UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER NOTES
"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"
Greetings from the faculty, staff, and students in
the USC Prevention Research Center. A goal of our PRC is to study
and disseminate information about the environmental and policy decisions
influence physical activity behaviors. In the past five years the
awareness of environmental and policy influences on physical activity
has grown tremendously. Yesterday I heard a radio announcement for
the sale of homes in a new housing development in Columbia, SC.
In their pitch they noted that the development had wide streets,
sidewalks, and offered a safe environment for children to walk to
school and play. Collectively, I would say we are making a difference
in how people view the environment and the potential for enhancing
physical activity. Keep up the good work! We hope you enjoy this
month's newsletter and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.
Barb Ainsworth, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (email@example.com)
IN THIS ISSUE - April/May 2002
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Image Library, Divorce Your Car,
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Conserve by Bike Amendment
RESEARCH NOTES: Lay-Led Walking Programmes, Travel
Mode Choice, Effectiveness of PA Interventions, Environmental Factors
and PA, PA Interventions with Older Adults
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: State-Based
PA Program Directory, Community Mobilization Guide, Guidelines for
Cancer Prevention, Schools Promoting Healthy Weight, Leisure-Time
PA in the US
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Public Health Grand
Rounds, CDC Youth Media Campaign, NCPPA Youth Media Grants, Let's
Walk Queen Mary, Safe Routes to School - Texas, PA and Tourism
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: International
Congress on Aging and PA , NRPA National Conference, Preventing
Physical Disability in Older Adults, Walking in the 21st Century
NEWS YOU CAN USE
IMAGE LIBRARY: Need images for your next report or
presentation for improving walkability and bikability in your community?
Check out the new image library at http://www.pedbikeimages.org,
a searchable collection of over 1400 images. The library is provided
by the Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center, Walkable Communities,
Inc., and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council of the Institute of
DIVORCE YOUR CAR! In this new book by Katie Alvord,
the author advocates that people "re-meet their feet,"
by biking, taking trains, using your car less, or not owning a car
at all. This practical guide shows how divorcing a car can be fun,
healthy, money saving, and helpful to the planet in the process.
In addition to an overview of society's troubled marriage to automobiles,
the book includes chapters on walking and bicycling as transport
solutions. More details and ordering information are on the publisher's
RAILS-TO-TRAILS WEBSITE: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
(RTC) has launched their new website designed for trail users, builders,
advocates, and enthusiasts of all ages. The RTC was established
"to enrich America's communities and countryside by creating
a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines and
connecting corridors." The new site details the organization
and activities and is linked to TrailLink.com, an RTC website that
provides detailed, up-to-date information on trail access, services
and activities throughout the world. To visit the new site, go to
For a list of PA related observances and events, visit the PA links
section of our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/PAlinks/index.html.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON
"CONSERVE BY BIKE" AMENDMENT: The League
of American Bicyclists (http://www.bikeleague.org)
reports the US Senate adopted an amendment to the Energy Bill that
would promote energy conservation through bicycling. The "Conserve
By Bike" Amendment establishes within the Department of Transportation
a Conserve By Bicycling pilot program. This program would oversee
up to 10 pilot projects geographically dispersed across the country
designed to conserve energy resources through education and marketing
to convert car trips to bike trips. In addition, the projects would
encourage partnerships between stakeholders from the fields of transportation,
law enforcement, education, public health, environment, and energy.
Project results and energy savings must be documented, and the Secretary
of Transportation is instructed to report to Congress on the results
of the pilot program within two years of implementation. The Department
of Transportation is also authorized to conduct a study on the feasibility
and benefits on the conversion of car trips to bike trips. The amendment
authorizes $5.5 million for the pilot projects and the study. Once
the Energy bill passes in the Senate, it will go to conference with
the House to work out any differences prior to being sent to President
Bush for signature.
LAY-LED WALKING PROGRAMMES: In this randomized control
trial in the UK, inadequately active individuals (age 40-70 years)
were randomly assigned to a) an advice-only counseling group promoting
PA or b) an intervention group that received the same advice plus
information and encouragement to participate in a walking program
led by lay members of the community. Results indicated that individuals
who were provided with additional encouragement to participate in
the community-based walking programs were significantly more motivated
to exercise than advice-only controls at 6-months and were more
likely to achieve moderate PA recommendations after 1-year. Similar
levels of motivation to exercise were identified in both groups
at 12-months while no changes in fitness levels were detected at
any point during the study. Lamb, Bartlett, Ashley, & Bird.
"Can Lay-Led Walking Programmes Increase Physical Activity
in Middle Aged Adults? A Randomised Controlled Trial." Journal
of Epidemiology and Community Health, 56:246-252, 2002.
TRAVEL MODE CHOICE: Travel mode choice was explored
among a random sample of 3700 individuals living in an urban city
in Germany. Women in the study a) expressed a stronger willingness
to reduce car use, b) had stronger ecological norms against car
use, and c) had weaker car use habits compared to men. Ecological
norms and car use habits were associated with intention to reduce
car use and actual travel mode choice but not with the preferred
choice of travel. In addition, ecological norm was the main influence
on intention to reduce car use while car use habit was the main
influence on actual travel behavior. Copies of the scales used to
assess the travel norms, habits, and preferences are included in
the appendix of the paper. Matthies, Kuhn, & Klockner. "Travel
Mode Choice of Women: The Result of Limitation, Ecological Norm,
or Weak Habit?" Environment and Behavior, 34(2):163-177, 2002.
EFFECTIVENESS OF PA INTERVENTIONS: The Task Force
on Community Preventive Services has released the detailed results
of a systematic review to evaluation the effectiveness of different
approaches to increasing physical activity. The detailed review
describes the evidence that supports interventions such as "point-of-decision"
stair use prompts, community-wide campaigns, school-based physical
education, social support in community settings, individually adapted
behavior change, and the creation or enhancement of access to PA
locations combined with outreach activities. Kahn, Ramsey, Brownson
et al. "The Effectiveness of Interventions to Increase Physical
Activity: A Systematic Review." American Journal of Preventive
Medicine, 22(4S):73-107, 2002. This and related articles are also
available at http://www.thecommunityguide.org,
under physical activity publications.
ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND PA: Reviewers examined 19
quantitative studies that assessed the relationship between environmental
attributes and physical activity behaviors. Environmental attributes
were divided into five categories: accessibility of facilities,
opportunities for activity, weather, safety, and aesthetic attributes.
Accessibility of facilities, opportunities for activity, and aesthetic
attributes were all significantly associated with physical activity.
Weather and safety revealed weaker associations. When several environmental
variables were pooled together, associations were more likely to
be concealed. Humpel, Owen, & Leslie. "Environmental Factors
Associated with Adults' Participation in Physical Activity. A Review."
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22(3):188-208, 2002.
PA INTERVENTIONS WITH OLDER ADULTS: A recently published
review examined randomized controlled trials aimed at increasing
physical activity among older adults published from 1985 to August
2000. The review of 38 studies (including 57 interventions) reveals
that participation rates are much lower for long-term interventions
and decline with increasing duration. Additionally, group-based
and home-based interventions resulted in similar participation rates,
and the rates were not significantly related to exercise type or
frequency. Because only a limited number of studies reported changes
in physical activity levels, clear conclusions about changes cannot
be made. Van der Bij, Laurant, & Wensing. Effectiveness of Physical
Activity Interventions for Older Adults: A Review. American Journal
of Preventive Medicine, 22(2):120-133, 2002.
For additional summaries of recent research on promoting
physically active lifestyles, visit the Research Updates section
of our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/updates/index.htm.
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES
STATE-BASED PA PROGRAM DIRECTORY: The Physical Activity
and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at
the CDC introduced a new State-based Physical Activity Program Directory
website. The directory includes a searchable program inventory of
current physical activity programs in which State Departments of
Health (DOH) are involved. It also includes state profiles with
contact information, program summaries, and websites for physical
activity in each State DOH. The program directory can be found at
or through the DNPA website http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/.
COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION GUIDE: The National Heart,
Lung, and Blood Institute joined with the National Recreation and
Park Association to produce the "Hearts N' Parks Community
Mobilization Guide," a manual designed to help local community,
park, and recreation agencies promote heart-healthy lifestyle changes.
This comprehensive guide includes tools for creating, delivering,
and evaluating heart-healthy programs and tools and strategies to
reach target audiences, form partnerships, and work with the media.
The guide is available free online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/
obesity/hrt_n_pk/hnp_resg.htm. Call 301-592-8573 to order a
hardcopy version with a video for $12.50.
GUIDELINES FOR CANCER PREVENTION: The American Cancer
Society (ACS) recently released "Nutrition and Physical Activity
Guidelines for Cancer Prevention." The new guidelines place
emphasis on the importance of physical activity for both youth and
adults. ACS makes four recommendations for individual choices regarding
diet and physical activity patterns and one recommendation for community
action, recognizing the importance of how individual choices occur
within a community context that either facilitates or interferes
with healthy behaviors. The guidelines were published in the Jan/Feb
2002 issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 52: 92-119 and
can be downloaded from http://www.cancer.org/.
SCHOOLS PROMOTING HEALTHY WEIGHT: The Michigan Department of Education
in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Community Health;
The Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports; and
the Michigan Fitness Foundation released "The Role of Michigan
Schools in Promoting Healthy Weight: A Consensus Paper," in
September 2001. The paper was the culmination of analysis completed
by the Healthy Weight Advisory Group, a committee of experts in
children's health issues, and is intended to provide practical guidelines
and policy recommendations to school districts to promote healthy
weight for all students. The committee identified prevention to
be the primary role of schools in the promotion of healthy weight
and provides a list of prevention recommendations for schools. The
document is available for download at http://www.emc.cmich.edu/products/misc/HealthyWeight.htm.
LEISURE-TIME PA IN THE US: The Division of Health
Interview Statistics (DHIS) of the National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS) recently released a report about leisure-time physical activity
among adults in the US. The report presents data from the 1997 and
1998 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and presents the data
according to sex, age, race-ethnicity, education, poverty status,
marital status, geographic region and place of residence. The report
shows that about six in ten adults (62%) engaged in at least some
leisure-time physical activity, about three in ten adults (31%)
regularly engaged in such activities and about two in ten adults
(23%) engaged in strengthening activities. Prevalence of leisure-time
physical activity was higher for men than for women, declined with
age, increased with education and income, and was lower for widowed
adults than for adults in other marital status groups. To view the
full report (Advance Data From Vital and Health Statistics, No.
325) view item "No. 325" at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/ad/321-330/321-330.htm.
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES
PUBLIC HEALTH GRAND ROUNDS: The next public health
grand rounds will be a national live satellite broadcast and webcast
of "The Epidemic of Obesity: Personal Choice or Environmental
Consequence?" on June 7, 2002 from 2:00-3:00 pm EDT. The program
will discuss the efforts of San Antonio, TX to end the obesity epidemic
by making physical activity and nutrition a priority. For more information,
go to http://www.publichealthgrandrounds.unc.edu/index.htm.
CDC YOUTH MEDIA CAMPAIGN: The CDC Youth Media Campaign
will be launched nationally in June to promote positive activity
(physical and pro-social activities) through media, partnerships,
and community efforts. The Campaign is designed to reach youth ages
9-13, their parents, and others who are influential in children's
lives. All community organizations are being encouraged to capitalize
on the Campaign's brand, messages, and activities and to use the
visibility generated by the campaign to draw attention to local
activities and programs. More information will be available on line
around July 1. Until then, if you have questions, send email to
or call 770-488-6480.
NCPPA YOUTH MEDIA GRANTS: In partnership with the
CDC Youth Media Campaign, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical
Activity (NCPPA) has awarded youth media microgrants to eight state
coalitions for related outreach activities. The states receiving
the grants include Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, New York, Oregon,
South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington. Links to the state coalitions
can be found at the NCPPA website (http://www.ncppa.org).
LET'S WALK QUEEN MARY: Queen Mary School in Vancouver,
BC has posted a description of their creative school walking program
The successful program, now in its fifth year, encourages walking
at least part of the way to and from school each day. Streets in
the immediate vicinity of the school have been designated as "Safe
Walking Zones," where walking is encouraged and facilitated
by parent patrols. The description on the website describes the
program and answers common questions and concerns.
SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL - TEXAS: The Texas Department
of Transportation (TxDOT) will allocate $3 million to develop the
Safe Routes to Schools program sponsored by the Texas Bicycle Coalition
(TBC). The TxDOT has already completed an initial set of Safe Routes
to School program rules that outline project eligibility and how
projects should be submitted to the department. The final set of
program rules containing project evaluation criteria should become
final in June, with a first call for proposals in July or August.
The first round of project awards should be announced before the
end of the year. For more information, visit the TBC Website at
PA AND TOURISM: Detroit government and business leaders
unveiled a new 10-year Tourism Vision to transform the tri-county
region into a more competitive tourism destination. Spearheaded
by the newly formed Tourism Economic Development Council, the multi-faceted
plan includes several physical activity-related components, including
the improvement of recreation areas and greenways, pedestrian walkways,
and bikeways in multi-county settings; cleaning up area freeways
and major roadways; and ensuring visitor safety. More information
on the plan can be found by searching the Detroit Metro Convention
and Visitors Bureau Website at http://www.visitdetroit.com/.
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
PREVENTING PHYSICAL DISABILITY IN OLDER ADULTS: The
Cooper Institute will present a conference on "Physical Activity:
Preventing Physical Disability in Older Adults" in Dallas,
TX, Oct 17-19. This two-day symposium is the fifth in a series and
focuses on the role of physical activity in the disablement process
of older adults. The conference will include lectures and discussions
about physical activity and the disablement process in older adults,
measuring functional limitations and physical disability, physical
activity for older adults with diverse needs, combining group and
individual counseling with physical activity, and issues related
to medical assessment and safety. For more information, visit http://www.cooperinst.org/sciconf.asp.
INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON AGING AND PA: The International
Society for Aging and Physical Activity (ISAPA) will hold the 6th
World Congress on Aging and Physical Activity: "A Celebration
of Active Ageing and Diversity," on August 11-16, 2003, at
Loughborough University, England. The Congress will highlight the
role of physical activity in promoting good health and quality of
life in the later years as well as the role of sport and recreation
across the lifespan. For more information, go to http://www.isapa.org/.
WALKING IN THE 21ST CENTURY: The 4th Annual International
Conference on Walking in the 21st Century will be held May 1-3,
2003 in Portland, OR. Proposals for papers and presentations are
due by July 1, 2002. The conference brings together professionals
and activists in public health, transportation, and community planning.
Next year's conference will weave together the three themes of health,
equity, and environment. For more information, go to http://americawalks.org/walk21.
For a more complete list of conferences and workshops,
visit the PA links section of our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/PAlinks/index.html.
Writers: Delores Pluto, Lillian Smith, Tracy Jenkins, 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 would like to submit an item, please send it
to Delores Pluto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, e-mail
the Prevention Research Center at USCPRC@gwm.sc.edu.
When subscribing, please include your name, e-mail address, title,
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For continuing discussions about physical activity,
join the Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network listserv.
Instructions are located on our website, at http://www.cdc.gov/prc/index.htm.
The USC Prevention Research Center is a member of
the CDC Prevention Research Center's National Network, consisting
of 26 Centers in the U.S. For more information about the PRC National
Network, visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc/about-prc-program/.
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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