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

The field of physical activity intervention research continues to evolve. Research to 1) identify policies that may discourage or encourage PA, 2) evaluate whether or not the implementation of policies to promote PA actually work, or 3) determine the most effective means to get such policies approved, holds great promise, but such research is in its infancy. Interestingly, efforts to modify existing or implement new policies to promote PA have surged ahead of the related science. Whenever possible, scientists and practitioners should be co-engaged to implement PA policy research to identify the most effective policies and fully understand their consequences. Together we can nurture this exciting area of research to maturity. Enjoy your summer!

Steven P. Hooker, PhD, Director
Delores Pluto, PhD, Newsletter Editor (dmpluto@sc.edu)
http://prevention.sph.sc.edu


IN THIS ISSUE - Summer 2004

NEWS YOU CAN USE: VERB Appreciation Day Kit; Bike Safety Radio PSA

RESEARCH NOTES: Environmental Factors and PA Recommendations; PA and Preschool Policies; Unsafe to Play?; Increasing Stair Use; VERB Campaign

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Hearts N' Parks Evaluation; Economic Impact of Bicycling Facilities in NC; Fixing Our Broken PE System; Maryland SR2S Guidebook; Safety, PA, and Built Environment

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: ParticipACTION Success Story; Healthy Transportation Network; Bicycle Friendly Communities; Shape Up Somerville; GoGirlGo! Campaign Launched; Powerful Bones, Powerful Girls

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Active Living Research Conference; Safe Routes to School Institute

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Recent Publications


NEWS YOU CAN USE

VERB APPRECIATION DAY KIT:

With VERB Appreciation Day, you and your class or youth group can pick a VERB and have fun with it throughout the day, planning activities that include the chosen VERB. A free kit from CDC (while supplies last) will tell you how. The kit serves 100 tweens and includes signage, premiums and guidelines for use: http://www.cdc.gov/youthcampaign/materials/tweens/index.htm. [CDC PA listserv]
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BIKE SAFETY RADIO PSA:

Clear Channel Radio Communications has recorded public serve announcements (PSAs) to promote bike safety and sharing the road. You can ask your local Clear Channel station to air these PSAs, which have room for announcement of sponsorship by local radio stations, bike clubs, or bicycle advocacy organizations. To hear the PSAs, go to: http://www.bikeleague.org/mediacenter/bikesafetypsa.htm [Bikeleague News]
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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.


RESEARCH NOTES

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND PA RECOMMENDATIONS:

Over 1900 adults from 2 counties in South Carolina were contacted in a random-digit-dialed telephone survey to assess the associations between adults' perceptions of environmental and policy supports and self-reported physical activity (PA). After adjusting for age, gender, race, and education, environmental factors associated with meeting PA recommendations included neighborhood sidewalk condition; worksite sports teams; presence of mapped walking/jogging or bicycle routes; number of known walking/jogging routes; number of known bicycling routes; number of days/month using tracks, trails, paths, or mapped routes; and number of days/month using public parks or outdoor recreation areas. Sharpe, Granner, Hutto, & Ainsworth. "Association of Environmental Factors to Meeting Physical Activity Recommendations in Two South Carolina Counties." American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(3):251-257, 2004.
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PA AND PRESCHOOL POLICIES:

Are PA levels of children related to differences in policies/practices and overall quality of preschools? To study this question, the PA level of 266 preschool children was observed for 1 hour on 2 to 3 days at 9 preschools in Columbia, SC. Preschool policies and practices were measured in structured interviews, and overall preschool quality was measured using the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale - Revised Edition (ECERS-R). When children were observed on the playground, they were engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) about 27% of the time. Higher levels of MVPA were found in preschools with policies/practices that promoted PA. Children attending preschools with more resources and better-educated teachers had significantly higher levels of MVPA. Dowda, Pate, Trost, et al. "Influences of Preschool Policies and Practices on Children's Physical Activity." Journal of Community Health, 29(3):183-196, 2004.
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UNSAFE TO PLAY?

Baseline data from 1378 urban youth (ages 11.5 to 15.5 years) and their caregivers were analyzed along with observational data from 80 neighborhood communities to determine the relationship between neighborhood safety, physical and social disorder and levels of PA. Data came from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), a multidisciplinary, longitudinal study of youth, families, and neighborhoods, conducted from 1995 through 2001. Sixty-one percent of youth were reported as not participating in any recreational PA during the week. Neighborhood social disorder and community members' assessment of the neighborhood as unsafe to play were significantly and inversely associated with youth PA. Molnar, Gortmaker, Bull, & Buka. "Unsafe to Play? Neighborhood Disorder and Lack of Safety Predict Reduced Physical Activity Among Urban Children and Adolescents." American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(5):378-386, 2004.
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INCREASING STAIR USE:

The CDC conducted four consecutive environmental interventions to increase stair use at its Rhodes Building in Atlanta. Interventions included carpeting and paint, artwork, promotional signage, and music. Evaluation of the interventions was based on electronically measured stair traffic. The addition of motivational signs and music were both associated with an increase in the average number of daily stair trips per building occupant. The increase for signs dropped off after 3 months, while the increase associated with music increased after 3 months. Kerr, Yore, Ham, & Dietz. "Increasing stair use in a worksite through environmental changes." American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(4):312-315, 2004. More information is available on the CDC website at
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/hwi/toolkits/stairwell/stairwell_appearance.htm.
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VERB CAMPAIGN:

The July issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) contains three articles on the VERB campaign. A description of the VERB social marketing campaign, with examples of the campaign's multimedia materials, can be found in PCD's "Tools & Techniques" section, along with an interactive version of the campaign's logic model. In the "Commentary" section Adrian Bauman, PhD, provides a perspective on the VERB campaign as an example of social marketing to encourage PA among youth. Access the journal's table of contents at www.cdc.gov/pcd. [VERB listserv]
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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

HEARTS N' PARKS EVALUATION:

The National Recreation and Park Association and the National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health partnered with communities nationwide to provide Hearts N' Parks, a community-based program to reduce obesity and risk of heart disease. Children, adolescents, and adults who participated in the program reported increasing their PA level, reducing the number of hours they spend being sedentary, and improved heart healthy eating knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes. The report evaluating 2003 activities can be found on the Hearts N' Parks website:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/obesity/hrt_n_pk/index.htm.
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ECONOMIC IMPACT OF BICYCLING FACILITIES IN NC:

A case study released in May 2004 by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation concludes that bicycling activity in the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina provided an estimated $60 million annually to the area. The report explains how they assessed bicycle activity and economic impact. Find the summary report at http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle/safety/safety_economicimpact.html.
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FIXING OUR BROKEN PE SYSTEM:

PE4life recently released a report called "Blueprint for Change - Our Nation's Broken Physical Education System: Why It Needs to be Fixed, and How We Can Do It Together." The advocacy tool includes excellent information on how we go to this point; the importance of quality, daily PE; current activities to address the problem; barriers to PE reform; and a 10-step action plan for stakeholders. The "Blueprint" is the first product of PE4life's new Center for the Advancement of Physical Education, the nation's first physical education "think tank." A PDF of the new "Blueprint for Change" is available at the http://www.pe4life.org/UserFiles/File/Blueprint_Version_2(1).pdf or request a hard copy by calling 816-472-7345.
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MARYLAND SR2S GUIDEBOOK:

"Maryland Safe Route to Schools Guidebook" provides information about how to establish a community-based SR2S program in your area. The guide, published by the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, with support from the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is based on information gathered from a 2-year pilot study. To download a copy, go to: http://fha.state.md.us/fha/cphs/chn/index.html or at [Centerlines, #98]
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SAFETY, PA, AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT:

The Spring 2004 newsletter from the University of California Berkeley Traffic Safety Center examines the link between PA and changes to the built environment in light of traffic safety concerns. Topics include pedestrian friendly planning, safety in numbers, safe streets for older adults, and safe routes to school. View the newsletter at http://www.tsc.berkeley.edu/html/newsletter/Spring04/Frontpage.html.
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PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES

PARTICIPACTION SUCCESS STORY:

ParticipACTION was one of the longest-running communication campaigns to promote physical activity in the world. Learn more about this program that, for over 30 years, urged Canadians to make physical activity a part of their everyday lives. A special supplement to the Canadian Journal of Public Health is dedicated to this program. Articles describe the program design's, impact, and legacy are available at http://www.cpha.ca/english/cjph/cjph.htm.
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HEALTHY TRANSPORTATION NETWORK:

The California Center for Physical Activity recently launched its Healthy Transportation Network web site, http://www.healthytransportation.net. The Healthy Transportation Network assists California's local officials in creating more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities. The website contains helpful resources and tools for promoting active community environments, along with success stories from cities throughout California. [Livability Listserv].
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BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES:

The League of American Bicyclists awarded 11 communities its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designation. Boulder, CO, received the League's gold-level BFC award. For the complete list of award winners and more info about the awards, go to http://www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org. Awards are announced twice a year. Applications for the October awards are due August 20. [Bikeleague News]
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SHAPE UP SOMERVILLE:

Preliminary data in Somerville, MA showed 40 percent of the town's children were overweight. "Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart Play Hard", an intervention to combat childhood obesity, was implemented in 2002 by Tufts University. Over two years, with classroom education, walk to school program, modifications to school food services, and encouraging restaurants to offer healthier choices, the program has shown success. More details can be found at http://www.tuftsdaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/04/29/40904defc3588.
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PennDOT SAFE ROUTE TO SCHOOL PROGRAM:

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has introduced the Home Town Streets and Safe Routes to School program. One of the primary objectives of the program is to establish safe walking and bicycling routes to school for children. The program allows for improvements to be made to the physical environment such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, traffic diversion improvements, etc. to promote healthy lifestyles for children. More information can be found at http://www.dot.state.pa.us/penndot/Bureaus/CPDM/Prod/Saferoute.nsf [Centerlines]
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COLORADO SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL BILL BECOMES LAW:

Colorado's Safe Routes to School Bill became law on June 5, 2004. The program will help alleviate the safety concerns of parents about letting their children bike and walk to school by providing for installation and improvement of bicycle/pedestrian trails and pathways, crossings, and paved shoulders along roads around schools. Safe Routes to School will also help supply safety signs, deliver safety education programs, implement traffic-calming programs, and divert traffic to create safer streets and reduce the number of pedestrians/bicyclists hurt by cars. For more information, visit http://www.BicycleColorado.org/for/SafeRoutes. [Bikeleague News]
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UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BICYCLE ROUTE:

Adventure Cycling Association and The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Minority Health (CMH) have agreed to create an Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. They will identify the route, develop maps describing it, and create an assortment of history and health activities related to the route. Visit http://www.cmh.pitt.edu/home1.html and http://www.adventurecycling.org/ for details. [Bikeleague News]
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NATIONAL CAMPAIGNS

SMALL STEPS, BIG REWARDS:

The first national multicultural diabetes prevention campaign aimed at high-risk audiences was launched by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). The NDEP website offers resources for employers, schools, health professionals, patients. For information about the campaign, including tip sheets, tools to help people lose weight and track their PA, and more information about pre-diabetes, visit the NDEP website at www.ndep.nih.gov. To order free copies of the materials, call 1-800-438-5383.
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GoGirlGo! CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED:

The Women's Sports Foundation has launched a 3-year campaign aimed at inactive girls ages 8-18. The initiative aims to get one million inactive girls to participate in regular PA and keep another one million currently active girls from dropping out of PA. The program will include an education and awareness campaign, community-based activation, grants program, and peer-to-peer and adult-to-youth mentoring. For more information visit www.gogirlgo.com.
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POWERFUL BONES, POWERFUL GIRLS:

The National Bone Health Campaign has launched a new website that offers parents ways to help their daughters make healthy choices. The site provides examples of bone building physical activities, tips to overcome barriers to PA, and nutritional information. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones/parents.
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UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS

ACTIVE LIVING RESEARCH CONFERENCE:

The 2nd Annual Active Living Research Conference will be held February 25 & 26, 2005, in San Diego, California. The Call for Abstracts 2005 is now available online at http://www.activelivingresearch.org/index.php/Call_for_Abstracts/122. The abstract submission deadline is Monday, August 2, 9:00 p.m. PDT. Registration for this year's conference is limited to 200 participants; however, those selected to present a poster or paper will be offered priority conference registration.
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SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL INSTITUTE:

The National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) will present a one-day Safe Routes to School Institute on Tuesday September 7, 2004 in Victoria, British Columbia. Leading North American practitioners will instruct participants in how to introduce these programs and what makes them work. The Institute is part of the NCBW's Pro Walk/Pro Bike 13th biennial conference on bicycle and pedestrian programs. Standard registration deadline is July 31st. For more info and registration go to http://www.bikewalk.org/PWPB2004/PWPB2004.htm [Centerlines]
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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.

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE

RECENT PUBLICATIONS FROM THE USC PRC:

Sharpe, Granner, Hutto, & Ainsworth. "Association of Environmental Factors to Meeting Physical Activity Recommendations in Two South Carolina Counties." American Journal of Health Promotion, 18(3):251-257, 2004. (see summary above)

Tudor-Locke, C; Williams, JE; Reis, JP; Pluto, D. (2004) Utility of pedometers for assessing physical activity: Construct validity. Sports Medicine 34(5):281-91.
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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
803-777-4253

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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