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"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

The USC Prevention Research Center is pleased to announce that Steven P. Hooker will become its new Director as of August 18. Dr. Hooker earned his Ph.D. in Exercise Science from Arizona State University and an M.A. degree in Physical Education from California State University, Sacramento. Since 1999 he has been the Program Chief for the Physical Activity and Health Initiative at the California Department of Health Services. Over the last twenty years Dr. Hooker has worked in both the academic and public health practice arenas. His experience and training has prepared him to provide sound leadership for meeting the challenges of translating research into practice. The faculty and staff of the PRC are delighted to have someone of Dr. Hooker's caliber take the reins of the Center. Also, he'll bring some of the West coast ideas and success in physical activity to the East coast! Readers of this newsletter will get to know him better as he begins to write the introductions for the newsletter starting with the next issue. Please join us welcoming Dr. Hooker!

Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director

Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)



IN THIS ISSUE July/August 2003

NEWS YOU CAN USE: StairWELL To Better Health, VERB Listserv; Children and Weight On-Line Forum; Running Website for Kids; Schools Needed for Diabetes Study

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Transportation Enhancement Funding Cut; HHS Appropriations Update

RESEARCH NOTES: Environmental Effects on PA; PA Barriers for Hispanics; Environmental Correlates of Walking and Biking

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Healthy K.I.D.S. Newsletters Available; Hearts N Parks Program Successful; Journal of Physical Activity and Health; New Walk To School Resource; Health Promotion Handbook; New Online Physical Activity Tool; Summary Report on Increasing Youth PA Opportunities; Health Plan Launches Walking Program

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Cooper Institute Conference; Australian PA Conference



STAIRWELL TO BETTER HEALTH. CDC's Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at CDC recently announced the availability of the StairWELL To Better Health Online Toolkit. This toolkit provides "how-to" assistance for those who wish to replicate

changes to stairwells to promote physical activity. It includes information on improving the visual appeal of stairwells, creating and testing motivational signs, installing music, and tracking stair usage. The StairWELL Toolkit currently can be accessed on DNPA's website at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/hwi/toolkits/stairwell/index.htm

VERB LISTSERV: CDC has a new Listserv to announce information about its youth media campaign (VERB). The one-way Listserv will provide regular email updates about the latest campaign efforts, alerts to new campaign materials, the latest evaluation results, and success stories from the field. To subscribe send an email to listserv@cdc.gov with nothing in the subject line and only the following typed in the body of your message: subscribe verb‑list.

RUNNING WEBSITE FOR KIDS: www.kidsrunning.com is a website designed for kids and dedicated to running. It provides resources, links, news, and advice about running and staying physically fit. In addition, it provides games and events that teachers can incorporate into core curriculum areas.

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.


TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT FUNDING CUT: The House Appropriations Committee has eliminated funding for the Transportation Enhancements program from the 2004 transportation budget. The measure comes before the full House in early September, and various groups are organizing supporters to contact their representatives. Visit www.americabikes.org for more information.

HHS APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE: House and Senate versions of the FY 2004 Appropriations bill are currently making their way through Congress. The House Appropriations Committee has approved a draft of a bill for a 2.7% increase in funding for NIH, making a budget of $27.9 billion for FY 2004. The Senate's version would give NIH an increase of 3.8%. Under both plans, most institutes would receive between a 2 and 4% increase in funding. For the CDC budget, the House appropriations bill call for no increases for state-based nutrition and physical activity programs. Visit the American Heart Association website for information of recommended funding increases at http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3014313. Follow the progress of the appropriations bills by going to http://thomas.loc.gov and scrolling down to Status of FY2004 Appropriations Bills.


ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON PA: Data from the 1996 Canadian Census and a neighborhood observational study were merged to examine the effect of the environment on physical activity. Neighborhoods were rated on a 10-point scale regarding factors such as: traffic threats, visual interest, crime, number of destinations, transportation system, etc. Results showed that the percentage of persons walking to work was highest in urban areas and lowest in suburban areas. Walking to work was significantly related to the neighborhood environment score even when controlling for degree of urbanization. The author points out a need for more interdisciplinary research among public health, urban planning, and transportation to guide environmental interventions. Graig, Brownson, Cragg, et al. "Exploring the Effect of the Environment on Physical Activity: A Study Examining Walking to Work." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 23(28):36-43, 2002.

PA BARRIERS FOR HISPANICS: Individual and community factors associated with physical inactivity in the Hispanic population in the U.S were examined in this review paper. Results showed that many barriers to physical activity in the US population are reflected and even intensified in the Hispanic population. Specifically, low levels of social support and literacy both contribute to physical inactivity. In addition, feelings of alienation, powerlessness, hopelessness, and social isolation as well as perceptions of safety and fear of crime are all significant barriers to physical activity. Social class, unemployment rates, and educational attainment are also associated with lower levels of physical activity. In fact, social class has been shown to be a more important determinant of leisure-time physical activity levels than ethnicity. Results also indicated that individual factors should not be the only targets of behavior change; structural and environmental factors also need to be investigated and understood. Amesty. "Barriers to Physical Activity in the Hispanic Community." Journal of Public Health Policy, 24(1):41-58, 2003.

ENVIRONMENTAL CORRELATES OF WALKING AND BIKING: Transportation and urban planning studies that have explored the relationship between nonmotorized transport and neighborhood environment characteristics were investigated. Studies were reviewed that examined differences in walking and cycling rates for transport between high-walkable/bikeable and low-walkable/bikeable neighborhoods. Results across studies found that residents in high-walkable neighborhoods reported more than twice as many walking trips per week than those in low-walkable neighborhoods. The review also examined studies that looked at correlates of walking trips. Population density was the most consistent positive correlate of walking trips, and land use mix was also related to greater walking and cycling. In addition, neighborhood walkability factors were consistently associated with nonmotorized transport. Saelens, Sallis, Frank. "Environmental Correlates of Walking and Cycling: Findings from the Transportation, Urban Design, and Planning Literatures." Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 25(2):80-91, 2003.

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.


HEALTHY K.I.D.S. NEWSLETTERS AVAILABLE: Healthy K.I.D.S. (Knowledge Improving Diet and Strength) is a health education program for middle school children that focuses on physical activity and diet. The program, sponsored by a grant from the Metropolitan Life Foundation and developed by The Children's Health Fund's National Children's Health Project Network, consists of quarterly newsletters that contain age-appropriate, fun activities and information. The information provides children and adults with culturally appropriate tools to make healthy lifestyle changes. The newsletters are available in both English and Spanish at http://www.childrenshealthfund.org/publications/healthed.php#kids.

HEARTS N PARKS PROGRAM SUCCESSFUL: The Hearts N Parks program is a national, community-based program sponsored by the National Park and Recreation Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute that aims to decrease obesity and coronary heart disease by encouraging Americans to maintain a healthy weight, make heart-healthy eating choices, and engage in physical activity. A new report describes the early successes of the program and shows that significant improvements have been made in almost every physical activity and nutrition indictor. Visit http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/obesity/hrt_n_pk/hnp_ab.htm to read the report.

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH: The Journal of Physical Activity and Health (JPAH) is a new, interdisciplinary journal that will premiere in January 2004. JPAH will publish original research examining the relationship between physical activity and health, where physical activity is used as an exposure or an outcome. Visit http://www.humankinetics.com/products/journals/journal.cfm?id=JPAH to learn more about JPAH, including manuscript submission information.

NEW WALK TO SCHOOL RESOURCE: As a new feature this year, the Walk to School website includes resource people for each state. Resource people exist to share ideas and solutions, to reduce program duplication, and to keep individuals informed of prevention activities around the country. In an effort to create a national network, the Walk to School organization is looking for additional volunteers to serve as resource people. Go to www.walktoschool.org and click on "register online" to start the registration process.

HEALTH PROMOTION HANDBOOK: The Pan American Health Organization has published a health promotion handbook that provides proven disease prevention strategies and techniques for using them. Building Better Health: A Handbook for Behavior Change provides step-by-step plans for behavioral interventions that can be used at the community, family, or individual level. For more information or to order a copy, visit http://publications.paho.org/english/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=690.

NEW ONLINE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY TOOL: The President's Council on Physical Fitness has released a new online program designed to help Americans maintain a regular physical activity routine. The tool tracks participants' progress in performing various activities, which can eventually lead to a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award. The site is designed for individuals, families, schools, businesses, and organizations and can be accessed at http://www.presidentschallenge.org/.

SUMMARY REPORT ON INCREASING YOUTH PA OPPORTUNITIES: In 2001, the Youth Media Campaign (VERB) collaborated with CDC's Division of Adolescent Health (DASH) to award funding to national organizations and state, territorial, and local education agencies to reinforce the message of the campaign by expanding efforts to increase physical activity among youth. A year of funding was awarded to 43 state, 4 territorial, and 15 local education agencies and to 8 national organizations. The funding agencies created unique school, after-school, and community programs to increase physical activity opportunities for youth. CDC has published a report highlighting 31 of the funded projects, which is available at http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/physicalactivity/projects/pdf/complete_text.pdf.

HEALTH PLAN LAUNCHES WALKING PROGRAM: On June 26, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans and the Congressional Fitness Caucus launched WalkingWorks, a walking program designed to help Americans incorporate more walking into their daily lives. The program combines health promotion with consumer education and helps individuals set their own walking goals. During the summer and fall, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans will host many community events designed to promote walking and encourage participation in WalkingWorks. For more information, go to http://www.bcbs.com/innovations/walkingworks/.


COOPER INSTITUTE CONFERENCE: The Cooper Institute's annual conference will be held October 23-25, 2003 in Dallas, TX. The theme for the conference is "Physical Activity and Mental Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach." Registration is limited to the first 150 paid participants, and the deadline for submission of abstracts has been extended to August 15.

AUSTRALIAN PA CONFERENCE: The National Physical Activity Conference, "Active Living All Together Better" will be held November 12 14 in Fremantle, Western Australia. The focus of the conference is on strategies and environments that promote physical activity. You can find out more information or submit an abstract at http://www.eventedge.com.au/npac. The deadline for abstract submission is August 11.

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, 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 US. For more information about the PRC National Network, visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc/.


Prevention Research Center

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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