UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER NOTES
"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"
As noted in several items in this issue of the newsletter, regular
physical activity plays a critical role in reducing the risk for
chronic disease, as well as actual health care-related costs. Although
many of us have intuitively believed the latter to be true, valid
and reliable data from scientific studies are needed to convince
policy and decision makers to prioritize resources to implement
environmental, policy and organizational strategies to better promote
physical activity. To maintain the strong research capacity of USC's
PRC, a full-time Physical Activity Epidemiology faculty position
in the Arnold School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology
and Biostatistics has been created (see ANNOUNCEMENTS below). This
position will work closely with PRC faculty and research associates
to further explore the environmental and policy determinants of
physical activity and strategies for effective population-based
intervention. I encourage those of you who are qualified to seriously
consider applying for the position and becoming part of our outstanding
Another exciting opportunity at USC is the Master's in Public Health
(MPH) in Physical Activity and Public Health program. This is the
first and only degree of its kind in the US (see ANNOUNCEMENTS below). Students
in this degree program will be prepared for employment as physical
activity research, measurement, and community intervention specialists.
Please consider applying for this program if you are interested
in being part of the tomorrow's public health work force responsible
for developing, implementing and evaluating effective population-based
physical activity programs at the national, state or community level.
The USC Arnold School of Public Health and PRC are well positioned
to make major contributions to the field of physical activity research
and practice over the next several years. We hope you will join
us in this exciting endeavor. To all of the PRC's colleagues, partners,
and friends, have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Steve Hooker, Director
Dennis Shepard, Deputy Director
Delores Pluto, Newsletter Editor (email@example.com)
IN THIS ISSUE – November/December 2003
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Faculty Position in Epidemiology of PA; MPH in Physical
Activity and Public Health
NEWS YOU CAN USE: ADA Walking Book and Pedometer; Fitness Assessment
Slide Show; Health Tools
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: FY2004 Appropriations; Other PA-Related
Bills; State Legislation
RESEARCH NOTES: Influence of PA on Health Care Costs; Community
Exercise Program and Changes in Health Care Costs; Walking for Physical
Activity; 12-Country Reliability and Validity of IPAQ; PA and Breast
Cancer Risk; PA and Physical Disablement in Older Adults
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Active Commuting to School
Guides; Resource Database for Children's PA and Nutrition; Childhood
Obesity Prevention Program; PEP Grants Awarded; New Study on Implications
of School Siting; Steps Community Awards; Electronic Newsletter
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Active Community Environments Guide;
Bicycle-Friendly Community Awards
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Health Education and Promotion
Conference; Walk21 Conference
FACULTY POSITION IN EPIDEMIOLOGY OF PA: The University of South
Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health is seeking applicants
for a tenure-track faculty position in Epidemiology with emphasis
on physical activity. The Arnold School of Public Health includes
a CDC-funded Prevention Research Center (which focuses on physical
activity and public health) and a nationally prominent Department
of Exercise Science. The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
has an exciting, rapidly growing research program in the areas of
cancer, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, and diet, with developing
research in women's and children's health, molecular epidemiology,
and health disparities. Additional information about the position
can be found at
The University of South Carolina is an EEO/AA employer.
MPH IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH: The MPH in PA &
PH degree program provides students with unique opportunities to:
1) acquire knowledge and experience in an epidemiological approach
to public health problems as related to physical activity, and 2)
develop skills integral to the design, implementation and evaluation
of public health programs intended to increase physical activity
in populations. The application deadline for admission to Fall
2004 is March 1, 2004. For a more detailed description, go to http://www.sph.sc.edu/Documents/MPH.PAPH%20Handbook.pdf
to view the MPH in PA & PH handbook. You may also contact Dr.
Cheryl Addy at 803 777 5030 for further information.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
ADA WALKING BOOK AND PEDOMETER: The American Diabetes Association
(ADA) has published a book on walking called Small Steps, Big
Rewards: Walking Your Way to Better Health. The book is filled
with helpful advice and tips on walking and comes with a pedometer.
Find out more at http://www.diabetes.org/.
FITNESS ASSESSMENT SLIDE SHOW: The Mayo Clinic provides a fitness
assessment slide show that gives instructions for testing aerobic
fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility, body composition, and body
mass index. The assessment can be used to track progress throughout
a fitness program. Go to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/HealthToolsIndex/HealthToolsIndex
and click on "Assess your fitness level."
HEALTH TOOLS: Preventdisease.com is a non-profit organization operated
by Ontario Active that provides high-quality health information
for preventive education. Along with a wealth of information on
various preventable health conditions, the website provides a "Health
Tools" section that provides practical tools for measuring health
parameters and risks, such as BMI, calories burned, fitness, and
heart attack risk. Visit http://www.preventdisease.com/healthtools/tools.html
to try these fun and informative tools!
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
FY2004 APPROPRIATIONS: The federal government is operating under
a continuing resolution until at least Nov 21. Both the House and
Senate have passed separate labor, health and human services, and
education appropriations bills. These must still be reconciled in
conference. Keep track of the status of appropriations bills at
OTHER PA RELATED BILLS: The Pedestrian and Cyclist Equity Act (PACE),
introduced in the House in May (HR 2568), is still in committee.
The Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity Act (IMPACT Act), which
amends the Public Health Service Act to address issues of overweight
and obesity, is still in committees in the Senate (S.1172) and House
(H.R.716). To check on the status of these and bills related to
physical activity, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.
STATE LEGISLATION: CDC's Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
recently launched a state legislation database that allows users
to search for state bills since 2001 related to nutrition and/or
physical activity. Users can use search fields, enter keywords,
or search the entire database. Visit http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/DNPALeg/
to see what PA-related legislative activity is happening in your
INFLUENCE OF PA ON HEALTH CARE COSTS: A random sample of approximately
2,400 older adults enrolled in a Minnesota health plan were monitored
over a three-year period to determine the influence of physical
activity on health care charges. Results indicate that adults 50
and older who initiate a physically active way of life have significantly
lower short-term health costs compared to those who remain inactive.
Martinson, Crain, Pronk, et al. "Changes in physical activity and
short-term changes in health care charges: a prospective cohort
study of older adults." Preventive Medicine, (37):319-326, 2003.
COMMUNITY EXERCISE PROGRAM AND CHANGES IN HEALTH CARE COSTS: The
Lifetime Fitness Program (LFP) in western Washington State is a
group-based exercise program offered to community-dwelling older
adults through local senior centers in the Seattle/Puget Sound area.
The authors compared primary healthcare costs over a two-year period
between a group of Group Health Cooperative enrollees who participated
in the LFP and controls. Average annual costs for participants
was $301 lower than controls, and the adjusted risk of hospitalization
was 4.9% lower among participants than controls. Participants who
attended one or more days per week had annual total healthcare costs
21% lower than controls. Ackerman, Cheadle, Sandhu, et al. "Community
Exercise Program Use and Changes in Healthcare Costs for Older Adults."
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 25(3):232-237, 2003.
WALKING FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Between 1999 and 2000, over 1,800
men and women responded to the U.S. Physical Activity Study. Data
were analyzed to describe the epidemiology of walking for physical
activity in the US. Results classified 34% of the population as
regular walkers, 46% as occasional walkers, and 21% as never walkers.
Over 60% of occasional and regular walkers reported using neighborhood
streets for walking for physical activity. Never walkers were 1.5
times more likely than regular walkers to report a lack of sidewalks,
no enjoyable scenery, lack of trails, and not seeing others exercising
in their community. Eyler, Brownson, Bacak, et al. "The Epidemiology
of Walking for Physical Activity in the United States." Medicine
& Science in Sports & Exercise, 35(9):1529-1536, 2003.
12-COUNTRY RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF IPAQ: The International
Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was developed as a self-report
measure of physical activity across countries at the population
level. Eight versions of the IPAQ were tested for validity and
reliability, comparing administration method (telephone vs. self-administered),
survey length (9-items short vs. 31-item long version), and reference
period ("last 7 days" vs. "usual week"). The short form, "last
7 day" version is recommended for national and regional prevalence
studies. The long form may be more useful for research purposes
or studies requiring detail on different domains of physical activity.
Researchers caution against comparing population prevalence rates
between the long and short forms, because the long version produces
higher estimates of physical activity. Craig, Marshall, Sjostrom,
et al. "International Physical Activity Questionnaire: 12-Country
Reliability and Validity." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,
PA AND BREAST CANCER RISK: The Women's Health Initiative (WHI)
Cohort Study involves 74,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79
years when they enrolled into this study between 1993 and 1998.
Recent results show that women who performed strenuous activity
at 35 years of age had a 14% decreased risk of breast cancer compared
with less active women. Women who currently perform the equivalent
of 1.25 to 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week also had an 18% reduction
in the risk of breast cancer, and those who perform the equivalent
of 5 to 10 hours of brisk walking per week had a 32% reduction.
These findings demonstrate that while strenuous physical activity
is beneficial, other activities such as brisk walking can lead to
positive health benefits. McTiernan, Kooperberg, White, et al.
"Recreational Physical Activity and the Risk of Breast Cancer in
Postmenopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative Cohort Study."
Journal of American Medical Association, 290(10):1331-1336, 2003.
PA AND PHYSICAL DISABLEMENT IN OLDER ADULTS: Last year the Cooper
Institute held a conference titled "Physical Activity: Preventing
Physical Disablement in Older Adults." Papers from this conference
have been published in supplement to the October 2003 issue the
American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Vol 25, No 3, Supplement
For additional summaries of recent research on promoting physically
active lifestyles, visit the Research Updates section of our website
REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES
ACTIVE COMMUTING TO SCHOOL GUIDES: The UK Departments for Education
and Skills and Transport have published a blueprint document to
help schools promote safe and healthy travel to school. "Travelling
to School: An Action Plan" sets out the government's plan to provide
schools with funds to improve the school environment and encourage
parents and children to walk, bike, or take the bus to school. The
action plan is accompanied by "Travelling to School: A Good Practice
Guide," which describes what schools, local authorities, and bus
operators are doing to promote active commuting to school. To download
the reports go to www.teachernet.gov.uk/sdtravel.
RESOURCE DATABASE FOR CHILDREN'S PA AND NUTRITION: Action for Healthy
Kids (AFHK) is a national initiative aimed at improving the health
and educational performance of children through better physical
education and nutrition in schools. The AFHK website hosts a resource
database with links to over 150 brochures, books, CD-ROMS, toolkits,
and websites containing information on children's physical activity
and nutrition. Go to http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/resources.php
to learn more about AFHK and to access the database.
CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION PROGRAM: In 1998, the USDA funded
the implementation of a childhood obesity prevention initiative
called Fit WIC. A Fit WIC manual has been published that contains
the experiences of the five funded WIC teams, including their procedures,
problems encountered, solutions used, lessons learned, and recommendations.
The manual also describes five programs that can be used in WIC
agencies or other community agencies that target childhood obesity.
It can be downloaded from http://www.nal.usda.gov/wicworks/Sharing_Center/statedev_FIT.html.
PEP GRANTS AWARDED: The Carol M. White Physical Education Program
(PEP) provides grants to local educational agencies and community-based
organizations to pay 90 percent of the total cost of initiating,
expanding, and improving physical education programs designed to
assist students in making progress toward meeting state standards
for physical education. This year, a total of 1,365 applications
were received and 256 grants were awarded. For a list of grantees,
NEW STUDY ON IMPLICATIONS OF SCHOOL SITING: "Travel and Environmental
Implications of School Siting" was released by the EPA in October
and is the first empirical study to examine the relationship between
school locations, the built environment around schools, travel modes
to schools, and environmental impacts of travel choices. The study
finds that school proximity and the built environment around schools
both affect travel choice: students who live closer to school are
more likely to walk or bike as are those who travel through pedestrian-friendly
environments to get to school. In addition, the study finds that
school location has a significant impact on air emissions. Visit
to download the full report.
STEPS COMMUNITY AWARDS: The "Steps to a HealthierUS" cooperative
agreement program has awarded $13.6 million in funding for FY 2003.
The 12 awardees include four states (which represent 15 small cities
or rural communities), one tribal consortium, and seven large cities.
The Steps communities engaged the help of various community
partners to create community action plans for implementing intensive
community interventions. The interventions will target those at
high risk for or diagnosed with obesity, diabetes, and asthma. For
more information go to http://www.healthierus.gov/steps/.
ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER FOR PRACTITIONERS: "WellSpring" is a publication
by the Alberta Centre for Active Living for practitioners, which
provides information on best practices, topical issues, recent research,
and policy in the active living/physical activity field. The fall
2003 issue focuses on physical activity in the workplace. Read this
and other issues at http://preview.tinyurl.com/266rwa.
To receive an e-mail notification when the next issue is posted,
send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES
ACTIVE COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTS GUIDE: "Winning With ACEs! How you
can work toward Active Community Environments" is a policy guide
for public health practitioners and their partners, as well as other
grassroots community groups and interested individuals working in
active community environments. While the ACEs Guide is tailored
to meet the needs of North Carolina, other partners will find it
applicable as well. You can download the ACEs guide and other resources
For a printed copy of the guide, information, questions, or comments,
contact Jimmy Newkirk at email@example.com.
BICYCLE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY AWARDS: The League of American Bicyclists
has awarded 13 communities with its Bicycle-Friendly Community designation.
The communities were recognized for having safe accommodations and
facilities for bicycling as well as for their encouragement of bicycle
travel for transportation and recreation. A list of the winning
cities can be found at http://www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org/pressrelease4.htm.
UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS
HEALTH EDUCATION AND PROMOTION CONFERENCE: The 22nd
National ASTDHPPHE/CDC Conference on Health Education and Health
Promotion and SOPHE Midyear Conference will be held May 5-7, 2004
in Orlando, Fl. The conference theme is "The Future of Health Promotion
and Education: Transforming Vision Into Reality."
WALK21 CONFERENCE: The fifth Walk21 Conference: Cities for People
will focus on the integration of walking policies into a wider context,
specifically on the day-to-day quality of life of citizens in cities
and communities. The conference will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark,
Jun 9-11, 2004. Abstracts are being accepted from Nov 10 to Dec
8, 2003. Visit http://www.citiesforpeople.dk/index.html
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.
Writers: Delores Pluto, Tracy Pearch, Joshua Swift.
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.
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,
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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 28 Centers in
the U.S. For more information about the PRC National Network, visit
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