UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER NOTES
"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"
"It's summer time and the living is easy!" We hope this newsletter
finds you enjoying summer and the variety of physical activity opportunities
available to you. As the temperature rises, folks head outside to
take part in a variety of recreational opportunities that engage
them in physical activity while enjoying a break from their usual
routine. The challenge we face is helping folks make physical activity
part of their everyday lives, so they'll think the "living is easy"
all year long. As reported in the last newsletter, Barbara Ainsworth,
Director of the USC Prevention Research Center, accepted a position
as the Department Chair of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at
San Diego State University. We wish her the best and offer many
thanks for her leadership and guidance in building a Prevention
Research Center. She will be missed, but she assures us that she
will continue to be a physical activity policy and environmental
champion…it'll just be from the West coast. Thanks Barb!
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IN THIS ISSUE – May/June 2003
NEWS YOU CAN USE: National Therapeutic Recreation Week; Newspaper
Series on Obesity
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Pedestrian and Cycling Equity Act;
RESEARCH NOTES: Measuring Environmental Supports for PA; Pedometer-Driven
Walking Program for Older Adults; Associations Between Overweight
and The Environment; Walk21 IV Proceedings
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Expert Report on Nutrition,
PA, and Chronic Diseases; New PA Report; HHS Prevention Portfolio;
Bicycle and Pedestrian Attitudes; Economic Analysis of Healthy Eating
and PA; Cost of Physical Inactivity in Michigan; Eat Smart. Play
Hard; Walking School Bus Website; Updated DNPA Website
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Bicycle-Friendly Community Awards;
Designing & Building Healthy Places Website; Marketing and Communication
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: The Avera Lifestyle Challenge
Audio Conference; Velo-City 2003
NEWS YOU CAN USE
NATIONAL THERAPEUTIC RECREATION WEEK: National Therapeutic Recreation
Week is July 14-18. Visit http://www.nrpa.org/content/default.aspx?documentId=4839 for more information on the National Therapeutic Recreation Society.
NEWSPAPER SERIES ON OBESITY: The Shape We're In, a five-part
newspaper series focusing on PA and obesity, ran in newspapers across
the country starting May 27. The series, supported by the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation and distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune
Information Services, focused a media spotlight on obesity and highlighted
a different aspect of the obesity problem each day. If you missed
the series, you can read the articles at http://www.shapenews.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
PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLING EQUITY ACT. On May 18, Congressman James
L. Oberstar (D-MN) announced the introduction of a bill to fund
Safe Routes to School and create more bikeable and walkable communities.
The Pedestrian and Cyclist Equity Act of 2003 (PACE) includes a
national Safe Routes to School program which would provide $250
million a year to fix unsafe conditions on roads near schools and
encourage children to walk and bike to school. Grants available
through PACE would also help communities encourage more PA through
the design of their transportation systems. The PACE initiative
will likely be folded into the reauthorization of the transportation
funding bill which Congress will consider this session. In addition
to funding Safe Routes to School initiatives, PACE proposes spending
$25 million a year on active living grants and $25 million a year
for each of 3 demonstration projects. For more information, see
SAFETEA: On May 14, the Bush administration introduced its transportation
reauthorization bill, called Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient
Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA). The bill retains the
transportation enhancements program and maintains broad eligibility
of bicycles and pedestrian projects in major funding categories.
To keep up with the debate on reauthorization in general, refer
to the website of the Surface Transportation Policy Project at http://www.tea21.org.
America Bikes Bicycle has cycling-related information at http://www.americabikes.org,
and the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) has
policy positions related to reauthorization at http://www.cspinet.org/mutritionpolicy/nana.html.
For additional summaries of recent research on promoting physically
active lifestyles in community settings, look at the Research Updates
MEASURING ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORTS FOR PA: A community survey was
administered to assess residents' perceptions of the physical and
social environmental supports for PA. The perceptions were validated
at the neighborhood and community level using geographic information
system (GIS) technology, and test-retest reliability of the community
survey was also assessed. The findings showed fair to low agreement
between residents' perceptions and the GIS data. Residents who were
regularly active reported highest agreement with access to recreation
facilities while those who were not regularly active reported the
greatest agreement with safety of recreation facilities. Kirtland,
Porter, Addy et al. "Environmental Measures of Physical Activity
Supports: Perception Versus Reality." American Journal of Preventive
Medicine, 24(4):323-331, 2003..
PEDOMETER-DRIVEN WALKING PROGRAM FOR OLDER ADULTS: A recent study
tested the effectiveness of a home-based, pedometer-driven walking
program on PA levels in older adults with osteoarthritis of the
knee. Two groups of participants were compared on number of steps
taken, muscle strength, and functional performance. The intervention
group participated in a walking program and received 12 weeks of
arthritis self-management education while the control group only
received arthritis education. Participants in the intervention group
showed a 23% increase in daily steps taken while those in the control
group showed a 16% decrease. In addition, the intervention group
showed significant increases in muscle strength and functional performance
compared to the control group. Talbot, Gaines, Huynh, et al. "A
home-based pedometer-driven walking program to increase physical
activity in older adults with osteoarthritis of the knee: A preliminary
study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51:387-392,
ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN OVERWEIGHT AND THE ENVIRONMENT: The association
between being overweight and environmental and policy factors was
examined in a cross-sectional study of Missouri adults. The following
aspects of the environment were examined to determine their relationship
to overweight: 1) community infrastructure that promotes or inhibits
PA and healthy eating; 2) perceptions about the safety and pleasantness
of the community; and 3) worksite infrastructure. A modest association
was found between being overweight and negative perceptions about
crime, traffic safety, and the appearance/pleasantness of the community.
In addition, being overweight was moderately associated with the
lack of outdoor exercise facilities. No association was found with
workplace infrastructure, although the absence of sidewalks and
shoulders and negative community perceptions were related with overweight
among employed persons. Catlin, Simoes, and Brownson. "Environmental
and policy factors associated with overweight among adults in Missouri."
American Journal of Health Promotion, 17(4):249-258, 2003.
WALK21 IV PROCEEDINGS: Papers from the Walk21 IV: Health, Equity
& Environment conference are now available for download at http://www.americawalks.org/walk21/ (click on PROCEEDINGS).
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES
EXPERT REPORT ON NUTRITION, PA, AND CHRONIC DISEASES: The Food
and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the
World Health Organization (WHO) recently released Diet, Nutrition,
and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. The report, which is
the result of a two-year-long Joint Expert FAO/WHO consultation,
contains current scientific evidence on the relationship between
diet, nutrition and PA to chronic diseases. It will be the basis
for a global strategy designed to combat the growing problem of
chronic diseases. View the press release at http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/news/2003/16851-en.html.
NEW PA REPORT: According to a new report released by the CDC, about
1 in 5 American adults engage in a high level of PA and about 1
in 4 American adults engage in little or no regular PA, including
both at work and during leisure time. The report is the first by
HHS to measure PA during a usual day, including both work and leisure
time. It is based on data from the National Health Interview Survey,
conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Barnes and Schoenborn. Physical Activity Among Adults: United
States, 2000. Advance Data From Vital and Health Statistics,
Number 333, May 14, 2003. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs.
HHS PREVENTION PORTFOLIO: As part of the Steps to a HealthierUS
Initiative, HHS has released a Prevention Portfolio, a series of
three publications that outlines the new initiative that advances
President Bush's HealthierUS. The trio of publications includes
The Power of Prevention, Prevention Strategies That Work, and
Prevention Programs in Action. These publications describe the
disease prevention process and provide examples of successful prevention
strategies and programs. To download the publications and to find
out more, visit http://www.healthierus.gov/steps/.
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN ATTITUDES: Results were recently released
from three surveys on attitudes about bicycling and walking. In
a national poll conducted in October 2002, 55% of the American public
said they want to walk more, either for exercise or to get to specific
destinations. In addition, 68% favor putting more federal money
toward improving walkability, even if less money is spent on building
roads. The full report is available at http://www.transact.org/report.asp?id=205.
A second national poll, conducted in February 2003, found that 53%
of those polled favor increased federal spending on bicycle facilities,
even if less gas tax money is spent on construction of new roads.
For more information, go to: http://www.bikeleague.org/mediacenter/medprs050503.htm.
Finally, the 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes
and Behaviors found that nearly 80% of Americans take at least one
walk of 5 minutes or more during the summer months, but less than
one-third ride a bicycle. The survey also found that less than half
of those polled are satisfied with their communities' designs for
bicycle safety while three out of four people are satisfied with
pedestrian safety. Visit http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/survey2002.htm
for more information.
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF HEALTHY EATING AND PA: The Partnership to
Promote Healthy Eating and Active Living is focusing on the economic
factors that affect lifestyle choices. The Partnership conducted
an Economic Analysis that examined the economics of healthy eating
and PA behavior, especially as they relate to the obesity epidemic.
Preliminary findings were presented at a recent forum and will soon
be published in a peer-reviewed journal. A link to the slides from
the forum can be found at http://www.ppheal.org/economic_analysis.html.
COST OF PHYSICAL INACTIVITY IN MICHIGAN: A study commissioned by
the Michigan Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and
Sports has found that physical inactivity is costing the state $8.9
billion, including direct and indirect costs of medical care, workers'
compensation, and lost productivity. The study also estimates that
the cost could rise 42% to $12.65 billion by 2007 if the current
trends continue. For a printed copy of the Executive Summary of
the study, contact the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health
and Sports at 1-800-434-8642 or download copies at http://www.michiganfitness.org.
EAT SMART. PLAY HARD: USDA's Eat Smart. Play Hard.TM campaign
has a new website that provides schools, educators, and health workers
with resources to promote healthy eating and PA among youth. Resources
include posters, brochures, activity sheets, stickers, and guidance
materials and can be downloaded at http://www.fns.usda.gov/eatsmartplayhard.
The campaign is aimed at promoting positive changes in nutrition
and PA among youth and their caregivers and is part of the President's
Healthier US initiative.
WALKING SCHOOL BUS WEBSITE: The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information
Center hosts a Walking School Bus Information website. It describes
walking school buses, their purpose, and how they function. It also
includes several case studies and links to related websites. Visit
for more information.
UPDATED DNPA WEBSITE: CDC's Division of Nutrition and Physical
Activity (DNPA) has a new PA section on its website at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical.
The site includes information on the importance of PA, recommendations,
measuring PA intensity, getting started, making PA part of your
life, components of physical fitness, PA terms, PA links, and resources
for the health professional.
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES
BICYCLE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY AWARDS: The League of American Bicyclists
has given its first Bicycle-Friendly Community awards to 14 communities
across the U.S. The communities were recognized for having safe
accommodations and facilities for bicycling as well as for their
efforts to increase opportunities for bicycling through policy and
design. More information, along with a list of the winning cities
can be found at http://www.bikeleague.org/mediacenter/medprs051503.htm.
DESIGNING & BUILDING HEALTHY PLACES WEBSITE: A CDC web page titled
Designing & Building Healthy Places houses information about
the interaction between people and their environments. Specific
topics include healthy environments, poorly planned growth, and
healthy community design. The page also discusses specific health
issues related to community design, such as PA, mental health, and
social capital. In addition, two publications are highlighted: Urban
Sprawl and Public Health and Creating a Healthy Environment:
The Impact of The Built Environment on Public Health. The website
can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces.
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION GUIDE: Promoting Active Living Communities.
A Guide to Marketing and Communication is now available from
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The toolkit is designed to help
integrate communication strategies into the promotion of active
living and includes information on planning communication programs
and motivating and persuading an audience. The guide also provides
examples from other communication programs as well as helpful tools
and resources. Download the guide from
Hard copies can also be ordered free of charge (while supplies
last) by contacting Ms. Bobbi Williams at 202-973-3656 or email@example.com.
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
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
THE AVERA LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE AUDIO CONFERENCE: The Avera Lifestyle
Challenge: A Successful Community Weight Loss and Exercise Initiative
is an audio conference that will be held September 18. The conference
will highlight the successes of The Avera Lifestyle Challenge, which
is a community weight loss and physical fitness program implemented
annually in Estherville, Iowa. To find out more information and
to register for the conference go to http://www.communityhlth.org/education/audio.html.
USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER (PRC) UPDATE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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
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