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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Greetings from the faculty, staff, and students in the USC Prevention Research Center. This has been a very cold time of year for most people in the U.S. I hope it has not derailed your outdoor physical activity plans. A few weeks ago, Dennis Shepard, Fran Wheeler and I were recalling the past five years and how few people were talking about the relationships between community environments and physical activity habits. Five years ago we were beginning to wonder if there was a relationship between sidewalks and walking behaviors. Needless to say, five years later, interest is very high in understanding the relationships between social and physical environmental supports, physical activity, eating behaviors, and obesity. We give many thanks to our readers for their support for research and dissemination of information about physical activity and the environment. We highlight a few articles in this issue about transportation, activity, and obesity. I wish you the best in your activities as winter leaves and spring comes your way.

Barb Ainsworth, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)
IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2003

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 29 Tips to Get Physical, National Girls & Women in Sports Day, Active Lifestyle Awards

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: FY2003 Appropriations, Health in 2004 Budget, Senators Promote Completion of East Coast Greenway

RESEARCH NOTES: Motorized Transportation & Associations with Obesity, PA & Supportive Environments

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: A Vision for Active Living, Fit Kids Do Better Academically, Mean Streets 2002, Sustrans Safe Routes To School Video, School Health Index, Walk To School Slide Presentations, The Role Of Health Plans In Promoting Physical Activity, 99 Consejos Divertidos Para Una Familia En Forma

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: 6th Annual Health Education Advocacy Summit, Building Connections for Community Health, Walk21 IV



29 TIPS TO GET PHYSICAL: The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), a trade association for the senior fitness and wellness industry, has developed 29 tips specifically aimed at helping older adults become and stay physically active. To see the list, go to http://www.icaa.cc/Article Archives/newyear2003.htm.

NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY: The theme of this year's National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) is "Succeed in Sports, Lead in Life." NGWSD is celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies, and activities honoring the achievements and encouraging participation of girls and women in sports. Go to http://www.aahperd.org/ngwsdcentral/ for more information.

ACTIVE LIFESTYLE AWARDS: Lynn Swann, Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, launched the Council's Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards on January 15. Adults can earn a Presidential Adult Active Lifestyle Award (PAAL) by completing at least 30 minutes of physical activity (such as bicycling, walking, taking the stairs instead of elevators, or active play) or logging 10,000 steps on a pedometer five days a week for six weeks. Children can earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) by being active for at least 60 minutes. Activity logs for both the Awards can be downloaded from http://www.presidentschallenge.org or http://www.fitness.gov/index.html or by calling 202/690-9000. An interactive activity log is also available. Schools can receive awards as an Active Lifestyle Model School if 35 percent or more of their school enrollment earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) two or more times during a school year.

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.


FY2003 APPROPRIATIONS: Congress is still working on the FY2003 appropriations bill. In the Senate bill, funding for the CDC Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA) is at $40 million. The House budget includes a smaller increase, for a total funding level of $29.6 million (up from the FY2002 level of $27.5 million). The Youth Media Campaign is level funded in the House bill at $68 mil. However, the Senate bill does not provide any funding for the program. In addition, the Senate report highlights the importance of nutrition and PA, and clusters funding for a number of programs under a physical activity and nutrition initiative. The next key step is that the bill will go to conference between the House and Senate appropriation committees to reach a final agreement.

HEALTH IN 2004 BUDGET: On January 22, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced that President Bush's fiscal year 2004 budget plan will include an increase of $100 million (to $125 million) for a new initiative to prevent diabetes, obesity, and asthma. Under the "Steps to a Healthier US" initiative, HHS would fund specific projects at the state and community level that would use proven medical and public health strategies to reduce the burden of diabetes, obesity, and asthma among their populations. The initiative represents an expansion of HHS' $25 million Healthy Communities initiative, which President Bush and Secretary Thompson proposed as part of the fiscal year 2003 budget request. The expanded effort will involve five HHS agencies -- CDC, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Read the entire press release at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003.html.

SENATORS PROMOTE COMPLETION OF EAST COAST GREENWAY: Recently, 23 U.S. Senators, led by Senators Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), representing States along the Eastern Seaboard, wrote to President Bush urging public support and financial assistance for the completion of the "East Coast Greenway," the nation's first long distance urban trail and one of 16 National Millennium Trails. The Greenway, which has been described as the "urban equivalent of the Appalachian Trail," is a 2,600-mile multi-use trail serving walkers, bicyclists, equestrians, the physically challenged, and other non-motorized uses. For more information, visit http://www.greenway.org.


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.

MOTORIZED TRANSPORTATION & ASSOCIATIONS WITH OBESITY: Households in eight provinces were selected as part of a study done in China to assess whether motorized transportation promotes obesity. Data on vehicle ownership and obesity cohorts were used to measure the impact vehicle ownership had on the odds of developing obesity. Results indicated that the odds of being obese were 80% higher for both men and women in households with cars than those who did not own vehicles. For those whose vehicle ownership did not change over the 1989 -1997 observation period, men with a vehicle were found to be 2 times more likely to become obese than those without. The authors conclude that encouraging active transportation might help prevent obesity. Bell, Ge, & Popkin. "The Road to Obesity or the Path to Prevention: Motorized Transportation and Obesity in China." Obesity Research. 10:277-283 (2002).

PA & SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS: A cross-sectional survey of Australian adults was conducted to determine their access to recreational facilities and their perceptions of the neighborhood environment. The data were stratified by physical activity levels and socioeconomic status (SES). Respondents living in low SES areas had equal or better access to recreational facilities than those living in high SES areas, but were less likely to use facilities and programs that were fee based. They were more likely to perceive the presence of sidewalks and shops, increased traffic and less attractive neighborhoods. Those living in low SES residences were 36% less likely to engage in vigorous physical activity. Perceived access to sidewalks and neighborhood attractiveness were associated with walking and vigorous activity. Giles-Corti & Donovan. "Socioeconomic status difference in recreational physical activity levels and real and perceived access to a supportive physical environment." Preventive Medicine. 35:601-11, 2002.


A VISION FOR ACTIVE LIVING: The National Center for Bicycling & Walking has recently developed a proposed "vision" (with goals and objectives) that describes communities designed to support active living (bicycling and walking). The vision is organized under five major headings where change is needed: transportation facilities and services; land?use planning and development; schools; recreation, parks and trails; and safety, security and crime prevention To see the draft vision, go to NCBW's newly designed website, at http://www.bikewalk.org/vision/vision_intro.htm. (from CenterLines, the e?newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking).

FIT KIDS DO BETTER ACADEMICALLY: The California Department of Education recently released results from a study comparing academic achievement and physical fitness. The results indicate that physically fit children do better academically, according to matched scores on the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9) and the Fitnessgram, a state-mandated physical fitness test, designed by the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. Access the press release and related information at http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/nr/nr/yr02rel37.asp.

MEAN STREETS 2002: The Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) recently released "Mean Streets 2002," a report that focuses on the dangers of being a pedestrian. The report looks at the most dangerous cities based on per capita death and finds that children, the elderly, and African-Americans are at high risk. In addition, the report looks at how states aren't spending enough to alleviate pedestrian dangers and offers recommendations for state and federal action. The full report can be found at. The website http://www.transact.org/pdfs/ms2002/meanstreets2002.pdf

.pdf; also includ es fact sheets for each state.

SUSTRANS SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL VIDEO: "Creating a Safer Journey to School," a 10-minute video that advocates partnerships between traffic engineers, teachers, parents, and local community members is now available in NTSC format (for viewing using North American video equipment). The video shows walking school buses, bike trains, bike safety training, and travel plans and showcases local projects that have been successful in helping children walk or bike to school safely. It is available from Sustrans, a UK-based charity that encourages people to walk, cycle, and ride transit. Go to their online shop: http://www.sustransshop.co.uk/?f=itemdetl.php&p=FS22.

SCHOOL HEALTH INDEX: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), has released the second edition of the School Health Index (SHI) self-assessment and planning guide. This new edition addresses school policies and programs related to physical activity, nutrition, and a tobacco?free lifestyle. The School Health Index (2nd edition) is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/SHI.

WALK TO SCHOOL SLIDE PRESENTATIONS: Two new slide presentations are now available on the CDC's Kidswalk-to-School website. "Walking and Bicycling to School: Community Presentation" is designed to be used by parents, teachers, and other community members during informal meetings. "Walking and Bicycling to School: Train-the-Trainer Presentation" is for state heath department staff to encourage state-level promotion of walk and bicycle to school programs. Each presentation comes with a lesson plan, presenter's guide, and presentation script. They can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk.

THE ROLE OF HEALTH PLANS IN PROMOTING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: The Partnership for Prevention recently published two documents on the role of health plans in promoting physical activity. In Fall 2002, they released "Promoting Physical Activity in Communities: Forward-Looking Options from an Executive Roundtable." This document presents the results of a roundtable of health promotion professionals, health plan executives and employees, labor union representatives, and public health officials. The group was convened to discuss options for health plans to promote physical activity in ways that would garner support from employers and other stakeholders. The participants identified seven influences on health plans promoting physical activity, and discussed different ways health plans could incorporate greater emphasis on physical activity promotion. Recommendations were also made to explore new methods for promotion in clinical and community programs. "Promoting Physical Activity: A Profile of Health Plan Programs and Initiatives" (published in Managed Care Interface, 15(12): 29-41) is a review of current health plan efforts to promote PA. The article profiles noteworthy programs, interventions, and initiatives sponsored by health plans.

99 CONSEJOS DIVERTIDOS PARA UNA FAMILIA EN FORMA: In an effort to reach a growing Hispanic population, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education has released their popular brochure "99 Tips for Family Fun" in Spanish. NASPE hopes to education Hispanic families about the importance and enjoyment of physical activity and to impact the rising incidence of obesity among this population. Go to http://www.aahperd.org/naspe or e-mail pkun@aahperd.org for more information.


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

6th ANNUAL HEALTH EDUCATION ADVOCACY SUMMIT: Sponsored by Health Education Advocate, participants will receive basic or advanced training in health education advocacy, including legislative process sessions, advocacy strategy sessions, and meeting individually or with a state delegation with local congressmen. The conference will be held in Washington D.C., March 8-10, 2003. For more information on registration and the summit, see http://www.healtheducationadvocate.org.

BUILDING CONNECTIONS FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH: The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in conjunction with the CDC, will sponsor the first Building Connections for Community Health Conference: Best Practices for Promoting Health through Participatory Methods in the Workplace and Community on March 26-28, 2003 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, see http://www.HPDP.unc.edu/bcch.

WALK21 IV: Health, Equity & Environment (the 4th International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century) will be held May 1-3 in Portland Oregon. The conference will bring together activists, practitioners, decision makers and academics in public health, transportation, and community planning to explore how walking is "integrated into our infrastructure, our institutions, and our daily lives." Access conference information at http://americawalks.org/walk21/index.htm. In conjunction with the conference, America Walks will also host the Third National Congress of Pedestrian Advocates, from May 1st to the 4th. For more details go to http://americawalks.org/congress/.

Writers: Delores Pluto, Tracy Jenkins, Marlo Cavnar

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/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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