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"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 (dmpluto@sc.edu)

IN THIS ISSUE - April/May 2002

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Image Library, Divorce Your Car, Rails-to-Trails Website

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



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 Transportation Engineers.

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 website, http://www.newsociety.com.

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 http://www.railtrails.org.
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.


"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.


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 http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/DNPAProg/ 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.


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 at http://www.cdc.gov/youthcampaign around July 1. Until then, if you have questions, send email to youthcampaign@cdc.gov 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 at http://www.csac.counties.org/default.asp?id=1933. 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 http://www.biketexas.org.

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/.


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 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, e-mail address, title, and organizational affiliation. There is no subscription cost.

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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