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"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

Greetings from the faculty, staff, and students in the USC Prevention Research Center. We have been looking forward to cooler weather fall weather in South Carolina after having such a long and hot summer. This month our Newsletter provides several important updates related to physical activity and public health. Don't miss the 2002 report from the World Health Organization about the impact of environmental and behavioral risks on morbidity and mortality. You also may be interested in the ACSM's response to the IOM report on eating, activity, and energy balance. We also provide updates about resources available for measuring neighborhood supports for physical activity. We hope you enjoy what we have to share with you about physical activity and public health. Best wishes for a Happy and Active Holiday season.

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

IN THIS ISSUE - October/November 2002

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Youth Nutrition & Fitness Grants, Bike Month Organizer's Kit, New E-Journal from CDC

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Budget Status, Appropriations Fact Sheets

RESEARCH NOTES: Wheeling Walks, Measuring Workplace Environments, Measuring Neighborhood Environments

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: ACSM Response to IOM Recommendations, World Health Report 2002, Pro Bike/Pro Walk PowerPoint Collection

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: VERB: Active Living by Design, Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign


USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Environmental Supports for PA Questionnaire, New Funding


YOUTH NUTRITION & FITNESS GRANTS: The General Mills Foundation will award 50 grants of up to $10,000 each to nonprofit organizations with innovative programs that help youth develop good nutrition and fitness habits. The American Dietetic Association Foundation will use its resources and expertise to evaluate the proposals. For more information about the General Mills Champions program go to

BIKE MONTH ORGANIZER'S KIT: Start planning now for National Bike Month (May 2003). A Bike Month Organizer's Kit is available from the League of American Bicyclists at http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/bikemonth.htm. The kit can help you succeed whether you are starting with a single event like Bike-to-Work Day (May 16) or a month-long, city-wide program. The kit consists of five sections including step-by-step instructions, bike commuting, parking and storage, resources, and examples from events around the country. You can also order a printed copy of the kit for $22 by calling (202) 822-1333.

NEW E-JOURNAL FROM CDC: The CDC is developing a new, peer-reviewed electronic journal titled "Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy." The quarterly journal will be a forum for public health researchers and practitioners to share study results and practical experience. The web site will be launched this summer, with the first issue to be released in January 2004. If you would like to be an author or reviewer, contact Lynne S. Wilcox, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief at lwilcox@cdc.gov or (770) 488-5131.

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.


BUDGET STATUS: On October 18, 2002 the U.S. House and Senate passed the sixth Continuing Resolution, which will temporarily fund the federal government and its programs until November 22, 2002. Congress will return on November 12 for a "lame duck" session.

APPROPRIATIONS FACT SHEETS: The Chronic Disease Directors (CDD) website offers 11 appropriations Fact Sheets. These can be used to raise awareness about current federal appropriations plans when communicating with a range of audiences, including CDD members, decision-makers, partners, and community groups. Included in the Fact Sheets is information about CDC funding for nutrition, physical activity and obesity programs, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Share the Fact Sheet web addresses or print them out and photocopy them for your use. They are available at http://www.chronicdisease.org/fact_sheets.html.


WHEELING WALKS: Wheeling Walks was a quasi-experimental intervention that targeted 50- to 65-year old sedentary and irregularly active adults in Wheeling, West Virginia. The intervention used paid advertising, public relations events, and public health educational activities at churches, work sites, and local organizations to promote 30 minutes of daily walking. A comparison community did not receive the intervention. After the intervention, there was a 23% increase in observed walking behavior for the intervention community vs. no change in the comparison community. In addition, 32% of adults in the intervention community who were sedentary at baseline met the physical activity recommendations after the intervention compared with 18% in the comparison community. The authors concluded that the media campaign had a positive effect on increasing short-term physical activity levels. Reger, Cooper, Booth-Butterfield, et al. "Wheeling Walks: A Community Campaign Using Paid Media to Encourage Walking among Sedentary Older Adults." Preventive Medicine, 35:285-292, 2002.

MEASURING WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS: The Checklist of Health Promotion Environments at Worksites (CHEW) is an observation instrument developed as part of the Australian National Workplace Health Project. The instrument is a 112-item checklist of environmental features that are positively and negatively associated with physical activity, healthy eating, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Specifically, the CHEW examines the physical workplace environment, the information environment, and the surrounding neighborhood environment. Intraclass correlation coefficients showed high reliability for all but one attribute. CHEW has potential as an objective tool for measuring workplace environments and for assessing their impact on health behavior. A copy of the instrument is included with the article. Oldenburg, Sallis, Harris & Owen. "Checklist of Health Promotion Environments at Worksites (CHEW): Development and Measurement Characteristics." American Journal of Health Promotion, 16(5):188-199, 2002.

MEASURING NEIGHBORHOOD ENVIRONMENTS: The Systematic Pedestrian and Cycling Environmental Scan (SPACES) is a comprehensive instrument used to measure physical environmental factors that may have an effect on walking and cycling behaviors in local neighborhoods. The instrument was tested over 1987 kilometers of street in Perth, Western Australia by 16 observers. SCAPES includes measures of function (e.g., walking/cycling surface, streets, and traffic), safety (e.g., personal and traffic), aesthetics (e.g., streetscape and views), destinations, and subjective assessment. Generally, the instrument items had high inter- and intra-rater reliability, and observers reported that the instrument was easy to use. Pikora, Bull, Jamrozik, et al. "Developing a reliable audit instrument to measure the physical environment for physical activity." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 23(3):187-194, 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.


ACSM RESPONSE TO IOM RECOMMENDATIONS: An ACSM expert panel including Steven Blair, Russell Pate, William Haskell, and Edward T. Howley issued a response to the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on dietary recommendations. The IOM report included a recommendation for 60 minutes of physical activity per day. In the response, the panel applauded the inclusion of physical activity in the IOM report, but warned about potential confusion and misunderstanding on the specific recommendations. According to Dr. Blair, "Given that there are 40-50 million US adults who are sedentary, 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity is a good starting point, and this message needs to be reinforced." For more information, see the news release at http://www.acsm.org/publications/newsreleases2002/

WORLD HEALTH REPORT 2002: "Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life" is the outcome of one of the largest research projects ever undertaken by the World Health Organization. The report measures the amount of disease, disability and death in the world today that can be attributed to some of the most important risks to human health. It goes on to calculate how much of this present burden could be avoided in the next 20 years. From more than 25 major preventable risks selected for in-depth study, the report finds that the top 10 globally are: childhood and maternal underweight; unsafe sex; high blood pressure; tobacco; alcohol; unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene; high cholesterol; indoor smoke from solid fuels; iron deficiency; and overweight/obesity. Together, they account for about 40% of the 56 million deaths that occur worldwide annually and one-third of global loss of healthy life years. For the first time, summaries of the report in all six WHO official languages - English, French Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian - appear on the website at http://www.who.int/whr/en/. The full report is also being translated into these languages for publication in the near future.

PRO BIKE/PRO WALK POWERPOINT COLLECTION: If you were unable to attend the recent Pro Bike/Pro Walk 2002 Conference, a collection of presentations from the conference has been posted at the National Center for Bicycling and Walking website at http://www.bikewalk.org/assets/pdf/Forum54.pdf (from CenterLines Issue #56).


ACTIVE LIVING BY DESIGN: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has chosen the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health to lead a multi-year, $16.5 million initiative called Active Living by Design. This national program will establish innovative approaches to increase physical activity through community design, public policies and communications strategies that can become models for success nationwide. The Active Living by Design national program office will post a call for proposals on its website (http://www.activelivingbydesign.org) in late November. The website also provides resources including presentations, publications, and tools from a variety of disciplines such as urban planning and design, public health, community development, transportation, and parks and recreation.

BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN: The League of American Bicyclists (http://www.bikeleague.org) recently launched its Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign, a national grassroots effort to increase the number of trips made by bike, promote physical fitness, and help make communities more liveable. The Campaign is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The League recognizes newly designated Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) with an awards ceremony, a BFC road sign, and a formal press announcement. Municipalities that apply for BFC status receive technical assistance to help them improve cycling conditions and encourage residents to bike for fun, fitness and transportation. Community leaders seeking BFC status should complete and submit part one of the application on http://www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org. (from BikeLeague News, 10/18/02)


CHRONIC DISEASE CONFERENCE: The 17th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control - Gateway to Lifelong Health: The Community Connection - will be held February 19-21, 2003 in St. Louis, MO. A preliminary program and conference registration information is available on the web at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/conference or e-mail skelly001@aol.com, telephone (703) 538-1798.

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.


ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORTS FOR PA QUESTIONNAIRE: The "Environmental Supports for Physical Activity Questionnaire" was prepared by the USC PRC for a Special Interest Project funded by the CDC. The goal of the project was to develop and test questions for a future Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) module to assess individual perceptions of physical activity supports in the social and physical environment. The questionnaire was administered to adults by telephone, then was tested for validity and reliability. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to validate the environmental surveillance items against objective measures of the social and physical environment. The questionnaire is now available on the USC PRC's website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/Tools/index.htm. A paper detailing the validity and reliability study has been submitted for review. References for the results of the study will be added to the website when they are available.

NEW FUNDING: The USC PRC recently received 4 grant awards related to its theme of promoting health through physical activity. The new grants are listed below, along with the principal investigator and the funding organization/agency.
1) Evaluation of the Active for Life Program, Dr. Russell Pate, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
2) Evaluation of Automated Systems for Assessing PA in Specific Environments, Dr. Patricia Sharpe, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (ALPES).
3) Participatory Research for Physical Activity Promotion, Dr. Patricia Sharpe, funded by CDC.
4) Evaluation of Physical Education Reform Efforts, Dr. Barbara Ainsworth, funded by ASPH/CDC.

Writers: Delores Pluto, Tracy Pearch

This and past issues of the "University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center Notes" are available on our website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/Newsletter/index.htm. To submit an item, please e-mail 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://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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