risks, and cumulative disability. New England Journal of Medicine, 338:1035-41, April 1998.

CHOLESTEROL AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN CHILDREN: School children who are taught about health and nutrition and also participate in physical activity programs show lower cholesterol levels, according to results of a study conducted at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Dr. Joanne Harrell presented the as-yet-unpublished study results at the American Heart Association, Cardiovascular Disease and Epidemiology Conference in March. The study was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH, and was part of the Cardiovascular Health in Children Project. Dr. Harrell reported that the students, aged 11 – 14, who took part in just one component of the study showed some improvement, but those who participated in both the classroom instruction and physical activity showed significant improvement. Dr. Harrell can be reached by calling 919-966-9412.

SELF-REPORTED EXERCISE AND WEIGHT LOSS: Approximately 40 – 60% of overweight women in a weight-loss program over-reported the amount of exercise they performed, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found. Fifty women recorded their exercise in a daily log and wore a Tri-Trac accelerometer for a one week period. The women who over-reported their exercise had poorer weight loss over the 20 week program than women who under-reported. The researchers suggested that the ability to classify individuals as over- or under-reporters might be helpful to weight-loss therapists and lead to more successful treatment for obesity. See Jakicic, et al., Accuracy of self-reported exercise and the relationship with weight loss in overweight women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30: 634 – 638, 1998.


REPORT ON SMOKING AND HEALTH: The Surgeon General’s Report, Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, was released on April 27, 1998. Among the conclusions is a finding that "among adolescents, cigarette smoking prevalence increased in the 1990’s among African Americans and Hispanics after several years of substantial decline among adolescents of all four racial/ethnic minority groups." Copies of the Executive Summary are available at www.cdc.gov/tobacco, as well as from the fax information system, 800-232-1311 (select "hot topics"). Copies of the full report are available for $20.00 from the U.S. Government Printing Office, 202-512-1800.

RX FOR HEALTHY WEIGHT: Since being overweight increases risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, you’d expect physicians to take the lead in helping overweight patients achieve healthier weights. Guess again. A recent survey by Louis Harris and Associates showed that only one out of three overweight or obese people report that a doctor has encouraged them to lose weight for health reasons. For more information, see http://www.shapeup.org/.

BEST BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN PROJECTS: "Improving Conditions for Bicycling and Walking – A Best Practices Report" is a new publication prepared by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals. The report features 37 of the best bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs around the county. A free copy may be obtained form the Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse, 1-888-388-6832.

TRAILS ARE SAFE PLACES: The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and the National Park Service recently released a new report on rail-trails and safety. "Rail-Trails and Safe Communities" finds that the chances of assault; burglary or rape are 2-3 times higher on the street or in a parking facility than in a park or on a trail. Law enforcement officials suggest that rail-to-trail conversions actually tend to reduce crime by cleaning up the landscape and taking back unsafe places. To purchase a copy of the report, contact RTC at (202) 331-9696; or download the report from the RTC web page at www.railtrails.org.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH: A reminder that applications are due May 15 for "Physical Activity and Public Health 1998: Postgraduate Course on Research Directions and Strategies and Practitioners’ Course on Community Interventions. The Courses are sponsored by the USC Prevention Research Center, CDC, and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. Dates for the Postgraduate Course are September 22 – 30, 1998, and dates for the Practitioners Course are September 22 – 27, 1998. For an application, contact Merry Cobb at 803-777-7453 or MDCobb@sph.sc.edu.

DIABETES IN NATIVE AMERICANS: The Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Public Health, and the American Diabetes Association have come together to sponsor "Diabetes in Native Americans: Management and Prevention." The conference will be held June 3 – 5 in Oklahoma City, and is accredited by the Indian Health Service Clinical Support Center. For information, call 405-271-2232 or e-mail Carl-Schaefer@ouhsc.edu.

TRAIL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS: The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is on the road with a new workshop, "Successful Strategies for Trail Development," which provide a variety of resources and strategies to overcome common obstacles to trail development. For 1998, sessions are planned for Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. To learn about upcoming workshops in your area, contact RTC at (202) 331-9696.

SOCIAL MARKETING: The University of South Florida is sponsoring the 8th Annual Conference on Social Marketing in Public Health, on June 10 – 13, 1998 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Sessions suitable for beginners as well as experts will be available. Speakers include some of the top names in the field, including William Novelli, M.A. and Craig Lefebvre, Ph.D. For information call 888-873-2674 and press 2, or e-mail gphillip@com1.med.usf.edu. A Field School is being held before and after the conference, including classes on Health Materials Development and Pretesting, Health Message Design, Introduction to Social Marketing, Focus Group Research Strategies, and Introduction to Social Marketing. For more information, call Michael Lloyd at 888-873-2674 and press 2, or e-mail mlloyd@com1.med.usf.edu.

INTERVENTION MAPPING: Developing Theory- and Evidence Based Programs for Health Education and Health Promotion. In this course, you will learn to integrate and extend behavioral-science theory to planning models for health-promotion programs. The course is sponsored by the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development in the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. It will be held August 3 – 7, 1998 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information, call 713-500-9610, e-mail cen@chprd.sph.uth.tmc.edu, or visit the website at http://www.sph.uth.tmc.edu/chppr/.

PRO BIKE/PRO WALK 1998: "Creating Bicycle Friendly and Walkable Communities: Building for the Next Generation" will be held September 8 – 11, 1998 in Santa Barbara, CA. This conference is organized by the Bicycle Federation of American and the Campaign to Make America Walkable. Topics include creative concepts in transportation and landuse planning, successful public involvement techniques, and award-winning case studies. Rich Killingsworth at CDC says, "If you are considering getting involved with policy and environmental actions to promote physical activity such as walking/biking initiatives, this is the conference to attend." For information, contact 202-463-6622 or pbpw98@aol.com.

WORKSITE HEALTH PROMOTION: The 1998 Association of Worksite Health Promotion Annual International Conference will be held September 16 –19, 1998, in Anaheim, California. The conference covers the full spectrum of worksite health promotion, including new programming ideas and the latest research on the economic benefits of worksite health promotion. One special guest speaker will be William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at CDC. Contact Association headquarters for more information: 847-480-9574, or visit their website at www.awhp.com.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: The abstract submission deadline is May 29, 1998, for the 13th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control. The conference theme is Prevention: Translating Research into Public Health Practice. Sponsored by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at CDC and the Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Program Directors, the conference will be held December 8 – 10, 1998 in Atlanta. For a copy of the Call, contact Christine Domino at 303-280-1112 or CJDomino@compuserve.com.


MELPOMENE INSTITUTE: The Melpomene (mel-POM-uh-nee) Institute is the only non-profit research organization dedicated to women’s health and physical activity. The Institute’s website has information about publications, speakers, and jobs, plus a special site for girls. It’s all at www.melpomene.org.

ASSOCIATION FOR WORKSITE HEALTH PROMOTION: The Association is a not-for-profit network of worksite health promotion professionals dedicated to sharing the best-of-practice methods, processes and technologies. Their website has information on the benefits of worksited health promotion (including case studies), lists of their publications, information on conferences, plus links to other wellness, health, and fitness sites. Check it out at www.awhp.com.

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE: A.C.E. "pledges to enable all segments of society to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and protect the public against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction." The A.C.E. website has information on A.C.E. certification as well as the "Energy 2 Burn" school fitness program. Also included are "Fit Facts" on dozens of topics, which can be downloaded and reproduced. The address is www.acefitness.org.


MOTHER’S DAY WOMEN’S HEALTH EVENT: South Carolina First Lady Mary Wood Beasley will host a Mother’s Day Celebration of Women’s Health on Tuesday, May 12, 1998. The event will be held at the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., and is free for all SC women. Resource tables addressing the campaign’s five key health areas will be set up on the grounds of the mansion. Experts on breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, osteoporosis, menopause, physical activity and nutrition will be on hand to answer questions and provide resources. For more information, call Lauren Turner at 803-734-1058.

This and past issues of the "University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center Notes" are available at our website, http://prevention.sph.sc.edu. If you have an item you’d like to share, please contact the editor at RMFields@sph.sc.edu.


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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