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“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

The field of physical activity is bursting at the seams. There are meetings and conferences of all types that feature sessions devoted to physical activity, or topics that are related to being active (e.g., multi-modal transportation planning, healthy aging, obesity prevention). There also seem to be a multitude of university-based job openings designed to attract faculty with a focus on physical activity research. In addition, a vast array of scientific and practice-based publications are featuring more elements related to physical activity. You couldn't get away from physical activity if you wanted to! Unfortunately, our efforts have yet to make a significant dent in the population-based physical activity data. The good news is, we are developing more precise measurement tools, greater understanding of determinants, better interventions, stronger partnerships, and greater resources to increase the number of people who are regularly physically active. I encourage us all to keep up the good fight!

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

IN THIS ISSUE – September-November 2007

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?; Newsletters around the World

RESEARCH NOTES: School Health Policies and Programs Study; Physical Activity Among Disabled Adults; Impact of New Transit Stop on PA; Telephone Counseling for PA; Posters Promoting Stair Use

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Walking & Bicycling Survey Database; PA Programs for Older Adults; Measuring Advocacy and Policy; Safe Routes to School; New Guide for Bike Safety


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HOW WALKABLE IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? A new website allows you to determine how walkable your neighborhood is. At http://www.walkscore.com/you can enter your address and the website will calculate a walk score based on the availability of and distance to shops, services, and restaurants in your area. The website draws attention to neighborhold characteristics that makes a neighborhood "walkable," including having a center, mixed land use, parks, and public space, all principles of Smart Growth. [aging intitiative listserv]
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NEWSLETTERS AROUND THE WORLD. For those of you not in the US, you may be interested in other physical activity newsletters. Here are just a few examples. We'll share more next issue.

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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SCHOOL HEALTH POLICIES AND PROGRAMS STUDY. The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. SHPPS was most recently conducted in 2006. Results are published in the October issue of the Journal of School Health (http://www.ashaweb.org/journal_schoolhealth.html#shpps) and are summarized on the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/shpps/index.htm). The following data highlight the changes related to physical activity noted from 2000 to 2006:

  • The percentage of districts that required elementary schools to teach PE increased from 82.6% in 2000 to 93.3% in 2006.
  • The percentage of states that required elementary schools to provide students with regularly scheduled recess increased from 4.1% to 11.8%, and the percentage of districts with this requirement increased from 46.3% to 57.1%.
  • The percentage of states that required newly hired staff who teach physical education at the elementary school level to have undergraduate or graduate training in physical education increased from 51.1% in 2000 to 64.7% in 2006.
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PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG DISABLED ADULTS. Based on an analysis of the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a smaller proportion of adults with a disability met national recommendations for physical activity compared with adults without a disability (37.7% versus 49.4%), and a greater proportion were physically inactive (25.6% versus 12.8%). Citation: CDC. Physical Activity Among Adults With a Disability -- United States, 2005. MMWR 56(39):1021-1021, 2007. On the web at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5639a2.htm?s_cid=mm5639a2

IMPACT OF NEW TRANSIT STOP ON PA. Researchers in Utah examined the natural intervention of a new light-rail stop in a low-income, mixed ethnicity neighborhood. Surveys and 1-week accelerometer readings assessed transit use and moderate activity bouts before the rail stop opened and one year later. Controlling for gender, household size, and home ownership, self-reported rides on light rail were significantly related to more moderate-activity bouts. Longitudinal analysis with the same control variables showed moderate physical activity bouts at Time 2 were significantly related to the number of bouts as Time1, rail rides, & larger household size. Citation: Brown & Werner. "A New Rail Stop: Tracking Moderate Physical Activity Bouts and Ridership." American Journal of Preventative Medicine 33(4): 306-309, 2007.

TELEPHONE COUNSELING FOR PA: One hundred eighty-six low-active adults were recruited from one of three differing socioeconomic primary care practices in Auckland, New Zealand and randomized into the control and intervention groups. The intervention consisted of 8 telephone counseling sessions over 12 weeks: weekly for the first 4 weeks then every 2 weeks thereafter. Supplementary materials (walking log and counseling pamphlets) were also given to the intervention group, while the control group received normal care. The Auckland Heart Study Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to measure physical activity at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. All measures of physical activity were greater in the intervention group than the control group with moderate leisure physical increasing by 87 min/wk. The intervention group had more participants who reached 2.5 hours of moderate or vigorous leisure physical activity per week after 12 months. Citation: Kolt, Scholfield, et al.. "Effect of Telephone Counseling on Physical Activity for Low-Active Older People in Primary Care: A Randomized, Controlled Trial." The American Geriatrics Society 55(7): 986-992, 2007.

POSTERS PROMOTING STAIR USE: Stair and elevator use was monitored in an office building and a paper factory in the Netherlands to test whether an intervention using prompts (posters) would stimulate stair use. Activity was collected at three time periods, before, during, and after introduction of the prompts. Stair use increased during the intervention among both white- and blue- collar workers. Stair use decreased after prompts were removed. There was no orksite-by-intervention interaction implying that low cost prompts were effective in both work sites equally. Citation: Kwak, Kremers, et al. "A poster-based intervention to promote stair use in blue- and white- collar worksites." Preventive Medicine 45(2007): 177-181, 2007.

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.

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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WALKING & BICYCLING SURVEY DATABASE: The National Cancer Institute has compiled a database of survey questions walking and cycling from multiple national and international physical activity surveys and questionnaires (PAQs). The purpose of this database is to provide easy access to a large number of questions assessing duration and frequency of walking and bicycling in the non-disabled adult population. It also briefly reviews the results of validation studies identified for some of the PAQs. http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/tools/paq/
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PA PROGRAMS FOR OLDER ADULTS. CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation has developed a guide that provides information on 17 physical activity programs that could be used with older adults having healthy to frail functional status. A limited number of the programs were designed specifically for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. This guide is intended to be used by organizations to help choose the right physical activity program for the population served. It includes program elements such as demographic characteristics of the population that programs were designed to serve, program and participant costs, number and type of paid or volunteer staff required, any research conducted evaluating program efficacy or effectiveness. To download the PDF file, go to
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MEASURING ADVOCACY AND POLICY. The Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland commissioned a guide to help determine meaningful ways to measure and evaluate the impact of its advocacy and public policy grantmaking. The guide also serves as a broad call to grantmakers to build and advance the field of evaluation in this area. For the "Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy," visit the Foundation's website at http://www.aecf.org/. Search for “policy advocacy” to find the Guide.
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SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL (SRTS): On October 1st, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership released a national report titled, "Safe Routes to School: 2007 State of the States." The report includes an executive summary, program needs, early success stories, observations, and resources. The report includes a one-page "State of the States" matrix, featuring how all states are doing with respect to the following: hiring a full time state SRTS coordinator, developing an advisory committee, releasing application guidelines, and selecting projects for SRTS funds. For more on the National Partnership, go to: http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/. To download the report, go to:

NEW GUIDE FOR BIKE SAFETY. Active Living Research has developed a Guide for Bicycle Safety. A brochure that can be localized with your own contact information (also available in Spanish) is found at http://www.activelivingresources.org/assets/bikesafety.pdf provides; another brochure for kids and exercise is found at
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Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008: The 14th biannual Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference will be in Seattle, WA, Sep. 2-5, 2008. Preliminary information can be found at http://www.bikewalk.org/2008conference/index.html

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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WEDNESDAY WALKERS. Wednesday Walkers, a program developed by Sumter County Active Lifestyles, the USC Prevention Research Center's community partner, was included in an article in November's Parks and Recreation Magazine, a publication of the National Recreation and Parks Association. Citation: Roberts. Walk This Way: Starting a walking program only takes a few easy steps. Parks and Recreation Magazine. 2007 (November): 56-59. Available on the web at http://www.nrpa.org/content/default.aspx?documentId=6411

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, Marsha Stepp, Catherine Carlstedt

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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