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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Greetings from the faculty, staff, and students in the USC Prevention Research Center. We are delighted to share our newsletter with you and your friends. This issue marks the transition from our former editor, Regina Fields, to our new editor, Delores Pluto. We give many thanks to Regina for sharing with us about physical activity and public health in past issues. The importance of regular physical activity in the lives of youth, adults, and seniors has never been more recognized than it is today. The role of policy and environmental change to promote physical activity participation is the keystone of the public health approach to meeting the Healthy People 2010 guidelines for Physical Activity and Fitness. In this issue of the newsletter, we provide information about various ways you can apply public health approaches to promoting physical activity in your community in addition to our regular sections about policies, conferences, grant opportunities, and research reviews. Best wishes for a safe and physically active spring.

Barb Ainsworth, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)



IN THIS ISSUE: April/May, 2001

PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health

NEWS YOU CAN USE: National Arthritis Month, National High Blood Pressure Education Month, National Osteoporosis Prevention Month, SummerActive

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Bike Commuter Act, PEP Grant Status, Budget Proposal for US DHHS

RESEARCH NOTES: School Environments and Youth Physical Activity, Physical Activity and CHD in Women, Promoting Safer Walking and Cycling Routes

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Promoting Physical Activity Among Youth, Increasing Physical Activity Among Older Adults

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: International Walk to School Day

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Social Marketing in Public Health, Conference on Heart Disease and Stroke, Cooper Institute Conference




MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH: The Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina is proud to announce a new Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health. This is the first degree of its kind and is designed for individuals who have a career interest in physical activity. The program provides students with unique opportunities to: study issues and concepts relevant to physical activity and public health; acquire background knowledge and experience in an approach to public health problems as related to physical activity; and develop skills integral to the design, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs intended to promote increased physical activity in populations. The "MPH in Physical Activity and Public Health Handbook" is available at http://www.sph.sc.edu, or contact Dr. Harriet G. Williams, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; Phone: 803-777-5030, Fax: 803-777-4783, E-mail: danderson@sph.sc.edu.


NATIONAL ARTHRITIS MONTH is recognized in May with activities sponsored by the national and local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation. Chapter events include organized walks and free demonstrations of the People With Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) Program, the Aquatic Exercise Program, educational materials, and various lectures. For more information on national and chapter events, go to http://www.arthritis.org.

NATIONAL HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE EDUCATION MONTH: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is launching a three-year education campaign focused on controlling systolic blood pressure. The campaign includes a Hypertension Activity Kit (FAQ, tips, DASH Diet, surveys) and is found at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/.

NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS PREVENTION MONTH: Each May as part of Prevention Month, the National Osteoporosis Foundation launches an annual prevention campaign. The 2001 campaign will increase awareness of the consequences of osteoporosis with the message: "Every 20 Seconds, Osteoporosis Causes A Fracture." Media kits, posters, and other materials can be ordered at http://www.nof.org.

SUMMERACTIVE: SummerActive events and programs will take place communities across Canada between May 11 and June 22. Sponsored by Health Canada and the Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council, SummerActive is an effort to encourage and support Canadians to be more active. Find out more at http://www.summeractive.canoe.ca.


BIKE COMMUTER ACT: In March, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mark Foley (R-FL) introduced the Bike Commuter Act, legislation that would allow employees who bike to work the same financial incentives as car-poolers and mass transit users. The bill would change the Transportation Fringe Benefit of the tax code to include bicyclists who chose to bike to work. Currently, employers may offer a Transportation Fringe Benefit to their employees, who may receive a tax exemption benefit totaling $175 for participating in qualified parking plans or $65 for transit, car-pool, and van-pool expenses. The Bike Commuter Bill would extend these same Transportation Fringe Benefits to employees who choose to commute by bicycle. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, bicycles are second only to cars as a preferred mode of transportation, demonstrating their potential for commuter use. For more information go to http://www.house.gov/blumenauer.

PEP GRANT STATUS: The number one question coming into the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) these days is "How do I apply for a PEP grant?" Although Congress included a $5 million appropriation for the Physical Education for Progress Act for fiscal year 2001, the Bush Administration has imposed a moratorium on all federal grant programs. When that moratorium is lifted, the U.S. Department of Education will release the PEP grant guidelines for the $5 million program. School districts will then have six weeks to submit proposals. Grants are to help initiate, expand and improve physical education programs for kindergarten through grade 12 students. Funds can be used to purchase equipment, develop curricula, train physical education staff, and support other initiatives designed to bolster instructional physical education activities. For more information, go to http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/

BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR US DHHS: President Bush's proposed Fiscal Year 2002 budget for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes $23.1 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $4.1 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the American Heart Association, this budget proposal provides the NIH with its largest dollar increase. However, the President's budget for the CDC would cut funding for heart disease and stroke prevention programs by $7.2 million. CDC's Nutrition, Physical Activity, Obesity Program would be cut by $1.6 million. You can read more in the April 10, 2001 news release at http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?


SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS AND YOUTH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Twenty-four middle schools were observed to investigate the association between youth physical activity during free time and various school environmental factors. Students were observed in various activity areas on the school campus and were categorized as engaging in sedentary, moderate or vigorous physical activity. Potential activity areas were assessed for the following environmental variables: area type, area size, permanent improvements, and the proportion of observations with equipment, supervision, and organized activities. Results indicated that only 0-5% of girls and 1-11% of boys were physically active during observation periods. The authors suggest that although a very small percentage of students chose to be physically active during unstructured time (2% of girls and 6% of boys), observers found significantly more activity at schools with both adult supervision and physical improvements on campus compared with schools with neither attribute. See Sallis, Conway, Prochaska, McKenzie, Marshall, and Brown, "The Association of School Environments With Youth Physical Activity." American Journal of Public Health, 91:618-620, April 2001.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND CORONARY HEART DISEASE IN WOMEN: Researchers examined the relationship between physical activity (specifically light to moderate paced walking) and coronary heart disease (CHD) in the approximately 40,000 participants in the Women's Health Study, who were followed for 5 years. After adjusting for potential confounders, variables associated with a lower risk of CHD included: calories expended per week, amount of vigorous activity performed, walking without any vigorous activity, and time spent walking. The authors concluded that light-to-moderate physical activity is associated with lower CHD in women (compared with no activity) and that at least 1 hour of walking per week predicted lower risk. While these findings provide promise for CHD risk reduction by performing activities at intensities below the moderate intensity recommendation, caution should be applied when promoting this message on a large scale, since moderate and vigorous intensity activities provide even greater reduction in CHD risk. See Lee, Rexrode, Cook, Manson, and Buring, "Physical Activity and Coronary Heart Disease in Women: Is ‘No Pain, No Gain' Passé?" Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(11):1447-1454, March 21, 2001.

PROMOTING SAFER WALKING AND CYCLING ROUTES: This article discusses recent trends in cycling and walking as well as related fatality rates and safety issues among individuals in Europe and North America. With pedestrian fatalities 36 times higher and cycling fatalities 11 times higher than car occupant fatalities, the authors suggest turning our attention towards lessons learned from Europe. In the Netherlands and Germany, cycling and pedestrian fatalities are a tenth and quarter as high as in the US respectively. Examples of measures undertaken to improve safety in Europe include better facilities for walking and cycling, urban design around non-motorist needs, calming of residential traffic, restricted motor vehicle use in cities, rigorous traffic education of all commuters, and strict enforcement of traffic regulations protecting non-motorists. A discussion about each of these areas is provided with suggestions for promoting safer walking and cycling in the US. See Pucher and Dijkstra, "Making Walking and Cycling Safer: Lessons from Europe." Transportation Quarterly, 54(3):25-50, Summer 2000.


PROMOTING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG YOUTH: The Prevention Institute has released a report entitled, "Promoting Physical Activity Among Youth: It's Everyone's Business." The report critically examines the issue of promoting physical activity among youth. It is not only a resource and informational guide, but a tool that can be used to advocate for and support policies and initiatives that will help youth establish lifelong physical activity behaviors. The report is based on the philosophy that successful efforts to promote and increase physical activity among youth involve all segments of the community (i.e., youth, parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and legislators) working together to make physical activity a priority. If you would like a copy of the report, please e-mail your mailing address to Tom Hawk of The Prevention Institute at tom@fcpi.org, call (614) 224-8822, or fax (614) 224-8833.

OLDER ADULT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: The Alberta Centre for Well-Being in Canada offers "Acting Our Age...Older Adults Engaged in Physical Activity" as a resource to help practitioners foster physically active, healthy lifestyles for older adults. Acting Our Age, which includes a 27-minute video and 16-page discussion guide, explores the successes, barriers, and challenges faced by older adults around physical activity. It also examines individual, social, and environmental determinants of health in relation to older adults and physical activity. The video features diverse, older Albertans engaged in activities that range from square dancing to aquasizing to tai chi (taught by an 83-year-old master). The practical discussion guide reflects on questions relevant to a workplace setting or community, and discusses creating supportive links within the community. For more information go to http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/Education/OlderAdults/
ActingOurAge.html or contact Jennifer Sandmeyer, Older Adult Coordinator, Alberta Centre for Well-Being, 3rd Floor, 11759 Groat Road, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5M 3K6, Phone (780) 427-6949; Fax (780) 455-2092; E-mail: well.being@ualberta.ca.

AIM FOR A HEALTHY WEIGHT: As a part of the NHLBI's Obesity Education Initiative (OEI), the Aim for a Healthy Weight Web Site provides information for patients, the public, and health professionals. The pages designed for patient and the public include a Body Mass Index calculator, an interactive personalized menu planner, shopping ideas, recipes, healthy dining out tips, and a guide to physical activity. The pages for health professionals include succinct and practical online and point-of-care reference tools for download and use, including a treatment guidelines tool for the Palm OS. For more information, go to http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/
or contact the NHLBI Health Information Center at phone (301) 592-8573 or email NHLBIInfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov.

INCREASING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG OLDER ADULTS: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation just released the "National Blueprint: Increasing Physical Activity Among Adults Age 50 and Older." This document, co-sponsored by AARP, American College of Sports Medicine, American Geriatrics Society, CDC, and National Institute on Aging, is a guide for organizations, associations, and agencies to plan strategies to help older adults increase their physical activity. The guide's vision statement states: "We envision a society in which all people age 50 and older enjoy health and quality of life, which is enhanced through regular physical activity. We will inspire an approach to aging that encourages physical activity in all aspects of people's lives." For a copy of the document, go to http://www.rwjf.org.


INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY: Tuesday, October 2, 2001. Whether you walk to promote more active children, safer streets, or cleaner air, Walk to School Day events are aimed at bringing forth permanent change to encourage more walkable communities. Last year children, parents, teachers, and community leaders in 47 states joined 2 million walkers around the world to celebrate the first International Walk to School Day. This year's event promises to be even bigger and more exciting. Click on http://www.walktoschool-usa.org to register to be part of this year's activities in the US, see who else is walking, receive e-mail updates, and access resources to get your walk in motion. To learn more about what's happening in other countries, visit http://www.iwalktoschool.org. For help planning a walk to school program throughout the school year visit the CDC website and download a free copy of the KidsWalk-to-School program at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk/. You can also order the KidsWalk-to-School Guide by telephone: 1-888-CDC-4NRG or by e-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov. (Article courtesy of Sarah Levin, CDC)


SOCIAL MARKETING IN PUBLIC HEALTH: The 11th Annual Social Marketing in Public Health Conference will be held June 20-23, 2001 at the Sheraton Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, Fl. This conference is designed to meet the needs of public health professionals and health educators at the novice, intermediate and advanced levels in social marketing. The preconference, which does not change substantially from year to year, gives novices an overview of the social marketing approach and presents basic principles and practices associated with audience segmentation and formative research, strategy development, and program implementation. The second day of the conference offers in-depth training workshops at the introductory and intermediate levels. Finally, the conference offers numerous opportunities for networking with some of the world's most experienced social marketers. Full brochure and registration information are available at http://publichealth.usf.edu/ieindex2.html.

CONFERENCE ON HEART DISEASE AND STROKE: The First National CDC Prevention Conference on Heart Disease and Stroke will be held August 22–24, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme is "Building and Expanding Comprehensive State-Based Cardiovascular Health Programs." Cosponsors include the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. For more information go to http://www.cdc.gov/cvh/.

COOPER INSTITUTE CONFERENCE: The fourth Cooper Institute Conference will be held October 4-6, 2001 at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas. "Innovative Approaches to Understanding and Influencing Physical Activity," a two-day symposium, will focus on the complex factors that influence physical activity behavior, bringing together a broad range of scientists from diverse fields of behavioral medicine, transportation, environmental and urban planning, public policy, and parks and recreation. Abstracts are now being taken for Competitive Papers. Five papers will be selected for oral presentations and for publication with the papers of the conference findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Prizes will also be awarded to the top five papers. For more information, go to http://www.cooperinst.org/ or e-mail mmorrow@cooperinst.org.


SEARCHING THE PRC WEB SITE: The Prevention Research Center web site now has a search option that will allow you to search the entire web site. This will allow easier access to information from the newsletter archives, materials directory, and other pages.


Writers: Delores Pluto, Lillian Smith, 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 Delores Pluto at dmpluto@sc.edu. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, e-mail the Prevention Research Center at USCPRC@gwm.sc.edu. When subscribing, please include your name, title, and organizational affiliation. There is no subscription cost.

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.

The USC Prevention Research Center is a member of the CDC Prevention Research Center's National Network, consisting of 24 Centers in the U.S. For more information about the PRC National Network, visit their website at http://www.cdc.gov/prc/


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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