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“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

We want to wish all of our partners, colleagues, and friends a safe, joyous and peaceful holiday season. We would not be as successful as we are as a PRC without you! As the leaves fall, the temperatures drop, and it gets dark earlier (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere), it's easy to stop being as physically active as other times of the year. We hope that you'll be able to remain active despite the changes in the environment and daily routine that occurs during fall and winter seasons. It may not be easy, but it's definitely worth it. We'll be back in touch in 2005 - Happy New Year!

Steven P. Hooker, PhD, Director
Delores Pluto, PhD, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)

IN THIS ISSUE - November / December 2004

IMPORTANT NEWS: CDC to Correct Obesity Impact Figures

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Childhood Obesity Reduction Act

RESEARCH NOTES: Perceptions of Neighborhood Environment for Physical Activity; Focusing on Youth in PA Research

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Mean Streets 2004, Bone Health in the Spotlight; Guidelines for Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults; PA Policy Resource Manual; Non-Motorized Transportation Publications; Bicycling Promoted in UK; Local Governments' Awareness of Active Living

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Americans Prefer Walkable Neighborhoods; Nuestro Pueblo Newsletter Focuses on Active Living; Built Environment and PA Evaluation

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: TrailLink 2005 Biennial Conference



CDC TO CORRECT OBESITY IMPACT FIGURES: In March 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article in JAMA showing that a large proportion of the more than 2 million deaths each year in the US are preventable through lifestyle changes, such as tobacco cessation, better nutrition, and increased physical activity. The CDC recently announced that it has discovered an error in the computations, which resulted in an overestimation of the number of deaths caused by poor nutrition and physical inactivity. The CDC points out that, "The errors in the study’s calculations do not diminish the threat that obesity poses to public health. CDC still considers obesity a leading cause of preventable deaths and a major public health issue." Watch for a correction in JAMA in the coming weeks.
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CHILDHOOD OBESITY REDUCTION ACT: In October, Senator Ted Kennedy, introduced the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act (S.2894). The bill would coordinate Federal Government childhood obesity prevention policies and activities and establish a grant program to fund states, local governments, schools, communities and non-profit organizations.
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PERCEPTIONS OF NEIGHBORHOOD ENVIRONMENT FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: One thousand seventy-three African American (46.6%) and Caucasian (53.4%) adults aged 18-65 in metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri participated in a survey assessing what influences a person’s perception of physical activity opportunities in their neighborhood. The participants completed a self-administered questionnaire and neighborhood characteristics (race, home values, use of public transportation, etc.) were obtained from the 2000 US Census. Both individual characteristics and neighborhood characteristics are significant predictors of a person’s perception of the physical activity opportunities in their neighborhood. Regardless of the neighborhood characteristics, African-Americans rated their neighborhoods low in regards to safety and pleasantness for physical activity opportunities suggesting a need to improve aesthetics and safety of existing physical activity opportunities in addition to introducing new opportunities. Boslaugh, Luke, Brownson, Naleid, Kreuter. “Perceptions of neighborhood environment for physical activity: is it ‘who you are’ or ‘where you live’ ?” J Urban Health, 81(4):671-81, 2004.
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FOCUSING ON YOUTH IN PA RESEARCH: Most of the physical activity and community design research has focused on adult populations. This being the case, the needs of youth are often overlooked in regards to community design. Drawing from social and ecological models of human behavior and utility theory, a schematic is presented to help organize information about how and where youth spend their time and how they travel to their destinations (walking, biking, motorized vehicle). An understanding of spatial and behavioral aspects of how youth spend their time provides a useful tool to further physical activity and community design research to meet the needs of both adults and youths. Krizek KJ, Birnbaum AS, Levinson DM. “A schematic for focusing on youth in investigations of community design and physical activity.” Am J Health Promot, 19(1):33-8, 2004.

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.
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MEAN STREETS 2004: Walking is the most dangerous mode of transportation according to “Mean Streets 2004” from the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP). Nearly 52,000 pedestrian deaths occurred from 1994 to 2003. According to the report, Orlando, Florida had the greatest increase in the number of pedestrian deaths while Salt Lake City, Utah was most improved. The report recommends specific actions that governments can take to increase pedestrian safety. For more information and a link to the full report go to: http://www.transact.org/report.asp?id=235 .
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BONE HEALTH IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The US Surgeon General has released a report on the nation’s bone health warning that by 2020 half of all American citizens older than 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass. The report calls for immediate action among individuals at risk, doctors, health care systems, and policymakers. The “2004 Surgeon General's Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means To You,” is available by calling toll free 1 866 718 BONE or visiting http://www.surgeongeneral.gov.
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GUIDELINES FOR PA INSTRUCTORS OF OLDER ADULTS: Human Kinetics has published the “International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults.” The document outlines each major content area that should be included in entry level training programs preparing physical activity instructors to work with older adults. Visit at http://www.isapa.org/guidelines/index.cfm for a free pdf version. [CDC PA Listserv 10/22/2004]
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PA POLICY RESOURCE MANUAL: The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) has developed a legislative reference manual containing a comprehensive inventory of the enacted policies at the federal and state levels over the last five years. The manual is divided into the six policy areas covered at their policy conference in June 2004 in Washington DC - transportation, trails/environment, sports/recreation, obesity prevention/wellness, school programming and access/disparity issues. An in depth summary paper of the conference is also available. The fee for both publications is $50 and includes shipping. If you would like to place an order, visit http://www.ncppa.org/ to download an order form or contact Sheila Franklin at sfranklin@ncppa.org or (202) 454-7521.
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UPDATED NON-MOTORIZED TRANSPORTATION PUBLICATIONS: The Victoria Transport Policy Institute has updated versions of several documents that investigate and evaluate the use, funding, policies, laws, etc. relating to roadways used by both motorists and non-motorized modes of transportation. These include "http://www.vtpi.org/documents/walking.php", "Whose Roads? Defining Bicyclists' And Pedestrians' Right To Use Public Roads" (http://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf), and "Economic Value of Walkability" (http://www.vtpi.org/walkability.pdf).
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BICYCLING PROMOTED IN UK: The UK Department of Health and the House of Commons have both released reports promoting bicycling and walking as a means to be fit and healthy. The Dept. of Health White Paper, “Choosing Health: Making Healthy Choices Easier” was published in November and includes information on promoting a number of healthy behaviors, including physical activity. The report can be found here. The House of Commons committee report on obesity released in May discussed means to promote nutrition and physical activity to reduce obesity. To increase physical activity, the report discusses cycling and walking for exercise and transportation as key methods to curb the growing problem of obesity. This report can be found at http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/daily-newas/article.php?id=4899. [Centerlines]
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LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ AWARENESS OF ACTIVE LIVING: The National Association of Counties (NACo) Center for Sustainable Communities and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) surveyed local government leaders to assess their level of awareness and their perception of their role in active living in their communities. Respondents consider providing opportunities for physical activity in their communities to be an important public duty. The top two barriers to active living communities were limited staff and resources and the existing built environment, which makes driving a necessity. The most helpful tools to enable local leaders to assert leadership in active living are sample policies/programs and best practices or case studies. To view the report go to: http://www.icma.org/main/ld.asp?ldid=18337&hsid=1&tpid=31. [Smart Growth Resource Library]
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AMERICANS PREFER WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS: According to the 2004 American Community Survey sponsored by the National Association of Realtors ?and Smart Growth America, when searching for a home, Americans are looking for walkable neighborhoods, shorter commutes, and shops, restaurants, libraries, etc. within walking distance. Almost 90% of those surveyed want their states to fund improvements in existing communities over incentives for new development in outlying areas. The survey report can be found at http://smartgrowthamerica.org/nrasgareport.html.
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NUESTRO PUEBLO NEWSLETTER FOCUSES ON ACTIVE LIVING: “Active Living by Design” is the theme for the Fall/Winter 2004 issue of Nuestro Pueblo, published by 1000 Friends of New Mexico. This issue of the newsletter focuses on promoting cycling and walking and designing walkable cities and neighborhoods.
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BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND PA EVALUATION: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Active Living by Design Program are partnering for a five-year, $2.8 million evaluation of communities located across the U.S. to examine how better community design encourages people to be more physically active in their daily lives. The Active Living by Design Program is supporting 25 community partnerships to develop and implement collaboration among a variety of organizations in public health and other disciplines concentrating on land use, public transit, non-motorized travel, public spaces, parks, trails, and architectural practices that advance physical activity. NIEHS is paying for the five-year evaluation to assess the impact of these programs on physical activity and obesity. To read the press release, go to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/oc/news/actlife.htm [NIH press release].
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ACTIVE LIVING RESEARCH: 2nd Annual Active Living Research Conference, Coronado CA. February 25-26, 2005, http://www.activelivingresearch.org/index.php/Conference/7. Active Living Research grantees will present study plans and findings; authors of commissioned papers will present reviews and propose research agendas on newly-emerging issues; invited keynote speakers will stimulate new thinking; and poster and paper presentations will present innovative studies from diverse investigative teams.
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CHRONIC DISEASE CONFERENCE: “Health Disparities: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities Accelerating the rate of progress in improving lives,” March 1–3, 2005, Atlanta, Georgia. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/conference/
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TRAILLINK 2005 BIENNIAL CONFERENCE: Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC), a Washington, D.C. nonprofit working to create a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines, is holding its biennial conference, TrailLink 2005, July 27 30, 2005 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. The conference will feature workshops on public health, trails policy, design and management plus opportunities to network with experts from around the globe. Visit www.railtrails.org/traillink2005 for more conference information. Please contact Katie Magers, RTC media coordinator, by e mail at katie@railtrails.org or by phone (202 974 5115) for additional 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.htm.
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RECENT PUBLICATION: Sharpe, P.A., Granner, M.L., Hutto, B., Ainsworth, B.E., Cook, A. (2004). Association of body mass index to meeting physical activity recommendations. American Journal of Health Behavior, 28(6):522 530.
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Writers: Delores Pluto, Lara Peck

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. If you have an e-mail filter in place that only allows messages from approved email addresses, please add uscprc@gwm.sc.edu to your approved list.

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/newsletter/commands.htm

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 http://www.cdc.gov/prc.

Prevention Research Center
Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina
730 Devine Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208

This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1-U48-DP-000051 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.


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