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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

In celebration of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month this May, the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center held a meeting and news conference to release "Good Health: Itís Your Move," a report on the status of physical activity in South Carolina (see article below). We discovered that the mediaís interest in physical activity is at an all-time high in our state: all three of our metro-area daily newspapers ran front-page articles covering the event; reports were also carried on several TV and radio stations and in many weekly newspapers. The meeting of our partners was a success as well, with representatives from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the SC Governorís Council on Physical Fitness, the new SC Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, colleges and universities, and our partner community, Sumter, South Carolina. Dr. Jim Marks, the Director of the CDCís National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, was in attendance as well, to present comments on behalf of the CDC. Dr. Marks remarked that the "Good Health: Itís Your Move" report is the first of its kind in the U.S. We are pleased to be on the cutting edge, and look forward to our continued efforts with our partners, to make South Carolina a more active state.

Barb Ainsworth, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Regina Fields, Newsletter Editor (RMFields@sc.edu )


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 youíd like to submit, please send it to Regina Fields at RMFields@sc.edu .


IN THIS ISSUE Ė May/June 1999

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, ETC.: Physical Activity in South Carolina

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Strategies for Success, Resource Directory, National Trails Day, Trails Grants, Bikes Belong Grants, Liveable Communities Evaluation Guide

RESEARCH NOTES: Evidence of Health Gains from Accumulated P.A., CVD Risk Factors in Harlem, European Attitudes on P.A., Reducing Obesity in Youth

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Call for Abstracts - Chronic Disease Conference

WEBSITES OF INTEREST: TRANSACT, Health Resources for Minority Women, Social Marketing, Perils for Pedestrians



PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN SOUTH CAROLINA: The Prevention Research Center at the University of South Carolina School of Public Health released "Good Health: Itís Your Move -- Physical Activity in South Carolina," on May 14, 1999. Prepared under contract from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, the report documents the levels of physical activity in the state, as well as the burdens of inactivity. It also offers suggestions gleaned from the academic literature for the promotion of physical activity, and describes successful programs from across the state. A major finding of the report is that lack of sufficient physical activity is costing South Carolina at least $157 million per year in hospital charges, and is responsible for almost 2,000 deaths per year. The report and an Executive Summary is found at the Prevention Research Centerís website, < http://prevention.sph.sc.edu >.


STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS: "Consumer Reports on Health" asked a panel of experts how they manage to stay active on a regular basis. Six strategies emerged from their interviews: 1) Team up. Invite friends or family to join in an activity. 2) Use exercise as a pick-me-up. Turn to physical activity as a source of energy instead of viewing it as an expenditure of energy. 3) Get a jump on the day. If possible, start the day with exercise. 4) Break up your workout. Get short bursts of physical activity throughout the day. 5) Seek variety. Vary activities, or walking speeds. 6) Revel in your success. Keep track of workouts, and reward yourself for accomplishing goals. From "Consumer Reports on Health," April 1999.

RESOURCE DIRECTORY: The National Association of Governorís Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports has developed a Resource Directory of Physical Activity, Sports, and Health-Related Organizations. Nearly 200 organizations are listed in the directory, with addresses, phone numbers, and website addresses. Copies are available for $10.00 from the Association; call 317-237-5630.

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY: Saturday, June 5 is the 7th annual National Trails Day., sponsored by the American Hiking Society. Find out about events near you at the Societyís website, <www.americanhiking.org>. This yearís theme is "Celebrating a Century of Trails."

TRAILS GRANTS: The American Hiking Society has awarded 17 National Trails Endowment grants to trail clubs across the U.S. Among the recipients is the Loxahatchee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association, which received a grant to repair and construct bridges on the Florida Scenic Trail, and the American Discovery Trail Society, which will use its award to install official markers along the 6,356 miles of the American Discovery Trail. For information about applying for the 2000 National Trails Endowment Grants, visit the American Hiking Society website at <www.americanhiking.org > or contact the Society at 301-565-6704.

BIKES BELONG GRANTS: "Putting more people on bikes more often through the implementation of TEA-21," is the goal of the Bikes Belong Coalition. The Coalition has funding available to assist local organizations, agencies, and citizens in developing bicycle facilities projects that will be funded by TEA-21, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information and for the grant application, see <www.bikesbelong.org>.

LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES EVALUATION GUIDE: The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has developed a guide to use in determining the liveability of a community. Comprehensive assessment tools, strategies and resources are included addressing six topics: public transportation; driving; walking; housing; shopping; and municipal features, services and leisure facilities. These topics were derived from surveys of older personsí concerns about their communities. "Liveable Communities: An Evaluation Guide" is available free of charge from the AARP by sending your name, organization, and street address to: Consumer Team, Public Policy Institute, AARP, 601 East Street NW, Washington, DC 20049.


EVIDENCE FOR HEALTH GAINS FROM ACCUMULATED P.A.: Dr. Adrian Hardman conducted a literature review to determine the scientific support for the current CDC/ACSM recommendation that moderate physical activity can be accumulated through the day in short bouts of as little as 10 minutes. Dr. Hardman concludes that the evidence is mixed, but states that with a very sedentary population, there is no evidence that this form of exercise is harmful and some evidence that it may help. See Hardman AE. "Accumulation of physical activity for health gains: what is the evidence?" British Journal of Sports Medicine. 1999, 33: 87-92.

CVD RISK FACTORS IN HARLEM: A study was conducted to examine the prevalence, social correlates, and other risk factors in a predominantly black, poor, urban community. A population of 695 Central Harlem residents ages 18-65 were examined. Thirty-three percent of men and women were found to have hypertension, 48% of men and 41% of women were smokers, 25% of men and 49% of women were overweight, and 23% of men and 35% of women reported having no leisure-time physical activity in the past month. Eighty percent had at least one risk factor. Nine percent of men and 19% of women had at least 3 risk factors. Income and education were inversely related to hypertension, smoking, and physical inactivity. The study concluded that lower SES urban communities are at high risk for CVD. See Diez-Roux AV et. al. "The Prevalence and Social Correlates of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Harlem." The American Journal of Public Health. 1999, 89(3): 302.

EUROPEAN ATTITUDES ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: The March supplement of the journal Public Health Nutrition details the results of a 1997 survey of 15 European countries regarding consumer attitudes about physical activity, body weight and health. The survey also measured prevailing self-reported levels of activity and body weight/heights. The full articles and abstracts are available at the Public Health Nutrition website, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online Although the information is not about the U.S. population, it can be useful when developing consumer surveys and comparing results. [Thanks to Rich Killingsworth, CDC, for this article.] Article titles: "Methods used to conduct the pan-European Union survey on consumer attitudes to physical activity, body weight and health," JM Kearney, et al.; "Regional, demographic and national influences on attitudes and beliefs with regard to physical activity, body weight and health in a nationally representative sample in the European Union," A Kafatos, et al.; "Relationship between attitudes to health, body weight and physical activity and level of physical activity in a nationally representative sample in the European Union ," BM Margetts, et al.; "Physical activity levels and body weight in a nationally representative sample in the European Union," MD Vaz de Almeida, et al.; "Stages of change towards physical activity in a nationally representative sample in the European Union," JM Kearney, et al.; "Variables independently associated with self-reported obesity in the European Union," JA MartŪnez, et al.; "Recent body-weight changes and weight loss practices in the European Union," R Lappalainen, et al.; "Body image perception in relation to recent weight changes and strategies for weight loss in a nationally representative sample in the European Union," S McElhone, et al.; "Perceived benefits and barriers to physical activity in a nationally representative sample in the European Union," H-JF Zunft, et al. Public Health Nutrition. March 1999, 2 (1a).

REDUCING OBESITY IN YOUTH: A 2-year randomized, controlled field trial was conducted in Massachusetts with 6th and 7th grade students in 5 intervention schools and 5 control schools. The program was a school-based interdisciplinary intervention to reduce obesity among boys and girls, called Planet Health. Sessions were incorporated into 4 major classroom subjects and into physical education. The sessions focused on decreasing TV viewing, decreasing high-fat foods in the diet, increasing fruits and vegetables in the diet, and increasing moderate and vigorous physical activity. The study found a decrease in obesity among girls in the intervention schools, with no changes among the boys. The intervention decreased TV watching in both girls and boys, and there was an increased fruit and vegetable consumption among girls. In girls, each hour of reduction in TV watching predicted reduced obesity prevalence. The study concluded that Planet Health decreased obesity among female students and is good school-based approach to reducing obesity among youth. See Gortmaker et al. "Reducing Obesity via a School-Based Interdisciplinary Intervention Among Youth." Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. April 1999, 153: 409-418.


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Abstracts are due June 30, 1999 for the 1999 National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, sponsored by the CDC, the Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Program Directors, and the American Heart Association. Hosted by the Texas Department of Health, the conference will be held in Dallas, Texas, November 30 through December 2, 1999. Abstracts addressing the following topics are encouraged: 1) Public Health Advocacy, Policy and Communication; 2) Emerging Issues Related to Chronic Diseases; 3) Training and Infrastructure Development; 4) Successful Partnerships; 5) Reaching Diverse Populations; 6) Emerging Intervention Research and Best Practices; and 7) Using and Communicating Data. Information and a submission form are available at the conference website, <http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/conference/archive/>. Questions can be addressed to Christopher Maylahn at 518-474-0512 or <cmm05@health.state.ny.us>, or Catherine Schumacher at 907-269-8036 or <cathies@health.state.ak.us>.


TRANSACT: The Transportation Action Network (Transact) is a project of the EPA's Transportation Partners and the Surface Transportation Policy Project. Transact focuses on "federal transportation policy and community action to make communities better places to live." Their website includes up-to-date information about funding for non-motorized transportation and transit, a publication library, case studies of communities who have made changes, and "The Path to Smart Growth," a toolkit for communities. Also included re archives of past newsletter issues. <www.transact.org>

HEALTH RESOURCES FOR MINORITY WOMEN: The National Womenís Health Information Center has compiled "Health Resources for Women of Color," which lists information from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies and programs. Included are materials on physical activity, for African American women and for Hispanic/Latino women, from several U.S. government agencies. http://www.4woman.gov/minority/africanamerican/

SOCIAL MARKETING: A website billing itself as "The most comprehensive online resource on social marketing" is sponsored by Weinreich Communications. The site, at <www.social-marketing.com>, includes information on social marketing conferences, a series of articles describing social marketing and research, a list of free publications, and links to related sites. Worth a look!

PERILS FOR PEDESTRIANS: John Z. Wetmore produces "Perils for Pedestrians," a monthly television series shown on public cable access channels in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Check out his website, <www.pedestrians.org>, which includes the "largest known set of links to pedestrian sites on the internet." Over 150 links are listed. Great way to while away an afternoon.... before getting outside for a walk!


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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