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"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

Greetings from beautiful South Carolina and the USC Prevention Research Center. I used to be on the receiving end of this newsletter (not to mention on another coast). Now, I am responsible for writing the opening paragraph! It's an overwhelming feeling to be the new Director of the USC Prevention Center having replaced the previous Director, Barbara Ainsworth. Barb did an outstanding job helping to establish the USC PRC as an international leader in physical activity research, training and practice. I know she will do great things in her new endeavors at San Diego State University. As far as myself, I will strive to contribute to the tradition of excellence established by Barb and the wonderful faculty, staff and students at the USC PRC. Like many of you, I view this work as fascinating, complex, challenging, important, and fun. With the hot and humid South Carolina summer becoming a recent memory, the season of professional conferences and meetings is upon us. As I attend many of these events, I look forward to meeting you and engaging in discussion and debate about how we can work together to discover the most effective methods of promoting physical activity to persons of all ages and cultures. Until then, stay active and healthy!

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


IN THIS ISSUE September/October 2003

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Fitness Days; Walk to School Week; VERB Seasonal Event; Go Active Happy Meal

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Funding Restored for Transportation Enhancements

RESEARCH NOTES: Special Journal Issues On PA; Impact Of Rail Trail; Relating Sprawl to PA, Obesity & Mortality; Walking Trends; BRFSS Measuring More PA; Inactivity Associated With Erectile Dysfunction

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Tools to Measure Environmental Change; Pedestrian Travel Report

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Community-Based PA Project; Canada on the Move: Step One; Path Initiative in Scotland

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Active Living Research Annual Conference; Chronic Disease Conference; Steps to a Healthier US Summit



FITNESS DAYS: National Women's Health and Fitness Day is Sept. 24. The event's goal is to promote the importance of health awareness and regular PA for women of all ages. Family Health and Fitness Day USA will be Sept. 27 to promote the importance of regular PA for children and their parents. Learn more about both observances at http://www.fitnessday.com.

WALK TO SCHOOL WEEK: International Walk to School Week will be Oct. 6-10 this year. International Walk to School Day gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event celebrating the many benefits of walking. Last year nearly 3 million walkers from 28 countries walked to school together to create communities that are safe places to walk. Find more information and resources at http://www.iwalktoschool.org.

VERB SEASONAL EVENT: CDC's youth media campaign, VERB: It's What You Do, will launch its second seasonal event "Extra Hour For Extra Action" on Oct. 26, the day clocks turn back for the end of Daylight Saving Time. Extra Hour For Extra Action runs through Nov. 21 and offers children special awards and recognition for being physically active. A promotional kit containing ideas and ready-to-use materials for the program is available from the CDC. A limited number of free kits are available and can be ordered at http://www.cdc.gov/verb. The materials will also be available for download at the end of September from http://verbparents.com. Future VERB promotional programs include Leap Day on Feb. 29, 2004 and Summer Solstice on Jun. 21, 2004.

GO ACTIVE HAPPY MEAL: McDonald's is pilot-testing an adult Happy Meal called the "Go Active Happy Meal" in several cities in Indiana this fall. The meal, which costs $4.99, includes a salad and either bottled water or a fountain drink, a small pedometer, and a 10-page exercise booklet. The new Happy Meal is part of McDonald's Healthy Lifestyles program, which is an ongoing campaign focusing on menu choice, education, and PA.

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.


SPECIAL JOURNAL ISSUES ON PA: Three recent journals have published special issues on PA, environment, and policy. The September issues of the American Journal of Health Promotion and the American Journal of Public Health examine how community design affects health. Abstracts and ordering information are available at http://www.healthpromotionjournal.com and http://www.ajph.org. An October supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, titled "Physical Activity in Women from Diverse Racial/Ethnic Groups: Environmental, Policy, and Cultural Factors," presents the work of the CDC and RWJF-funded Women's Cardiovascular Health Network. http://www.medicinedirect.com/journal/journal?sdid=6075.

IMPACT OF RAIL TRAIL: A 3-month intervention was conducted in Western Sydney, Australia, to increase awareness and use of a newly constructed 16.5-kilometer trail among residents living within five kilometers of the trail. The trail was promoted through brochures distributed at rail stations, local schools, and organizations, and a grand opening ceremony at the trail. Even though the campaign increased trail awareness and usage, only 5.6% of the population used the trail and two-thirds of the population was still unaware of the trail after three months. Authors noted that future interventions would be more effective if more time was allowed to promote the trail and if more school and community events were centered around the trail. Merom, Bauman, et al. "An Environmental Intervention to Promote Walking and Cycling - The Impact of a Newly Constructed Rail Trail in Western Sydney." Preventive Medicine, 36:235-242, 2003.

RELATING SPRAWL TO PA, OBESITY & MORTALITY: Data from the 1998, 1999, and 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to determine the relationship between urban sprawl and PA, obesity, and morbidity. The analysis looked at data from 375,000 respondents from 448 counties and 88 metropolitan areas where urban sprawl measurements were available. The results show that residents living in sprawling counties were likely to walk less, weigh more, and have higher blood pressure than those living in compact counties. In metropolitan areas sprawl was associated with walking. While this study does not proclaim that urban sprawl causes obesity and hypertension, it indicates that sprawl had a small, but significant relationship to these outcomes. Ewing, Schmid, et al. "Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Morbidity." American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(1):47-57.

WALKING TRENDS. Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used to analyze walking trends among adults from 1987 to 2000. Results show that walking was the most frequently reported PA among all age groups for both men and women. Women reported a higher prevalence of walking than men across all age groups. For both sexes walking was higher among middle-aged and older adults and increased with level of education. From 1987 to 2000 the prevalence of walking increased 3.8% among men and 6.6% among women. Despite these increases, the frequency of walking remained at less than three times per week, and duration remained at 30 minutes per session. The prevalence of people meeting PA recommendations remained at 20%, unchanged from 1987 to 2000. Simpson, Serdula, et al. "Walking Trends Among U.S. Adults: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1987-2000." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 25(2):95-100, 2003.

BRFSS MEASURING MORE PA: From 1986 to 2000 the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) included questions that measured leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). The questions measured physical activities mainly related to exercise or sports. In 2001, new questions were added that included health-related lifestyle activities (household tasks, chores, transportation, etc.). The 2001 questions classified more persons as being physically active than did the 2000 questions. In 2000, only 26.2% of adults met the CDC/ACSM recommendations for PA. In 2001, using the new uestions 45.4% of adults met PA recommendations. Even with a more inclusive measure of PA, the majority of U.S. adults (54.6%) are not physically active at levels high enough to promote health. CDC. "Prevalence of Physical Activity, Including Lifestyle Activities Among Adults - United States, 2000-2001. " MMWR; 52:764-769, 2003.

INACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION. The Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) surveyed male dentists, optometrists, osteopaths, podiatrists, pharmacists, and veterinarians in the United States every 2 years since 1986. At the time of the 2000 questionnaire, 43,235 men, age 53 to 90 were participating in the study. Questions asked include smoking status, alcohol use, height and weight, presence of chronic disease, medications, television viewing time, and PA levels. Men who participated in frequent vigorous exercise (running at least 3 hours per week) had a 30% lower risk for erectile dysfunction than men who participated in little to no exercise each week. The study also discovered that body mass index and television viewing time were positively associated with erectile dysfunction. Bacon, Mittleman, et al. "Sexual Function in Men Older Than 50 Years of Age: Results from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study." Annals of Internal Medicine, 139:161-168, 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.


TOOLS TO MEASURE ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE: The Center for Advanced Studies in Nutrition and Social Marketing, in collaboration with several public and private organizations, presents a collection of tools that measure environmental change in a number of areas including PA and diet, food retailers, work sites, churches, medical providers/physicians, food access, and schools. All of the tools have been either formally validated or extensively field-tested and are available for download at http://socialmarketing-nutrition.ucdavis.edu/Tools/somarktools.php.

PEDESTRIAN TRAVEL REPORT: The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has found that in 2002 an average of 72% of the US adult population walked, jogged, or ran outside for 10 minutes or more on at least one day during the month prior to participating in the survey. The monthly averages ranged from a low of 68% in November to a high of 76% in April. Visit http://gulliver.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=1745 to download the pedestrian travel report. (From Centerlines 08/29/03)


COMMUNITY-BASED PA PROJECT: The 10,000 Steps Rockhampton project consists of implementing and evaluating a community-based, health promotion program that focuses on PA and the social determinants of health. Funded by Queensland Health, the project aims to create a sustainable model of community-based PA promotion and includes several programs aimed at increasing PA in the community. Visit the project's web site at http://10000steps.cqu.edu.au/ to learn more.

CANADA ON THE MOVE: STEP ONE: The Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is assembling a multidisciplinary team of experts to create Canada on the Move: Step One (CMSO). CMSO is a web-based research platform that will collect data from a natural experiment involving the distribution of 800,000 pedometers in cereal boxes across Canada. Beginning in December 2003, pedometers will be available in cereal boxes across the country, and individuals who receive them will be asked to participate in a study to collect self-reported step data. A marketing campaign associated with the pedometers will begin on December 12, 2003 and continue through January 2004. The launch of the CMSO website is planned for December 5, 2003. To read more about the initiative go to http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/institutes/inmd/18058.shtml.

PATH INITIATIVE IN SCOTLAND: Paths for All Partnership is an initiative that aims to create a network of paths in Scotland for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. Composed of many national organizations, the partnership's key objective is to increase the number of paths close to where people live and work. The Paths for All Partnership website contains information about the benefits of paths, as well as related links, publications, and available path-building grants. The Paths to Health Project, created by Paths for All Partnership, supports the development of local Paths to Health Schemes to increase walking for health. Find out more at http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/.


ACTIVE LIVING RESEARCH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Active Living Research will present its annual Active Living Research conference January 30-31, 2004 in Del Mar, California. The conference will focus on the latest thinking and research on policy and environmental issues related to PA. Poster and paper abstracts are being accepted, and the submission deadline is October 1, 2003. Visit www.activelivingresearch.org/04conference for more information.

CHRONIC DISEASE CONFERENCE: The 18th annual Chronic Disease Conference will be February 18-20 in Washington, DC. The theme this year is "Investing in Health: The Dollars and Sense of Prevention." A preliminary program is available at ttp://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/conference/.

STEPS TO A HEALTHIER US SUMMIT: The 2nd National Steps to a Healthier US Summit will be held March 18-19, 2004 in Baltimore, MD. The Summit will focus on chronic disease prevention and health promotion and will feature presentations on a variety of chronic conditions as well as lifestyle choices including nutrition, PA, and tobacco use. Abstracts are being accepted until October 31, 2003 and can be submitted at http://steps2004.iqsolutions.com/abstracts.

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.


NEW RESOURCES ON WEBSITE: The USC PRC has added several new tools and resources to the website at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/Tools/index.htm. These include assessment tools for evaluating recreation facilities and sidewalks, an inventory of tools for measuring community coalition characteristics and functioning, and information from the Heart Healthy and Ethnically Relevant (HHER) Tools study.

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 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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