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“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

Recently, I came across one of the presidential primary debates on TV and stopped to listen. Interestingly, two of the candidates mentioned primary prevention, health and wellness policies, and incentives as critical to health care reform. They talked about prevention of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension through healthy lifestyles, and how the health care system is really a "disease care" system that is spiraling out of control. I was pleasantly surprised that these statements were made is such a vital public forum (by Republican candidates no less). My wife took notice and commented how my work in promoting health through physical activity is very important to these issues. As such, so is your work! With primary prevention on the lips of these and other policy makers, we are positioned to make important contributions to the health and wellness of our country. Let's make sure our voices are heard and our work recognized as much as possible, so that we can be a part of the solution in 2008 and beyond.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director

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

IN THIS ISSUE – January-February 2008

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Online Physical Activity Programs; Bike Safety PSA

RESEARCH NOTES: Dog Ownership and Physical Activity; Physical Activity and Mortality; StrongWomen Community Strength Training; Pedometers and PA; Mortality Predictors in Older Adults

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Exercise is Medicine™; Trail-Building Toolbox; Adolescent Obesity Research; Physical Activity and the Deaf

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Complete Streets Briefing Paper; Promoting PA among Those 50+; Healthy Land Use Plans; High-Tech Solution for Promoting Bicycling; Promoting PA at the Mall

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: APHA Annual Meeting; Training on Assessment of the Built Environment; Physical Activity and Public Health Courses (US); Physical Activity Course for Public Health Practitioners (Canada)

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Question Order Matters When Assessing PA and Walking


ONLINE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROGRAMS: Two online activity/adventure programs are available on the AARP website. "Get Fit on Route 66" users can virtually trace the legendary highway that runs from the shores of Lake Michigan to the California coast by recording their exercise minutes online; minutes convert to highway miles. You may register to participate at http://aarp.getfitonroute66.com/. "Step Up to Better Health" incorporates a step counter to help users build up to walking 10,000 steps per day by virtually traveling along one of four famous trails: Lewis & Clark, Alaska Highway, Highway 50, or the Appalachian Trail. Register at http://aarp.stepuptobetterhealth.com/default.asp.

BIKE SAFETY PSA: The Sonoma County (CA) Bicycle Coalition public service announcement (PSA) promoting bike safety has been shown on TV stations. This video was directed by award-winning filmmaker Michael Danty, and is now available for viewing at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_PEt8xfjG4. Another PSA promoting bicycling as an activity is also available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFUgNHg_qaM.

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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.
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DOG OWNERSHIP AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Data from the first phase of a RESIDentail Environmental (RESIDE) project in Australia was used to investigate the association between dog ownership and physical activity (PA) levels. Of 1813 adults surveyed, 44% were dog owners. Dog owners perceived their environments to be more attractive and accessible compared to non-dog owners. Self-reported PA data indicated that dog walking accounted for 65% of all walking, and 93% of all walking-for-recreation within the neighborhood. Dog ownership was found to be independently associated with physical activity and walking. Cutt, Giles-Corti, Knuiman, et al. "Understanding Dog Owner's Increased Levels of Physical Activity: Results From RESIDE." American Journal of Public Health, 98(1): 66-69, 2008.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MORTALITY: The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study examined recommended PA guidelines in relation to mortality in 252,925 persons aged 50 to 71. Mortality was further categorized into "deaths due to cardiovascular disease" (CD) and "deaths due to cancer." Results indicate that achieving recommended moderate activity levels of 20 minutes 3 times per week was associated with a 27% decrease in mortality risk compared with being inactive. PA of any kind was associated also with a clear decrease in risk of mortality. The inverse association between PA and mortality was mainly due to mortality from CD, though mortality due to cancer also had a statistically significant reduced mortality risk. Leitzman et al. "Physical Activity Recommendations and Decreased Risk of Mortality." Arch Intern Med., 167(22):2453-2460, 2007.

STRONGWOMEN COMMUNITY STRENGTH TRAINING: The StrongWomen program aims to enable women aged 40 or older to maintain their strength, function, and independence. Program leaders are trained through participation in the StrongWomen Workshop and receive the StrongWomen Tool Kit and further support to implement the program in their communities. Assessment of the StrongWomen program implemented in 38 states reveals that successful evidence-informed strength training programs can be successful using trained leaders in the community. Seguin, Economos, Hyatt. "Design and National Dissemination of the StrongWomen Community Strength Training Program." Preventing Chronic Disease, 5(1), 2008. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2008/jan/06_0165.htm

PEDOMETERS AND PA: A recent review of 26 studies evaluated the association of pedometer use with PA and health outcomes among outpatient adults. Studies with reported assessment of pedometer use among adult outpatients, change in number of steps per day, and with more than 5 participants were included. Eight studies were randomized control trials (RCT); 18 were observational. The populations had a mean age of 49; 85% were women; and the mean duration of intervention was 18 weeks. In the RCTs, pedometer users significantly increased physical activity by 2,183 steps per day over baseline. Physical activity increased 27% overall, and having a step goal (such as 10,000 steps per day) was an important predictor of increased PA. Data from all studies showed a significant decrease in BMI among pedometer users. Bravata, Smith-Spangler, et al. "Using Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health: A Systematic Review." JAMA, 298(19): 2296-2304, 2007.

MORTALITY PREDICTORS IN OLDER ADULTS: In a study (from 1979-2001) to determine the association among cardiorespiratory fitness, adiposity, and mortality in older adults, low fitness predicted higher risk of all-cause mortality (after adjustment for potential confounding factors). Fit individuals had greater longevity than unfit individuals, regardless of body composition or fat distribution. Data provide evidence regarding the complex long-term relationship among fitness, body size, and survival. It may be possible to reduce all-cause death rates among older adults, including the obese, by promoting regular physical activity. Sui, LaMonte, et al. "Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Adiposity as Mortality Predictors in Older Adults." JAMA, 298(21): 2507-16, 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.

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EXERCISE IS MEDICINE™: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have launched Exercise is Medicine™, a new program designed to encourage patients to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routine. Exercise is Medicine™ calls on doctors to prescribe exercise to their patients. A new website (http://www.exerciseismedicine.org) contains educational materials and toolkits for physicians to use, and information for patients, the media, and policymakers. Educational models will be developed for use in medical schools so students can learn early the importance of prescribing exercise to patients.

TRAIL-BUILDING TOOLBOX: A new feature of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Trailbuilding Website is a trail building toolbox. This resource, which is still under development, is designed to "fit the needs of all involved in trail development, from first-time citizen advocates to more experienced planners and trail managers." The website includes sections on corridor research, rail-banking, acquisition, outreach, planning/construction, and management/maintenance. For details, go to http://preview.tinyurl.com/27gllx. [Source: Centerlines, Dec. 2007]
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ADOLESCENT OBESITY RESEARCH: Bridging the Gap (BTG), a collaborative research initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a multidisciplinary, multi-site initiative that now includes the role of the policies, programs, physical inactivity, and dietary habits that contribute to the obesity among adolescents. For papers related to physical activity from this initiation see: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 33, Issue 4, Supplement 1, 2007.
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PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND THE DEAF: The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) has produced a report on physical activity and the Deaf community. This report focuses on the relationship of hearing loss, communication skills, and the development of motor skills in deaf or hearing-impaired children and adults, and makes recommendations for physical educators on the challenges of integrating and involving the deaf and hearing-impaired in community sport and recreation activities. Providing physical education programs to help individuals develop healthy and active lifestyles is a critical issue for the Deaf community. Full text is available at http://www.ncpad.org/disability/fact_sheet.php?sheet=579&view=all [Source: NCPAD Monthly Newsletter, 6(12), 2007.]


COMPLETE STREETS BRIEFING PAPER: The National Conference of State Legislators (NCLS) recently completed a briefing paper on the "complete streets" policy movement, in order to help state legislators and their staff respond to the demand for policies across the country. The brief is available for free to NCSL members and for a fee to the general public on the NCSL website. http://www.ncsl.org/programs/pubs/summaries/07LBNovDec_Streets-sum.htm. [Source: Centerlines, Dec. 2007]

PROMOTING PA AMONG THOSE 50+: AARP's Active for Life (AFL) campaign (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) focused on getting sedentary older adults to engage in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. AFL tested this directive's effectiveness by conducting targeted physical activity campaigns in Madison, Wisconsin and Richmond, Virginia. These local campaigns employed various interventions to educate residents about physical activity, provide information about local physical activity programs, and advocate for environmental changes that would make it easier for the 50+ population to walk and bike. A collection of five AFL guides is presented here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/2c9d5q

HEALTHY LAND USE PLANS: A new toolkit details various strategies for creating healthy communities, from building relationships and assessing existing conditions, to creating policy language for implementation of these strategies. It is designed for training advocates in the relationship between the built environment and public health, such as improving community health by ensuring that farmers' markets and neighborhood grocery stores are supported, or by promoting sidewalks, parks and other environmental components that encourage physical activity. The toolkit was developed by the Planning for Healthy Places program at the Public Health Institute in California. For details, visit http://www.healthyplanning.org/toolkit_healthygp.html.

HIGH-TECH SOLUTION FOR PROMOTING BICYCLING: A program in Boulder, Colorado has doubled the annual number of bicycle trips taken by students at one elementary school from 10,000 to 20,000. Using innovative technology to count the days kids bicycle to school, the Freiker (FREquent - bIKER) registers helmet tags and wirelessly uploads data to a website. The Freiker measures participation every day, rain or shine, with no guesswork, no surveys, and no need for volunteers to stand in the snow punching cards or counting bicycles. Learn more at http://www.freiker.org. [Source: Safe Routes to School, Dec. 2007 E-news]

PROMOTING PA AT THE MALL: The Friendly Corner (TFC) is a successful partnership between the St. Laurent Centre mall in Ottawa, the Canadian Public Health agency, and 24 volunteers. TFC is a bilingual, health information and activity center, open in this mall since 1994. It provides opportunities for older adults to take charge of their health and improve their quality of life through physical activity, healthy eating, social connectivity, and positive mental health. The mall location is accessible and safe; fees are minimal, and instructors are certified. Details at: http://ottawa.ca/residents/health/living/activity/older/friendly_corner_en.html [Source: Betty-Ann Hamilton, R.N., B.Sc.N, Physical Activity Team, Ottawa Public Health]

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APHA ANNUAL MEETING: The deadline to submit abstracts for this year's APHA Annual Meeting is February 4-8th, depending on the section for which you are submitting. For submission details and specific sections and dates, go to http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/.

TRAINING ON ASSESSMENT OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: The BEAT (Built Environment Assessment Training) Institute will offer training at Emory University in Atlanta, GA from June 15th - 20th, 2008, to prepare investigators and practitioners to use both observational and self-report measures of nutrition and activity environments and related behavioral assessments. If you wish to attend, go to http://www.sph.emory.edu/BEAT/ for information on how to apply.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH (PAPH) COURSES (US): The CDC and the USC PRC will sponsor an 8-day postgraduate course on Research Directions and Strategies, and a 6-day Practitioner's Course on Community Intervention, in Park City, Utah, September 16-24, 2008. The goal: to give more researchers and practitioners expertise in the relationship between physical activity and health. Approximately twenty-five fellows will be accepted for each course. Acceptance criteria include professional credentials, experience, and potential to enhance public health research and practice. PAPH courses received the 2004 CDC PRC Award for Excellence in Training and Technical Assistance. Details: http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/seapines/

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COURSE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTITIONERS (CANADA): The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) will conduct this course at the Banff Park Lodge in Banff, Alberta, September 29 to October 2, 2008. This is a professional development opportunity which specifically targets increasing effectiveness in building a healthy active community. This intensive academic-style program brings together theory, best practices, and communications, and provides international insights as well as a uniquely Canadian perspective on increasing knowledge about physical activity. Spaces are limited to ensure the most productive and engaging learning environment with an internationally recognized faculty team. For more info: http://cflri.ca/eng/info/2008_paph_info.php.

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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QUESTION ORDER MATTERS WHEN ASSESSING PA AND WALKING. Two different versions of a telephone survey were used in a study conducted by the USC PRC. In one version, questions about walking followed questions about moderate and vigorous PA; and on the alternate version, walking questions were asked before those about moderate and vigorous PA. The authors found that walking questions can cause a bias in reporting levels of vigorous and moderate PA and should be placed after those questions on a survey. Hutto, Sharpe, Granner, et al. "The Effect of Question Order on Reporting Physical Activity and Walking Behavior." Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5 (Suppl.1): S16-S29, 2008.

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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