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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER NOTES
“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

I can't believe that I've been with the USC PRC for one year now! It's true what they say, time flies when you're having fun. Although there are many challenges with operating a research center, and our work is progressively addressing more complex issues, physical activity research and practice remain very enjoyable. Starting Oct. 1, the USC PRC begins another 5-year funding cycle and we look forward to making new discoveries and sharing our findings and enjoyment with all of you. I truly hope that you're having as much fun as we are!
Best regards, Steve

Steven P. Hooker, PhD, Director

NOTE to subscribers - we're trying a new delivery mechanism for the newsletter. Please let us know if you receive multiple copies so we can correct our database. Simply reply to this email with any corrections. Thank you!
Delores Pluto, PhD, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)
http://prevention.sph.sc.edu


IN THIS ISSUE - September 2004

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Walk To School Day; Walktober; State Legislators Fitness Challenge

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for Childhood Obesity Programs

RESEARCH NOTES: Look Like a Media Figure; Safety in Numbers

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Qualitative Research Database, Financial Cost of Inactivity Calculator; Stairways to Health; BRFSS Maps; Prevention Communication Research Database; US DOT Publications; Urban Sprawl and Public Health

RESOURCES FOR WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH: Bright Ideas; VERB's Hispanic/Latino Campaign; PE Checklist; National SR2S Leadership Training; Curriculum to Reduce TV Viewing

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Washington Funds SR2S Projects; Chicago Bike Station

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: USC Faculty Position in Epidemiology of PA; Post-Doc Fellowship at USC PRC; Recent USC PRC Publications


NEWS YOU CAN USE

WALK TO SCHOOL DAY:

International Walk to School Day is October 6, 2004. This year, the event has been expanded to a full week, October 4-8 (http://www.iwalktoschool.org). The goals of the event are to encourage physical fitness, raise awareness community walkability (or lack of walkability), and reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and crime. Each participating country provides links to their Walk To School websites and information about their events. The United States website, http://www.walktoschool.org, has information about how to register, get started, and plan a successful events for the week. CDC also has resources at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/kidswalk/index.htm, including community and train-the-trainer PowerPoint presentations.
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WALKTOBER:

Walktober, is a 31-day national campaign designed to inspire individuals to make walking a priority, increase their walking in 31 days, and encourage community organizations and institutions to place a high value on walkable environment. Program materials are appropriate for those who are inactive to those who want to increase their step count. Individuals can set goals and track their progress during the month of October with material available at www.walktober.com.
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STATE LEGISLATORS FITNESS CHALLENGE:

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), in cooperation with Coca-Cola and the American Heart Association, sponsored a "Step With It"™ fitness challenge to see which state legislator could walk the most steps during their annual meeting in Salt Lake City in July. Maryland Delegate Addie Eckardt won the competition by walking 44,670 steps, or the equivalent of 22 miles, during the 2-1/2 day challenge. Read the press release at http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/pr040723d.htm. For more information about the NCSL Healthy Community Design Program, go to http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/rwj.htm, and for more about "Step With It"™, go to http://www.stepchallenge.com.
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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 ANNOUNCEMENT

CALL FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PROGRAMS:

The Cooper Institute, in Dallas, TX, has received a grant to identify and evaluate childhood obesity programs with the intent of finding programs with the greatest potential of having a measurable impact on the problem of childhood obesity. If you know about a program or initiative that should be evaluated, please forward program and contact information to Dr. Jody Wilkinson at fitkids@cooperinst.org.
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RESEARCH NOTES

LOOK LIKE A MEDIA FIGURE:

Surveys were returned by 6545 girls and 5061 boys (ages 9-16) concerning their desire to look like a media figure and their participation in physical activity. Overall, 46% of girls and 27% of boys said they make some effort to look like a media figure. The strongest association between wanting to look like a media figure and physical activity level was found in boys and girls 15-16 years old and in those who were overweight. Taveras, Rifas-Shiman, Field, et al. "The Influence of Wanting to Look Like Media Figures on Adolescent Physical Activity." Journal of Adolescent Health, 35(1): 41-50, 2004.
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SAFETY IN NUMBERS:

Researchers examining the relationship between the number of pedestrians and bicyclists and collisions with motorists found some unexpected results. The study found that the number of collisions of motorists with a pedestrian or bicyclist decrease when there are more pedestrians or bicyclists in the area. These findings call for research into the behavior of the motorists and how they change their behavior around the pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, these results provide a strong argument for policy changes that increase routes for walkers and bicyclists. Jacobsen, PL. "Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling." Injury Prevention, 9:205-209, 2003.
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CHILDREN'S PA DRAWINGS:

Ninety-one children, ages 6 through 14, attending a summer recreation program were asked to draw pictures of physical activity and create a slogan for a physical activity program in their community. The top activities depicted included basketball, weight lifting/gym workouts, jump rope, and swimming. Forty-one percent of the drawings depicted competitive sports and about one-third included professional teams, celebrities, or brand names. Only 27% of the drawings had slogans about the health benefits of physical activity. Sharpe, Greaney, Royce, & Fields. "Children's drawings of physical activity: Implications for needs assessment and programming." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 75(3):27-32, 2004.
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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.

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DATABASE:

The Nutrition and Physical Activity Communication team (NuPAC) with CDC's Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity recently launched a searchable Inventory of Qualitative Research in Nutrition and Physical Activity. The Inventory (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/qualitative_research) was developed to highlight research that may not be widely known or published in peer reviewed journals.
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FINANCIAL COST OF INACTIVITY CALCULATOR:

Active Living Leadership and Fifty Plus Lifelong Fitness, with the support of more than 20 partner organizations, developed a Physical Inactivity Cost Calculator. The calculator asks you to answer six general demographic questions. The answers are then used to estimate the amount of money lost due to physically inactive populations. Try it out at http://www.activelivingleadership.org/costcalc.htm.
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STAIRWAYS TO HEALTH:

Stairwell exercise programs are becoming more popular as companies and businesses look for ways to encourage their employees to become more active. Stairway to Health, from Health Canada and the Canadian Council for Health and Active Living at Work, has free motivational posters, fact sheets, success stories, and other helpful tools on its website (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/sth-evs/english/index.htm). The site also includes PowerPoint presentation templates to help present stairwell programs to landlords, managers, and employees. The CDC Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity's StairWELL to Better Health website (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/hwi/toolkits/stairwell/index.htm) provides tips to improve the safety and aesthetics of your stairwell, ways to track stairwell usage, a project checklist, and a budget template.
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BRFSS MAPS:

An interactive mapping application is now available on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) website. The application graphically displays the prevalence of behavioral risk factors at the state and metropolitan/micropolitan statistical area (MMSA) level. Visitors to the website can create, save, and print state and MMSA level maps detailing a variety of health-related risk factors. To see how many people in your state participate in no physical activity, select the "exercise" category at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/gisbrfss/.
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PREVENTION COMMUNICATION RESEARCH DATABASE:

The Prevention Communication Research Database includes audience research conducted or sponsored by Department of Health and Human Services. This searchable database contains reports on prevention topics (rather than treatment studies) and is designed to provide access to findings that are not widely known or distributed. The database has summaries and reports of audience research on physical activity (among other topics) to be used by public health practitioners to improve their understanding of different audiences and maximize their resources by decreasing or eliminating the need to conduct similar research. The database can be found at www.health.gov/communication.
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US DOT PUBLICATIONS:

Two publications related to physical activity from the US Department of Transportation are now available online. "An Annotated Bibliography on Health and Physical Activity in Transportation Planning" (http://www.planning.dot.gov/Documents/Health/Bibliography.htm) provides useful resources for transportation planners interested in incorporating goals to encourage physical activity into their planning processes and for public health officials interested in understanding and contributing to the transportation planning process. The second publication, "Integrating Health and Physical Activity Goals Into Transportation Planning: Building the Capacity of Planners and Practitioners Proceedings of the Portland Roundtable" (http://www.planning.dot.gov/Documents/Health/IntHealthTA.htm) summarizes a meeting that brought together transportation and public health professionals to discuss opportunities and strategies to include health and activity goals within the transportation planning process. [NCPPA News 8/2/04]
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URBAN SPRAWL AND PUBLIC HEALTH:

A new book from Island Press examines the direct and indirect impacts of sprawl on human health and well-being. The authors discuss opportunities to improve public health through alternative approaches to design, land use, and transportation. This book summarizes the evidence linking adverse health outcomes with sprawling development, and outlines the complex challenges of developing policy that promotes and protects public health. Frumkin, Frank, & Jackson. "Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities." Island Press, 2004. Available from www.islandpress.org.
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RESOURCES FOR WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH:

BRIGHT IDEAS:

California Project LEAN, with funding from The California Endowment, has created BRIGHT IDEAS, a new resource for communities and schools to share "Bright Ideas" for improving healthy eating and physical activity options in schools and community programs. Through this forum on the Project LEAN website, you can submit your own bright idea for others to read, learn about successful strategies and programs that have made it easier for youth to eat healthy food and/or be physically active, and link to other people and organizations using successful strategies to increase student access to healthy foods and physical activity. Visit http://www.californiaprojectlean.org/brightideas/ to find out more.
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VERB's HISPANIC/LATINO CAMPAIGN:

VERB's Hispanic/ Latino campaign, "Niños Activos. Familias Sanas" ("Active Children. Healthy Families") provides parents with information about why and how to get their children involved in physical activity for at least 60 minutes every day. The campaign uses a website (www.NAFS.org), television ads, and a mobile tour that makes visits to recreational centers and shopping malls. To watch the television ads online, go to http://www.cdc.gov/youthcampaign/hispanic_latino/index.htm. [VERB™ Update, August 24, 2004]
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PE CHECKLIST:

This new school year National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) urges principals, teachers and parents to conduct an assessment of their school's physical education program. To get your free copy, go to http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/pdf_files/2004PEchecklist.pdf. NASPE has additional resources available at www.naspeinfo.org, or call 1-800-213-7193, ext. 410.
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NATIONAL SR2S LEADERSHIP TRAINING:

National Safe Route to School Leadership Training will be held October 14-15, 2004 in Marin County, CA. The workshop, which will include classroom and in-field exercises, will cover how to initiate and maintain a successful Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program and how to implement effective encouragement, education, enforcement and engineering measures. For more information and registration, visit http://www.saferoutestoschools.org/Programs/SR2SLeadershipTraining.pdf. [Centerlines]
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CURRICULUM TO REDUCE TV VIEWING:

The Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television (SMART), a curriculum designed to encourage elementary school children to reduce the time they spend watching television and playing video games, is now available from the Stanford Health Promotion Resource Center. The program is intended for use in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms throughout the school year. The curriculum has been successful in reducing weight gain and aggressive behaviors (see Robinson. :Reducing children's television viewing to prevent obesity: a randomized controlled trial." JAMA, 282:1561-1567, 1999). To learn more about the curriculum and for ordering information, visit http://noTV.stanford.edu.
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PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES

WASHINGTON FUNDS SR2S PROJECTS:

Washington State Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School program recently awarded grants to 11 local projects. Washington's SR2S program is a coordinated effort between the Washington State Departments of Health and Transportation, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. Read about the funded projects at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/safe_routes_projects.htm. [Centerlines, 102]
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CHICAGO BIKE STATION:

The new Millennium Park Bicycle Station opened in Chicago in July. This state-of-the-art facility features secure parking for 300 bicycles, showers and lockers with towel service, bike repair and rentals, a snack bar, internet station, bicycle safety classes, bike rentals, tours and more. The bike station also caters to runners and inline skaters. The website (http://www.chicagobikestation.com) promotes bicycling to companies and let them know why they should promote bicycle commuting. [BikeLeague News]
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USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE

USC FACULTY POSITION IN EPIDEMIOLOGY OF PA:

The University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health (home of the USC PRC) is seeking applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in Epidemiology with emphasis on physical activity. Additional information about the position can be found at http://www.sph.sc.edu/positions/positions.htm.
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POST-DOC FELLOWSHIP AT USC PRC:

The USC PRC is seeking a post-doctoral fellow who will plan, manage, and provide oversight of measurement and data collection related activities for a 5-year school-based trial, "Self-Determination for Increasing Physical Activity," evaluating the effects of an innovative intervention on increasing physical activity in adolescents.
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RECENT USC PRC PUBLICATIONS:

  • Addy, Ainsworth, Kirtland, Wilson, et al. "Associations of social and physical environmental supports for physical activity and walking behaviors." American Journal of Public Health, 94(3):440-443, 2004.
  • Cavnar, Kirtland, Evans, Wilson, et al. "Evaluating the Quality of Recreation Facilities: Developing an Assessment Tool." Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, 22, 96-114, 2004.
  • Granner & Sharpe. "Evaluating Community Coalition Characteristics and Functioning: A Summary of Measurement Tools." Health Education Research, 19(5):514-532, 2004.
  • Sharpe, Granner, Hutto, Ainsworth, & Cook. "Association of body mass index to meeting physical activity recommendations." American Journal of Health Behavior, 28(6):522-530, 2004.
  • Sharpe, Granner, Ainsworth, & Hutto. "Association of environmental factors to meeting physical activity recommendations in two South Carolina counties." American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(3):251-257, 2004.
  • Sharpe, Greaney, Royce, & Fields. "Children's drawings of physical activity: Implications for needs assessment and programming." Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 75(3):27-32, 2004. (see summary above)
  • Wilson. Obesity Prevention in Underserved Adolescent Girls. Health Education and Behavior, 31, 5-6, 2004.
  • Wilson, Kirtland, Ainsworth, & Addy. "Socioeconomic Status and Perceptions of Access and Safety for Physical Activity." Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 28, 20-28, 2004.
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Writers: Lara Peck, Delores Pluto.

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
803-777-4253

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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