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. We are in the "dog days"
of August - it is brutally hot and humid in South Carolina. We must
walk, play tennis, jog and do our other outdoor activities early
in the morning. In the last issue of the PRC Notes, I mentioned
that the importance of the environment for physical activity is
catching on in areas related to housing developments, city planning,
and marketing of communities in the US and in other countries. There
are several research studies are underway of the link between the
physical activity environment and physical activity behavior. Results
from these studies will be useful for policy, planning, and physical
activity promotion activities designed to enhance active lifestyles.
We hope you enjoy your physical activities during the remaining
days of summer.
Barb Ainsworth, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IN THIS ISSUE - June/July 2002
NEWS YOU CAN USE: BAM, Walking on the Web, Kidnetic
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: New Surgeon General,
Progress in PA Funding, Healthier US Initiative, New President's
RESEARCH NOTES: Multiple Levels of Influence on PA,
PA and Perceptions of the Environment, Innovations in Promoting
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: PA and Community
Design, Bikeability Checklist, PA and Older Adults
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: VERB: It's What You
Do, Walkable Community Workshops, Safe Routes to School, Promoting
PA through Trails
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Chronic Disease
Conference Call for Abstracts, Walk21 IV Call for Abstracts, Healthy
Schools Summit, SOPHE Annual Meeting, APHA Annual Meeting
NEWS YOU CAN USE
BAM! CDC's Office of Communication and the Information
Resource Management Office (IRMO) recently launched BAM! (Body and
Mind), an e?zine for kids. Aimed at youth ages 9 ? 13, BAM! was
created to answer kids' questions on health issues and recommend
ways to make their bodies and minds healthier, stronger, and safer.
Published quarterly, this first issue of BAM! focuses on physical
activity and how other health areas (such as infectious disease,
asthma, safety/injury, disability, etc.) are related to physical
activity. While future editions of BAM! will address other interrelated
health issues, the content for this and future editions will remain
accessible on the site. BAM! also provides middle school health
and science teachers with interactive activities that are educational
and fun. Visit http://www.bam.gov.
WALKING ON THE WEB: Check out the website for "America's
Walking," the PBS show hosted by walking advocate Mark Fenton.
In addition to information about personal health & fitness,
nutrition, fitness apparel, and travel destinations, the site contains
a "call to action" to encourage people to make their communities
more walkable. There is also a place to share your own story about
walking to fitness. Go to http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/index.html.
KIDNETIC: Kidnetic.com is a website designed to communicate
healthy eating and active living information to kids aged 9-12 and
their families. The site encourages kids and their families to begin
the process of adopting healthy lifestyles. This is the first component
of ACTIVATE, an educational outreach program of the International
Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation. Find out more at http://www.kidnetic.com.
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.htm.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON
NEW SURGEON GENERAL: Dr. Richard Carmona was confirmed
as US Surgeon General on July 23, 2002. Dr. Carmona succeeds Dr.
David Satcher, whose term expired earlier this year. Carmona is
a trauma surgeon and was a part-time sheriff's deputy in Arizona.
At his confirmation hearing, he promised to promote prevention of
disease, and he said he is well-suited to help in preparations to
combat bioterrorism. (From Associated Press reports)
PROGRESS IN PA FUNDING: On July 18, the US Senate
Appropriations committee decided on funding levels for the Departments
of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The committee
recommended $50 million for Nutrition, Physical Activity & Obesity
(an 80% increase), a 7.6% increase for Chronic Disease Prevention
and Health Promotion, level funding for the Preventive Health &
Health Services Block Grant, and a 42% decrease for the Youth Media
Campaign on physical activity. The appropriations bill now goes
to the Senate for its approval.
The House Appropriations committee decides on funding levels on
its own, and after the House passes the appropriations bill the
Senate and the House will reconcile their versions before sending
the bill to President Bush for his signature. The House Appropriations
committee may consider the bill immediately after Labor Day.
An interesting side-note: In the bill, the Senate included a recommendation
that "the CDC urge its grantees to establish a position of
statewide physical activity coordinator
." The committee
suggests the position could be located in the state health department,
Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, or in the state
HEALTHIER US INITIATIVE: With a "Fitness Expo"
on the White House lawn in June, President Bush announced the "Healthier
US Initiative" to promote healthy behaviors including physical
activity. The President signed an Executive Order instructing several
federal agencies to review policies, programs and regulations that
might relate to personal fitness and to determine if changes need
to be made. The Order also establishes a Personal Fitness Interagency
Working Group to coordinate Federal physical activity programs.
As part of the initiative, a Memorandum of Understanding to Promote
Public Health and Recreation was signed by the Departments of Agriculture,
the Interior, Health and Human Services, and the Army Corps of Engineers,
committing the departments to "work together to promote uses
and benefits of the Nation's public lands and water resources to
enhance the physical and psychological health and well being of
the American people." In addition, a report highlighting the
benefits of physical activity for disease prevention was released
as was a Fitness Policy Book (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/fitness/fitness-policy-book.pdf
) and a "Healthier US" website for consumers (http://www.healthierus.gov/).
For more information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/fitness/.
NEW PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL: As part of the Healthier
US Initiative, President Bush appointed new members to the President's
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The purpose of the President's
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) is to "serve
as a catalyst to promote, encourage and motivate Americans of all
ages to become physically active and participate in sports. Assisted
by elements of the US Public Health Service, the PCPFS advises the
President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on how
to encourage more Americans to be physically fit and active."
Mr. Lynn Swann was appointed Chairman, and Dr. Dorothy Richardson
was appointed Vice-Chairman. Swann was a wide receiver on the Pittsburgh
Steelers in the late 70's, and is now with ABC Sports. Richardson
is an orthopedic surgeon and Medical Director of the National Training
Center. She was a two-time Olympic Gold medallist in softball (1996
& 2000). For a full list of new appointees and other new information
from the Council, see http://www.fitness.gov/index.html.
MULTIPLE LEVELS OF INFLUENCE ON PA: The Study on Environmental
and Individual Determinants of Physical Activity (the SEID project)
used a social ecological approach to examine the influences of individual,
social environmental, and physical environmental factors on recreational
physical activity. In this cross-sectional survey of 1,803 adults
aged 18-59 years working and living in Perth, Western Australia,
59% of respondents exercised as recommended, and more respondents
used recreational facilities located near home than elsewhere. The
most frequently used facilities were streets (46%), public open
spaces (29%), and beaches (23%). The physical environment's influence
on exercising as recommended was second to both individual and social
physical environment influences measured in the study. Giles-Corti
& Donovan. "The Relative Influence of Individual, Social
and Physical Environment Determinants of Physical Activity."
Social Science & Medicine, 54:1793-1812, 2002.
PA AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENT: Researchers
in this study investigated the relationship between PA (walking
and stage of change) and perceptions of the environment (aesthetic
and practical) among a random sample of 1,200 adults age 40-60 living
in New South Wales, Australia. The aesthetic environment was assessed
for perceived safety, friendliness, attractiveness, and pleasantness
of the area, while the practical environment was assessed for whether
shops were within walking distance and whether beaches, parks or
cycleways were nearby. Both environmental factors were associated
with a higher stage of change for PA. Specifically, maintainers
held a more positive view of the environment than did contemplators.
Both factors were also correlated with time spent walking: those
who walked more held more positive views of the environment. Carnegie,
Bauman, Marshall, et al. "Perceptions of the Physical Environment,
Stage of Change for Physical Activity, and Walking Among Australian
Adults." Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73(2):146-155,
INNOVATIONS IN PROMOTING PA: A supplement to the August
issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine contains papers
from the Cooper Clinic Conference Innovative Approaches to Understanding
and Influencing Physical Activity. This excellent collection includes
two cross-sectional studies on the relationship between the physical
environment and PA. Berrigan & Troiano look at the relationship
between home age and walking behavior using data from NHANES III.
Adults who lived in homes built before 1973 in urban and suburban
neighborhoods were more likely to walk 20 or more times per month
than people living in newer homes. Housing age may be an acceptable
proxy for features of the urban environment that support walking.
For more details on the study, read Berrigan & Troiano. "The
Association Between Urban Form and Physical Activity in US Adults."
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 23(2S):74-79, 2002.
Craig et al. looked at the relationship between the
environment and walking to work in Canada by combining Canadian
census data with environmental assessments of a wide variety of
neighborhoods in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Examples of environmental
measures included the number and variety of destinations, continuity
of walking and transportation routes, and safety assessments. These
items were combined into an environmental score that was significantly
related to walking to work. This relationship depended on the degree
of urbanization in the neighborhood. Details are included in Craig,
Brownson, Cragg, & Dunn. "Exploring the Effect of the Environment
on Physical Activity." American Journal of Preventive Medicine,
23(2S): 36-43, 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
PA AND COMMUNITY DESIGN: The National Center for Bicycling
& Walking (NCBW) has just published "Increasing Physical
Activity Through Community Design." Developed under a grant
from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this 48-page guide is designed
to provide public health practitioners and others an introduction
to increasing physical activity through better community design,
specifically by making it easier and safer to bicycle and walk.
It presents an introduction to community design issues and describes
seven kinds of projects that can help create more bicycle-friendly
and walkable communities. It also discusses how such projects are
funded and presents an array of resources to help with implementation.
Printed copies of the new guide will be sent directly to each of
the state public health departments. It is also available online
BIKEABILITY CHECKLIST: The Pedestrian and Bicycle
Information Center recently released a "Bikeability Checklist."
The simple seven-question checklist can help people
rate how friendly their communities are for bicycling, identify
problem areas, and find short? and long?term solutions to improve
each community's score. Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA), the new tool can be downloaded at
PA AND OLDER ADULTS: The Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality recently published "Physical Activity and Older
Americans: Benefits and Strategies." In addition to describing
the importance of physical activity, the prevalence and costs of
inactivity, and the health benefits of regular activity, the report
presents strategies for promoting PA among older adults. The report
is part of "Put Prevention into Practice (PPIP)," a program
to increase the appropriate use of clinical preventive services,
such as screening tests, immunizations, and counseling, based on
US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. You will find
the document at http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/activity.htm
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES
VERB: IT'S WHAT YOU DO: In July, HHS Secretary Thompson
announced the launch of the Youth Media Campaign to promote physical
activity and other positive activities for 9? to 13?year?olds (tweens).
The message is simple: Verbs are active and kids should be too,
so pick your favorite verb ? run, skip, swim, dance, play, volunteer,
join clubs ? and do it. Short TV commercials promoting the VERB
campaign started to air in June, featuring action verbs morphing
into a child's form. Longer ads will be out this fall that show
real kids doing activities. The campaign will continue to expand
over the coming months with additional activities and events to
coincide with the beginning of the school year. The VERB Web site,
many interactive features that will help tweens get active. You
can get more information about the campaign at the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/youthcampaign.
SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL: "Way to Go!" is a
school program in British Columbia that fosters safer, healthier
travel alternatives for elementary and middle school students. The
program website includes a tool kit with travel surveys for parents
and teachers, mapping strategies and activities, and suggestions
for developing safe walking and cycling strategies. The website
also contains traffic safety resources and ideas for special events.
WALKABLE COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS: The National Center
for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) is offering Walkable Community
Workshops (aka pedestrian road shows) as part of its program to
support community design for active living (sponsored in part by
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). In just four hours, these workshop
sessions have helped groups composed of elected officials, local
government staff, and citizens analyze their situation and identify
needed improvements. Communities that participated in the past have
developed traffic calming programs that work, revitalized main streets,
created more pedestrian?friendly intersections, and launched safe
routes to school programs. The end result - more people walking!
To apply, partner with your local Metropolitan Planning Organization
(MPO) to complete an application by August 15. The program will
operate on a shared cost basis: each selected Metropolitan Planning
Organizations (MPO) will provide a $7,000 fee and, in exchange,
will receive approximately $20,000 worth of technical assistance
and direct support. For details on how the program works and an
application form, go to http://www.bikewalk.org/get_organized/ get_organized_implementation.htm.
If you have any questions, contact John Williams, NCBW's project
manager, at email@example.com.
PROMOTING PA THROUGH TRAILS: A new page at CDC's Division
of Nutrition and Physical Activity web?site has been posted at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/trails.htm
to discuss the benefits of trails for increasing PA.
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
CHRONIC DISEASE CONFERENCE CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: The
17th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control
is planned for February 19 - 21, 2003 in St Louis, MO. Abstracts
for "Gateway to Lifelong Health: The Community Connection"
will be accepted until 6pm EST, Sep 6, 2002. Information is available
on the conference website at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/conference/index.htm.
WALK21 IV CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Planning is now underway
for "Walk21 IV: Health, Equity & Environment," the
Fourth International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century.
The conference will be held in Portland, Oregon, USA, May 1-3, 2003.
The conference is being organized by America Walks, a coalition
of pedestrian advocacy organizations from across the US. The deadline
for submitting abstracts has been extended to Monday, September
16, 2002. For more information, visit the conference website at
or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEALTHY SCHOOLS SUMMIT: Mrs. Laura Bush, Dr. David
Satcher, and more than 30 national organizations are collaborating
on a "Healthy Schools Summit: Taking Action for Children's
Nutrition and Health," which will take place October 7?8, 2002,
in Washington DC. Conference participants will examine solutions
for creating healthier school environments and establishing state
teams to develop local actions. Visit the Healthy Schools Summit
website for more information on the conference and ways to support
child nutrition and physical activity (http://www.actionforhealthykids.org).
SOPHE ANNUAL MEETING: The annual meeting of the Society
for Public Health Education, titled "Declaring Our Interdependence:
United for Health" will take place Nov 8-9, 2002, Philadelphia.
Visit http://www.sophe.org for more information.
APHA ANNUAL MEETING: The 130th Annual Meeting of the
American Public Health Association: "Putting the Public Back
into Public Health" will be held Nov 9-13, 2002, in Philadelphia.
For more information, go to http://www.apha.org/meetings/index.htm.
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, Regina Fields, Tracy Pearch
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 email@example.com.
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The USC Prevention Research Center is a member of
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Network, visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc/index.htm.
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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