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“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

Earlier this year I mentioned the development of a Physical Activity Interest Group (PAIG) within the American Public Health Association (APHA). Part of that effort was to solicit abstracts for this fall's APHA annual meeting in Washington, DC. The response was fantastic! Thanks to all who submitted and reviewed abstracts. On Nov. 5-6, there are PA sessions on environmental and policy strategies; promoting PA to underserved populations, older adults and children; and the role of PA in preventing obesity. In addition, a PA policy statement is under consideration for formal adoption by APHA. On Nov. 5 at 6:30pm in the Renaissance Hotel, the first-ever PAIG meeting will be held. Anyone interested in PA research and/or practice should attend this meeting as the leadership and goals of the PAIG will be discussed, and your input is greatly needed. We want to show APHA that there is a need for PA to be a public health priority; there is a vast interest in PA among many scientists, practitioners, and policy makers; and there is capacity to contribute quality educational and science offerings at the APHA annual meeting. On behalf of others working with me to develop the PAIG, thank you for the support you have provided, and we look forward to seeing you in DC.

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

IN THIS ISSUE – July/August 2007

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Active Aging Week; International Walk to School Day


RESEARCH NOTES: PA Workplace Study; Dissemination of PA Interventions by State Health Departments; PA Interventions with Caregivers

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Updated Guidelines for Adults; Physical Activity @ Work Website; Population-Based Approaches to Promoting PA; Global Alliance for Physical Activity (GAPA)

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Walking School Bus; Harvest Foundation Funding Intiative in Virginia; Building a Bicycle Friendly America

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Walk 21; Diversity in Physical Activity and Health Conference; 1st Annual SRTS National Conference;


ACTIVE AGING WEEK. Active Aging Week is an annual event held the last week of September (culminating on Oct. 1, International Day of Older Persons) with the goal of giving as many older adults as possible the means to experience activities and exercise in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere. During the week, host organizations provide a variety of free activities, such as classes, educational seminars, access to fitness facilities, health fairs and community walks. For more information about becoming a host organization, go to http://www.icaa.cc/Activeagingweek/campaignsupportnew.htm
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INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY. International Walk to School Day will take place Oct. 3, 2007, when communities around the US will join nearly 40 countries to celebrate walking and bicycling to school. To find out how to get involved, go to http://www.iwalktoschool.org/ and find your country's web page. For organizers in the US, registration is now open at http://www.walktoschool.org. By registering, Walk to School organizers have a chance to win prizes for students and gain access to a variety of downloadable items, including certificates, printable sticker templates, media materials and more. Registrants can also subscribe to a Walk to School e-newsletter with tips and resources for walk to school events. Registered events will be displayed on an interactive map on the Walk to School Web site, so that neighboring communities, media and other organizations will be able to view participating events.
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FIT KIDS ACT: The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids (FIT Kids) Act (HR 3257) was introduced in the US House of Representatives July 30 to improve standards for physical education in the nation's schools. The act would add physical education measures to those used for assessing accountability with No Child Left Behind. States would have to demonstrate progress toward the national goal or requiring 150 minutes of PE per week for elementary schools and 225 minutes per week in middle and high schools. Progress would be reported on school report cards. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Education and Labor. Sponsors hope to include these requirements in the No Child Left Behind, which will face reauthorization in September. See the press release at http://www.house.gov/kind/press/070731_FIT_Kids%20Act.pdf or read the text of the bill at http://thomas.loc.gov/.
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IMPACT ACT. The IMPACT Act (HR2677) has been reintroduced into the US House of Representatives. The act would provide grants to fund community organizations (including Park and Recreation agencies) to conduct a variety of activities, which have demonstrated some benefit for curbing obesity, overweight, and eating disorders. These programs focus on providing specific community interventions, school-based activities, and health care delivery system programs, while focusing on education, outreach, and intervention techniques. This program is authorized for $60 million in FY08.

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.
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PA WORKPLACE STUDY. 507 employees from 3 large worksites in Alberta, Canada participated in the Physical Activity Workplace Study testing the efficacy of PA promotions in the workplace. Participants were randomized into one of three intervention strategies: 1) stage-matched print materials, 2) Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living, and 3) a control group. Women in the stage-matched interventions showed significantly larger increases in PA from baseline to 12 months compared to women in the other groups. There was no significant difference in PA changes for men across groups. Citation: Plotnikoff, Brunett, Courneya, et al. "The Efficacy of Staged-Matched and Standard Public Health Materials for Promoting Physical Activity in the Workplace: The Physical Activity Workplace Study (PAWS)." American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(6):501-509, 2007.
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DISSEMINATION OF PA INTERVENTIONS BY STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENTS. Forty-nine PA contacts in state health departments responded to a questionnaire concerning dissemination of evidence-based PA interventions. Commonly reported factors related to state-level decision-making about interventions included resources (money and staff), evidence of effectiveness, presence of community coalitions, and support of upper-level management. Most respondents were familiar with the Community Guide to PA recommendations, and believed it was a good time to implement them. A wide range of interventions based on the recommendations are underway. Citation: Brownson, Ballew, Dieffenderfer, et al. "Evidence-Based Interventions to Promote Physical Activity: What Contributes to Dissemination by State Health Departments." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(1S), S66-S78, 2007.
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PA INTERVENTION WITH CARE GIVERS: Eighty-eight caregivers completed the Healthy Carer Physical Activity Program, in which participants could choose among physical activity options (e.g., Tai Chi, Yoga, and strength training). Participants were mostly women (85%) with an average age of 64.4 years (SD = 7.9), and a median of 5 years of care-giving. Following a 6-month exercise program, participants showed improvements in balance, endurance, leg strength, activity level, depression score, and self-rated physical health. There was no significant improvement in measures of gait speed, caregiver burden, quality of life, or self-rated mental health. Citation: Hill, Smith, Fearn, et al. "Physical and Psychological Outcomes of a Supported Physical Activity Program for Older Carers." Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 15(3):257-271, 2007.
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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.
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UPDATED PA GUIDELINES FOR ADULTS. The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have updated the physical activity guidelines. For healthy adults to maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic disease, the guidelines recommend moderate intensity cardio exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or vigorous intensity cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week. For older adults (or those with chronic conditions that limit activity), the guidelines recommend moderate intensity aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or vigorous intensity aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and eight to 10 strength-training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each exercise two to three times per week, and perform balance exercises in you are at risk of falling, AND have a physical activity plan. The recommendations appear in the issue of Circulation posted on the web August 1 (see announcement and additional information at
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200013 and at ). To view the report, go to http://www.rwjf.org/publications/synthesis/reports_and_briefs/issue11.html.
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PHYSICAL ACTIVITY @ WORK WEBSITE: The Alberta (Canada) Centre for Active Living has launched a new website called Physical Activity @ Work (http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/workplace/index.html). The website is designed to help promote physical activity in the worksite using a multi-level approach. It provides information and resources on planning and evaluating individual, social, organizational, community, and policy interventions. It also presents the latest evidence supporting physical activity in the workplace and success stories from 5 Canadian businesses. [source: Wellspring, Jun. 2007]
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POPULATION-BASED APPROACHES TO PROMOTING PA. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a 'Guide for population-based approaches to increasing levels of physical activity.' The document is a tool for implementing the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, and will assist health professionals and other stakeholders in developing and implementing policy options for effective promotion of physical activity at the national and sub-national level. General principles and examples of opportunities for action are included. The Guide can be downloaded from http://preview.tinyurl.com/3342vx. [Global Alliance for Physical Activity Newsletter]
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GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (GAPA). Established in 2006 to help communicate, coordinate and advocate for population-based approaches to the promotion of physical activity. Download presentations from the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and other publications and guidance documents.
See: http://www.globalpa.org.uk/
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WALKING SCHOOL BUS. What are the liabilities of operating a walking school bus? Municipal Risk Services Limited has prepared two documents on "Risk Management and the Walking School Bus" for Green Communities Canada. One document is for schools and parents, while the other is for school boards, municipalities, and other community stakeholders. Go to http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/index.php?page=walkingschoolbus for more information.
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HARVEST FOUNDATION FUNDING INITIATIVE IN VIRGINIA. The Harvest Foundation has announced its plan to award a $1.56 million grant for an innovative three-year initiative designed to improve quality of life and economic vitality in Martinsville/Henry County Virginia by improving the walking and bicycling infrastructure. Partner organizations include BikeWalk Virginia, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and the League of American Bicyclists. The University of North Carolina will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a method of evaluating the local program. More information about the grant can be found at
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BUILDING A BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA: The League of American Bicyclists has launched a new Web site for the Bicycle Friendly Community program. At the site, you can find out more about which cities are bicycle friendly, at what level, and why, by clicking on a state. You can click on any cities listed to see photos, learn about their strongest programs, and find out when the city was designated Bicycle Friendly. Check out your state at http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/communities/ [BikeLeague News]
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WALK21. Registration is now open for WALK21, to be held Oct. 1-3 in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) at http://www.toronto.ca/walk21/. In addition to the full conference schedule, there are 3 pre-conference workshops (Active and Safe Routes to School, Achieving Walkable Streets in Canada: A Complete Streets Campaign, and Facilitating the Planning and Design of Healthy Communities) and the YWALK Global Youth Forum on Sustainable & Active Transportation.
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DIVERSITY IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH CONFERENCE: The Cooper Institute and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation hosting "Diversity in Physical Activity and Health," as the 10th Cooper Institute Conference October 18-20 in Dallas, TX. The conference will focus on measurement and research related topics and will explore issues including: obesity standards for children; physical activity and health disparities; subpopulation dose-response issues, and the role of culture in physical activities. http://www.cooperinst.org/events/scientific/index.cfm.
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1ST ANNUAL SRTS NATIONAL CONFERENCE. The 1st National Safe Routes to School Conference: Creating, Building and Sustaining Momentum will take place November 5-7, 2007 in Dearborn, Michigan. The conference will be presented by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and is being hosted by the Michigan Fitness Foundation. For more information, go to http://www.saferoutesmichigan.org/nationalconference.htm.
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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.
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Writers: Delores Pluto, Nathaniel Patterson

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 33 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
921 Assembly Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208

This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5-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.

The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


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