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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Greetings! In August, the hot, muggy days of summer hang on to remind us that fall is just around the corner. The new school year begins, and for some, it is a transition to a new schedule. We hope the transitions are easy for you, and that you include physical activity in your new schedules. 

Best wishes! 
Barb Ainsworth, Director

Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Regina Fields, Newsletter Editor (RMFields@sc.edu)
IN THIS ISSUE – July/August 2000

CORRECTION: “Sisters Together” Website Address

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Walking on the Beach


RESEARCH NOTES: Mortality Rates and Various Types of Physical Activity, Determinants of Physical Activity Among High Risk Populations, Measurement of Physical Activity, Pedestrian Safety Intervention

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Walk Our Children to School Day 2000, Hearts N’ Parks, Mean Streets 2000 

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Pro Bike/Pro Walk 2000, Obesity, Cardiovascular Health, PA and Older Adults, PA and Cancer, American Public Health Association, International Walking Conference

WEBSITES OF INTEREST: PA and Disability, Surveys


CORRECTION: In the May/June 2000 newsletter, there was a typo in the website address for the “Sisters Together” program. The correct address: 


WALKING ON THE BEACH: For the ideal fitness-walking environment, head for the ocean, suggests the July 2000 issue of Prevention Magazine. Benefits of sand walking include a tougher workout that will provide quicker results and shapely legs while also providing a great environment of water, sand and waves. The authors state that a 150-pound person will burn about 275 calories an hour walking in the sand. It is also mentioned that various safety precautions should be taken with this type of activity such as starting off slowly, walking in both directions on the beach, protecting your feet with sun block and aqua socks, stretching your hips and calves well afterwards, and being cautious if you have lower back problems or weak ankles. Overall this low impact activity can be a great boost to your workouts. 


RECESS: Congress has recessed until Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2000. This is an excellent time for advocates to invite members and their staff to visit physical activity programs or research projects in their districts. For help determining the congress member for a district, visit www.congress.org.


MORTALITY RISK AND VARIOUS TYPES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: This prospective study (~14.5 years of follow up) evaluated the relationship between levels of physical activity during work, leisure time, cycling to work, and sports participation and all-cause mortality among Danish men and women. After controlling for the risk factors of age, education level, BMI, smoking status, blood pressure, total cholesterol and triglycerides, leisure time physical activity was associated with all cause mortality in both men and women. Further analyses revealed that after controlling for leisure time physical activity levels, sports participants experienced only half the mortality of non-sports participants among moderate and highly active individuals. Bicycling to work (~3 hours a week) also decreased mortality by approximately 40% again after controlling for various risk factors and leisure time physical activity. Work related physical activity levels were associated with decreases in all-cause mortality in women but not in men after controlling for various CVD risk factors. See Andersen, Schnohr, Schroll, and Hein, “All-Cause Mortality Associated With Physical Activity During Leisure Time, Work, Sports, and Cycling to Work” Archives of Internal Medicine, June 12, 2000, 160:1621-1628.

DETERMINANTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG HIGH RISK POPULATONS: The purpose of this study was to explore personal, program-based and environmental barriers associated with physical inactivity among particularly sedentary populations. Subjects in this study were women over the age of 40 representing various ethnic groups, education levels and living environments. Factors associated with inactivity included American Indian ethnicity, older age, lower education, lack of energy, lack of hills in one’s neighborhood, absence of enjoyable scenery, and infrequent observation of others exercising in one’s neighborhood. Within all ethnic subgroups, caregiving duties and lack of energy ranked among the top four most commonly reported barriers for being inactive. Exercising on one’s own with instruction was reported to be more appealing than instructor-led groups by approximately 60% of the individuals regardless of ethnicity or current activity level. The authors conclude by stressing the importance of tailoring physical activity interventions when working with these understudied, high-risk populations. See King, Castro, Wilcox, Eyler, Sallis, and Brownson, “Personal and Environmental Factors Associated With Physical Inactivity Among Different Racial-Ethnic Groups of U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Women.” Health Psychology, May 2000, 19(4):354-364. 

MEASUREMENT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: The June 2000 supplement to Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (Vol. 71, No. 2 Suppl.) presents the proceedings from the 9th Measurement and Evaluation Symposium of the Measurement and Evaluation Council of the American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness. The symposium was held Oct. 14 – 16, 1999, as part of the Cooper Institute Conference Series. The special issue was edited by Matthew Mahar of East Carolina University and Barbara Ainsworth of the University of South Carolina. The supplement includes articles on self-report; monitoring of physical activity using motion sensors and heart rate; assessment of physical activity in women, children, and older adults; ethnic and cultural issues; public health surveillance; international perspectives; reliability and validity; future possibilities in electronic monitoring; and determinants of physical activity in the community. Most of the articles have a response article as well. 

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY INTERVENTION: Improving pedestrian safety could help increase physical activity by reducing safety concerns as a barrier to physical activity. Researchers at Virginia Tech tested a four-week community-wide behavioral intervention to promote cross-walk use by pedestrians and to promote yielding to pedestrians by motorists on a college campus. The intervention included a promise-card signed by individuals, who were eligible for raffle prizes, as well as extensive paid and free advertising and publicity. Changes in traffic engineering or police enforcement were not included as part of the intervention, in order to determine if a behavioral intervention would be sufficient. While the moderate increases in crosswalk use were not maintained, increases in yielding by motorists increased dramatically from a 23% baseline to 53% one year later. See Boyce & Geller, “A Community-Wide Intervention to Improve Pedestrian Safety: Guidelines for Institutionalizing Large-Scale Behavior Change.” Environment and Behavior, 32(4):502-520, July 2000. 


WALK OUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL DAY 2000: This year’s Walk Our Children to School Day 2000 is scheduled for October 4th, 2000 and promises to be bigger than last year’s event which involved over 300,000 children, parents, mayors, legislators, health and safety advocates, and community leaders from across America. Over 850 schools in 170 cities in 34 states participated in the U.S. walk with international Walk to School Day’s also occurring. To learn more about this event or to register go to: www.walktoschool-usa.org. To see what other countries are doing visit the International Walk to School Day website at www.iwalktoschool.org

HEARTS N’ PARKS: The nationwide Hearts N’ Parks program will kick off this summer in partnership with the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute, the National Recreation and Park Association, North Carolina State University and Southern Connecticut State University. The program, which was piloted in 12 North Carolina communities last summer, involves integrating heart-healthy behaviors into already existing park and recreation sponsored community activities. The goal of the program is to increase the number of children and adults who engage in regular moderate intensity physical activity and follow a heart-healthy eating plan. For more information on program activities or how to get involved go to http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/obesity/hrt_n_pk/index.htm  or call 800-649-3042. 

MEAN STREETS 2000: The Surface Transportation Policy Project released “Mean Streets 2000” in June. The report documents pedestrian fatality rates in major US cities, and analyzes federal spending on pedestrian projects. “Mean Streets” is available at the STPP’s website, http://www.transact.org, in both English and Spanish. 


PRO BIKE/PRO WALK 2000: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the host city for “Bicycling and Walking: Smart Choices for Smart Growth and Sustainable Neighborhoods,” the 2000 Pro Bike/Pro Walk conference. Dates for the conference are September 5 – 8, 2000. Transportation professionals, public health professionals, and walking/bicycling advocates will be in attendance. Topics include Safe Routes to School: Programs and Resources; If You Build It, Will They Be Active?; and Public Health and Transportation: Working Together for Active Communities. The “America Walks” coalition will also be offering a workshop on pedestrian advocacy on Saturday the 9th in conjunction with the conference. 
For registration information, visit http://www.bikewalk.org/PWPB2004/history.htm or call the National Center for Bicycling and Walking at 202-463-6622. Information about the America Walks training is at http://www.americawalks.org/resources/training/index.htm, or e-mail info@americawalks.org.

OBESITY: The American Obesity Association is hosting “Obesity: The Public Health Conference” on September 13 and 14, 2000 in Washington, DC. The conference is designed for those interested in obesity research, prevention, education, and treatment. For more information, visit the Association’s website at www.obesity.org,  or call 703-925-9455 for a brochure. 

CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: “Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk” is the theme of the Cardiovascular Health for All conference being held in Memphis, Tennessee on Sept. 18 – 20, 2000. The conference is sponsored by the state health departments of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department, the Tennessee Alliance on Fitness and Health, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Recent data and research on cardiovascular disease will be presented along with information on detection, prevention and treatment. Among many presentations are workshops on the “Hearts n’ Parks” program, social marketing, and homocysteine. Information is available at http://chs.ky.gov/publichealth/cardio-new.htm or by calling Rhonda Fletcher at 615-741-7366, or e-mailing Martin Miller at mmiller2@mail.state.tn.us

PA AND OLDER ADULTS: The ACSM Specialty Conference “Physical Activity Programming for the Older Adult” will be held October 20 –22, 2000 in Indianapolis. The conference is targeted at exercise and health professionals, sports medicine clinicians, and gerontologists. The purpose is to present and discuss information on specific issues in programming for older adults such as pre-screening, liability, programming, and evaluation. Loretta DiPietro, PhD, and Wojtek Jan Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, are the co-chairs for the conference, and Steven Blair, PED will give the keynote address. Contact ACSM at 317-637-9200 ext. 125 or 143, or visit http://www.acsm.org/grants/roundtable1.htm for more information. 

PA AND CANCER: The third symposium in the Cooper Institute Conference Series will be on Physical Activity and Cancer. The symposium will be held November 5 – 7, 2000, in partnership with the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. The program is targeted to researchers and scholars involved in cancer and physical activity research. Abstracts for poster presentations are due August 31, 2000. A Student and Junior Investigator Competition will be held in conjunction with the symposium, for short papers on physical activity and cancer. For information contact Melba Morrow at mmorrow@cooperinst.org, or visit http://www.cooperinst.org/sciconf.asp. 

AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION: The 128th annual APHA meeting and exposition will be held from November 12th-16th, 2000 in Boston, Massachusetts. This year’s theme is “Eliminating Health Disparities”. Highlights of this years meeting include featured speakers Kweisi Mfume, US Surgeon General David Satcher, and the Rev. Leon Sullivan as well as over 900 scientific sessions and 200 poster sessions. Early bird registration ($110 savings) ends September 1st and can be completed online at http://www.laserreg.com/ or through the APHA home page at http://www.apha.org/meetings/future_past.htm which also includes programming information.


PA AND DISABILITY: The website of the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) contains and outstanding selection of resources for people with disabilities, physical activity professionals, and researchers. Resources include fact sheets on a variety of sports and activities (including one on trail accessibility), Powerpoint presentations, article reprints, bibliographies on physical activity and its relationship to various health conditions, links to state programs and resources, and a link to the Americans with Disabilities Act Technical Assistance Program. To easily reach the resources, click on “Contents” at the top of the NCPAD webpage. The NCPAD is located in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is operated in partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University. Funding is provided through a grant from the Disability and Health Branch in the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NCPAD website is at www.ncpad.org

SURVEYS: The University of Rhode Island’s Cancer Prevention Research Center provides access to psychological measures it has developed, at http://www.uri.edu/research/cprc/measures.htm. The website notes, “All assessment inventories are available for research purposes only and are not for clinical use. Physical activity-related measures include Stages of Change, Process of Change, and Self-Efficacy. References are included. 

Writers: Regina Fields, Ralph Welsh

This and past issues of the “University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center Notes” are available at our website. If you have an item you’d like to submit, please send it to Regina Fields at rmfields@sc.edu.

For continuing discussions about physical activity and public health, join the “Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network.” Visit our website, http://prevention.sph.sc.edu, for instructions on joining. 


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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