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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Greetings from the faculty, staff, and students in the USC Prevention Research Center.This year, the World Health Organization has proclaimed the theme for World Health Day on April 7th, 2002 as "Move for Health."Around the world, countries are preparing for the celebration by sponsoring special events.For example, in Brazil, the community program of Agita Sao Paulo (Be Active Sao Paulo) has been expanded to Agita Brazil and Agita Mundo (Be Active World!).Visit their website at http://www.agitasp.com.br/agitamundo/default.asp and the WHO site at http://www.who.int/archives/world-health-day/eng.shtml. Numerous countries, counties, cities, schools and organizations also are planning special events. What are yours? Please share your activities with us so we can we help inform others about ways to promote active lifestyles. Best wishes for an active winter season.

Barb Ainsworth, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)
IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2002

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Active for Life - Call for Proposals; Perils for Pedestrians; America's Walking

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Federal Funding Update, Healthy Communities Initiative Proposed

RESEARCH NOTES: Environment, Policy & PA; Perceived Environment & Walking Behavior; 10,000 Steps Per Day for Sedentary Women?

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Safe Routes to School; Health Update: Environment & Health; A Decade of ISTEA Accomplishments; Healthy People 2000: Final Review

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Australia's National Cycling Strategy; PLAY Arizona; Walk In to Work Out; Engaging Teens in PA

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: National Bike Summit; International Walking Conference; Health Education/Health Promotion Conference; ISBNPA 2002; Pro Bike/Pro Walk 2002

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Compendium Tracking Guide; Physical Activity and Public Health Course (PAPH)


ACTIVE FOR LIFE - CALL FOR PROPOSALS: "Active for Life: Improving Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older" is a four‑year, $8.7‑million grants program, administered through the School of Rural Public Health (SRPH), part of the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Under this project, as many as eight grants will be awarded to test the effectiveness of promising interventions to promote physical activity in the general population of mid-life and older persons at health risk because of their sedentary lifestyles. Active for Life grantee sites will recruit 1,000 people age 50 and older to participate in programs based on one of two model strategies that help participants incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. The call for proposals and more information about the Active for Life program is available on the web at www.activeforlife.info or send email to activeforlife@srph.tamu.edu.

PERILS FOR PEDESTRIANS is a monthly television series promoting awareness of issues affecting the safety of people who walk. The show interviews advocates and government planners about problems such as missing sidewalks and crosswalks, dangerous intersections, speeding traffic, and obstacles to wheelchair users and people with disabilities. Perils For Pedestrians appears on public access cable stations across the United States and is also webcast. For more information and to see if the series is available in your area, visit http://www.pedestrians.org.

AMERICA'S WALKING: Connecticut Public Television will be launching a new series on PBS television this spring titled "America's Walking," hosted by Mark Fenton, former editor of Walking Magazine. The series will encourage active living for a healthier lifestyle. It will focus on walking and touch on a range of outdoor activities such as cycling and kayaking. Each 30-minute episode will include segments on health and fitness; nutrition and wellness; gear to go; travel and adventure; and advocacy for a more active world. The first thirteen episodes will begin airing in April 2002; check your television listings or contact your local PBS station to be sure they're carrying the program.


FEDERAL FUNDING UPDATE:Congress has completed the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002. The bill includes several types of funding for physical activity programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will receive $27.5 million for nutrition and physical activity, a 70% increase over the previous year. Funding has been earmarked for the Institute of Medicine to conduct a study on childhood obesity. The Youth Media Campaign focusing on physical activity, which is in the planning stage, suffered a 45% funding cut, from $125 million in FY 2001 to $68.4 million in FY 2002. The Preventive Health Block Grant, which funds many state health departments' physical activity programs, stayed at just over $135 million. The Physical Education for Progress (PEP) grant program received significant increase, from $5 million in its inaugural year in 2001, to $50 million in FY 2002.(Sources: Margo Wootan from National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity; Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; National Association for Sport and Physical Education.)

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE PROPOSED: US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson has announced that President Bush is proposing a new Healthy Communities Innovation Initiative in his fiscal year 2003 budget. If approved by Congress, the $20 million initiative would fund demonstration projects in five communities to target the prevention of diabetes, asthma, and obesity. Participating communities would match the federal funds with local resources and would develop coalitions to enhance access to services and encourage positive behavioral changes. The initiative also proposes that the CDC administer a health communications campaign to encourage moderate changes in lifestyle. For more information, see the full press release at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2002pres/20020201b.html.


For additional summaries of recent research on promoting physically active lifestyles in community settings, look at the Research Updates at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu.

ENVIRONMENT, POLICY & PA: In a groundbreaking study, researchers conducted a telephone survey of US adults to determine the association of environmental and policy factors with physical activity. The authors found that individuals who said they had access to a walking or jogging trail were 55% more likely to be engaging in regular physical activity; those who said they had sidewalks in their neighborhoods were 28% more likely. Respondents who said they had access to a park were 95% more likely to be regularly active, and those who had access to an indoor gym were 94% more likely. Enjoyable scenery was also associated with regular PA participation. The presence of unattended dogs was associated with slightly lower levels of PA participation. Support for policies promoting physical activity was very high: 89-90% of respondents supported using local government funds for walking trails and bicycle paths, 85-88% agreed that zoning should include walking/bike paths, and 95% supported requiring physical education in schools. Social factors and personal barriers to physical activity were also studied. See Brownson, Baker, Houseman, et al. "Environmental and Policy Determinants of Physical Activity in the United States." American Journal of Public Health, 91(12):1995-2003, December 2001.

PERCEIVED ENVIRONMENT & WALKING BEHAVIOR: A recently published Australian study explored the relationship between various perceived environmental factors believed to be associated with PA (community aesthetics, convenience of walking facilities, and having company for walking) and exercise/recreation related walking behavior. Cross-sectional population-based survey data was collected among residents living in New South Wales, Australia. Results indicated that, among men and women alike, less aesthetically pleasing environments and less convenient facilities in the environment were both associated with a lower likelihood of having walked for exercise in the past two weeks. Individuals (especially women) who reported having no company or pets to walk with were also less likely to have walked in the past two weeks. These associations were also observed in separate analyses among men and women and those reporting good and poor physical and mental health. See Ball, Bauman, Leslie, and Owen. "Perceived Environmental Aesthetics and Convenience and Company Are Associated with Walking for Exercise among Australian Adults." Preventive Medicine, 33:434-440, 2001.

10,000 STEPS PER DAY FOR SEDENTARY WOMEN? Researchers in Arizona explored the appropriateness of using 10,000-steps per day as a physical activity target for sedentary women. A sample of sedentary workingwomen (ages 30-55) wore pedometers over a 4-week period and recorded their steps at the end of each day to determine baseline step counts. Participants also recorded their pedometer counts before and after two 30-minute brisk walks which they were instructed to perform each week on randomly assigned days. Baseline step counts for the sedentary women averaged 7,220 steps on non-walk days and 10,030 steps on walking days, with 3,104 steps being attributed to the 30-minute brisk walk. In addition, on those days when the 30-minute brisk walk was prescribed, a significantly greater proportion of the women achieved the 10,000-step level. While these findings support using 10,000 steps per day as a challenging behavioral target for sedentary women, the authors suggest that higher or lower step count targets, depending on baseline levels, may be necessary as not all of the sedentary women were equally inactive on their non-walking days. See Wilde, Sidman, and Corbin. "A 10,000-Step Count as a Physical Activity Target for Sedentary Women." Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 72(4):411-414, 2001.


SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL: Safe Routes to School (SR2S) programs are beginning to grow more popular around the US. The program began in Australia and has spread to Europe and now North America.To encourage more children to walk or bike, parents need to trust that it is both safe and convenient from a variety of perspectives. This is the impetus for SR2S programs. Transportation Alternatives has published a summary of such programs in the US on their website at http://www.transalt.org/campaigns/reclaiming/saferoutes2.html. The document categorizes SR2S programs into the following four approaches: traffic calming, funding, encouragement, and enforcement. It includes an inventory of programs from around the country with contact information and web links. Other useful information on SR2S programs can be found on the website of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking at http://www.bikewalk.org/

HEALTH UPDATE: ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH: The UK's Health Education Authority published "Road Transport" as part of its Environment and Health series. This report summarizes existing statistics, research, and debates for health professionals to provide a map of the current state of knowledge and action on the environment and health as it relates to transportation in England. The report includes a section on physical activity and transportation. The full report is available on the UK Health Development Agency's website: http://preview.tinyurl.com/3y8fae

A DECADE OF ISTEA ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In honor of the 10‑year anniversary of the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) released Ten Years of Progress: Building Better Communities Through Transportation. The report profiles more than 70 innovative transportation projects around the country and provides a summary of national statistics documenting how transportation has changed since passage of the ISTEA. The 48‑page, full‑color Ten Years of Progress report is available through STPP for $15, by calling (202) 466‑2636.The online, indexed version can be browsed by category and type of intervention (e.g., bicycle and pedestrian improvements) and the state in which the project is located. Go to STPP's website http://www.transact.org.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000: FINAL REVIEW: In October the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released "Healthy People 2000: Final Review." This publication, which incorporates the 1995 midcourse review modifications to the objectives, provides the latest available tracking data for objectives and subobjectives in all priority areas throughout the decade (priority area 1 = PA and fitness). The report is available on the NCHS website, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hp2k/


AUSTRALIA'S NATIONAL CYCLING STRATEGY: The Australian Bicycle Council (ABC) has published "Australia Cycling The National Strategy 1999-2004," which provides the framework for the delivery of programs to increase safe cycling and remove impediments to cycling. The Strategy contains deliverable objectives, with clear targets, time frames, and responsibilities. Its implementation will ensure that cycling can play an important part in the Australian transportation system. Find the report on the ABC website, http://preview.tinyurl.com/3bb9ds.

WALK IN TO WORK OUT: "Walk in to Work Out" is a new initiative in the UK to encourage employees to leave the cars at home. The Department for Transport, Local Government, and the Regions (DTLR) is sending an information pack to over 2,000 travel plan coordinators within major organizations, businesses and local authorities. The pack includes goal setting, journey planning, and safety information. The launch of the pack coincided with the National Audit Office's conference, "Joining Forces to Tackle Obesity" held in January in London.

PLAY ARIZONA: Promoting Lifetime Activity for Youth (P.L.A.Y.) works with children and youth in grades 4th‑8th in Arizona schools. Implementation of the P.L.A.Y. program began in January 1997 in twelve counties and has expanded to approximately 160 schools, reaching 24,000 students and 900 teachers a year.The program is designed to encourage student independence in achieving 30 minutes of daily activity at school and at home. Participating students receive log sheets, which include activity suggestions. Participating teachers receive program materials, an activity card, a wall chart to record students' progress, and classroom equipment such as balls and jump ropes. As a result of the P.L.A.Y. program, students' attitudes about physical activity have become more positive and the number of students reporting that they are not physically active has decreased. You can find more information about P.L.A.Y at http://www.maricopa.gov/Public_Health/Community/Programs/Play/default.aspx or contact Tammy Ball, Program Manager, Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, at (602) 364‑2401 or tball@hs.state.az.us.

ENGAGING TEENS IN PA: HealthPartners, a group of nonprofit Minnesota health care organizations, has developed a multi-topic publication to engage teens in healthy lifestyles. While the "magazine" covers everything from pimples to puberty, it also includes an eight-page section on nutrition and physical activity. This section provides practical ways for youth to integrate healthy eating and activity into their teenage lifestyle. The publication is available on line at the HealthPartners website, http://www.healthpartners.com under "programs, classes, and resources."


NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT: The League of American Bicyclists' Second National Bike Summit will be held in Washington, DC on March 6‑8, 2002. Bicycle advocates, industry leaders, transportation professionals, key legislators, and government officials will gather to advance policies and initiatives to support and encourage bicycling. Visit the conference website at http://www.bikeleague.org/involved/nationalbikesummit.htm.

INTERNATIONAL WALKING CONFERENCE: The third international walking conference, "Steps Towards Liveable Cities," will be held May 8-9, 2002, in San Sebastian, Spain. The purpose of the conference is to discuss and propose ways to bring cities back to pedestrians, increase urban quality, and create livable cities.For more information, contact Carlos Suso Beitia, Technical Secretariat, Congress WALK 21, email: carlos@2ados.com.

HEALTH EDUCATION/HEALTH PROMOTION CONFERENCE: The CDC and ASTDHPPHE will sponsor the 20th National Conference on Health Education and Health Promotion: Strengthening America through Health Education and Health Promotion, June 5-7, 2002, in New Orleans, LA.The 2002 conference goal is to provide opportunities to share successful health education and health promotion programs for a variety of settings, populations, and public health issues.

ISBNPA 2002: The first annual meeting for the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting will occur July 12-13, 2002 in Seattle, WA. The meeting will offer interested professionals an opportunity to hear about the latest research on behavioral issues in nutrition and physical activity, discuss common theoretical, method and intervention issues across nutrition and physical activity disciplines, and meet new colleagues who share a common behavioral perspective. More information will be available at http://www.isbnpa.org/meeting.cfm.

PRO BIKE/PRO WALK 2002: The 12th International Symposium on Bicycling and Walking will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota from Tuesday through Friday, September 3-6, 2002. Sponsors expect more than 600 bicycle and pedestrian program specialists, advocates, and government leaders committed to improving conditions for bicycling and walking. The program includes seminars on bicycle and pedestrian facility planning, design, and engineering; promotion and encouragement programs; public health and physical activity; education and safety research and programs; effective advocacy techniques; and trails and greenway development. Responses to the call for papers must be in by March 1, 2002. The conference document is in PDF format at http://www.bikewalk.org/assets/pdf/Forum54.pdf.


COMPENDIUM TRACKING GUIDE: The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed for use in epidemiologic studies to standardize the assignment of MET intensities in physical activity questionnaires. Version 1 of the Compendium was published in 1993, and an updated version was published in 2000. Dr. Barbara Ainsworth has now made available to other researchers a tracking guide she has used in her physical activity assessment studies.The guide can be found at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/Tools/compendium.htm.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH COURSE (PAPH): The 2002 PAPH Courses will be held September 17-25 at the Shadow Ridge Hotel and Conference Center in Park City, Utah. Sponsored by the USC PRC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PAPH features an 8-day Postgraduate Course on Research Directions and Strategies and a 6-day Practitioner's Course on Community Interventions. Nationally recognized experts in public health research and practice teach both courses. The Research Course serves post-doctoral personnel and is designed to develop research competencies related to physical activity and public health.  The Practitioner's Course is for those professionally involved or interested in community-based initiatives to promote physical activity. Approximately 25 fellows are accepted for each course, based on educational background, experience, professional position, and potential to enhance public health research and practice. Information will be on the PRC website by early March (http://prevention.sph.sc.edu) or contact Janna Borden at 803-576-6050 or janna.borden@sc.edu.

Writers: Delores Pluto, Lillian Smith, Ralph Welsh, Regina Fields

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, 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 on our website, at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu.

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/.

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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