2007 Newsletters


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



Expand to read this issue.

“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


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]

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.


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#shpp) 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.

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_e.

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.


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/

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 http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/refguide_physactivity.htm.

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.

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: http://www.ite.org/news/SRTSreport2007.pdf.

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 http://www.activelivingresources.org/kids_exercise_brochure.pdf.


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.


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=641.


Delores Pluto, Marsha Stepp, Catherine Carlstedt


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

Expand to read this issue.

“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


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

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.


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/.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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]

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]

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/


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.

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

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]


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.

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.

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.


Delores Pluto, Nathaniel Patterson


NEWS YOU CAN USE: National Employee Health and Fitness Day; National Bike Month; RWJF Commits Funds to Childhood Obesity; WOMAN Challenge

RESEARCH NOTES: Internet PA Intervention Evaluation; VERB Campaign Evaluation; Physical Activity Assessment Tool; ALR Papers Featured in AJHP

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: AIMFREE Manuals; Built Environment and Physical Activity Report; Engaging School Leaders in Student Health; New PE Curriculum Analysis Tool; City-Safe Routes to School Program

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Safe Routes to School National Conference; International Conference on Physical Activity and Obesity in Children


Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, USC PRC, and CDC recently announced the availability of the Anne Seeley Scholarship, which will enable a person outside the field of public health to attend the annual Physical Activity and Public Health Practitioners' Course on Community Interventions. The course will be held September 13-19, 2007 at the Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. To be eligible, scholarship applicants must work in transportation, land use planning, parks and recreation, or other non-public health field. If you work with professionals from these disciplines, please encourage them to submit an application to attend this unique course. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide our diverse community partners with the most up-to-date understanding of environmental and policy approaches to promoting physical activity. Go to http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/seapines/index.htm for course information and instructions on how to apply. Applications are due by May 15, 2007. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director
Delores Pluto, PhD, Newsletter Editor


NATIONAL EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND FITNESS DAY: May 16th is National Employee Health and Fitness Day. A planning CD and other resources to help employers and employees from all sectors plan their celebration are featured on the National Association for Health and Fitness website. Go to http://www.physicalfitness.org.

NATIONAL BIKE MONTH: May is National Bike Month! Special events, promotional materials, and video and radio PSA's for Bike Month, Bike to Work Day/Week are available on the League of American Bicyclists website. Go to:

RWJF COMMITS FUNDS TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will commit at least $500 million over the next five years to fight childhood obesity in the U.S. The Foundation will focus on improving access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for safe physical activity in schools and communities. It will place special emphasis on reaching children at greatest risk for obesity and related health problems: African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander children living in low-income communities. For more information go to: http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios/features/featuredetail.jsp?featureID=2276&type=3&iaid=138.

WOMAN CHALLENGE: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health will kick off the WOMAN Challenge (Women and girls Out Moving Across the Nation) during National Women's Health Week, May 13-19. This free eight-week challenge encourages women and girls to walk 10,000 steps or get 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Participants will receive a pedometer, a tracking log, and weekly motivational e-mails and health tips to help them reach their goal. For more information and to register online, go to http://www.womenshealth.gov/woman/register.cfm.


INTERNET PA INTERVENTION EVALUATION: Two hundred eighty-five adults in Belgium completed self-reported pre/post test questionnaires to evaluate a website-delivered PA intervention. The adults were placed in one of three groups: receiving intervention with feedback, receiving intervention without feedback, and no intervention. After 6 months, both intervention groups showed significant increases in both active transportation and leisure-time PA levels compared to the control group. There were no significant differences between the two intervention groups. Spittaels, De Bourdeaudhuil, Vandelanotte. "Evaluation of website-delivered computer-tailored intervention for increasing physical activity on the general population." Preventative Medicine, 44,209-217,2007.

VERB CAMPAIGN EVALUATION: The VERB campaign targeted children and promoted physical activity through marketing activities, such as television advertising and community and school promotional activities. A baseline survey was conducted before the campaign activities began and at 1-year and 2-year follow-ups using the Youth Media Campaign Longitudinal Survey (YMCLS) to evaluate the behavioral and psychosocial effects of the VERB campaign. Results showed that as self-reported frequency of VERB exposure increased, physical activity on the day before the interview and median number of weekly sessions of physical activity during free time increased. Children aware of the VERB campaign reported more previous-day physical activity than those unaware of the campaign. The VERB campaign also showed positive effects on outcome expectations, social influences, and self-efficacy. These results suggest health marketing shows promise as an effective tool in changing children's attitudes and behaviors. Huhman, Potter, Duke, et al. "Evaluation of a National Physical Activity Intervention for Children. VERB Campaign, 2002-2004." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32(1),484-491, 2007.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ASSESSMENT TOOL: The Physical Activity Assessment Tool (PAAT) was validated against the Manufacturing Technology Inc (MTI) accelerometer, a direct, objective measure of physical activity, and a previously validated self-report instrument, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Long form (IPAQ-Long). Sixty-eight adult volunteers were recruited from a university community to participate in the study. Participants completed the PAAT and IPAQ-Long twice and wore a MTI accelerometer for 14 days. Significant correlations were found between the PAAT and IPAQ and the PAAT and MTI for moderate/vigorous PA (MVPA), however, the PAAT classified fewer patients as active than either the MTI or IPAQ. Between-weeks correlations for physical activity measured by PAAT were significant for total MVPA supporting test-retest reliability. The PAAT demonstrated adequate concurrent and criterion validity and warrants further investigation as a self-report measure of physical activity. Meriwether, McMahon, Islam, et al."Physical Activity Assessment: Validation of a Clinical Assessment Tool." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31(6),484-491, 2006.

ALR PAPERS FEATURED IN AJHP: A special issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion (March/April 2007 Vol. 21, No. 4) highlights papers presented at the 3rd Annual Active Living Research Conference in February 2006. For free access to the 2007 supplement, go to http://www.activelivingresearch.org/index.php/Open_Access_Journals/384.


AIMFREE MANUALS: The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) has announced the release of the AIMFREE (Accessibility Instruments Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments) Manuals, a validated series of questionnaire measures that can be used by persons with mobility limitations and professionals to assess the accessibility of recreation and fitness facilities. The 6 different versions are available in a box set for $125 per set, or a photocopy may be requested for $10 per version. For more information about AIMFREE manuals, go http://www.ncpad.org/aimfree. [NCPAD News, April 2007]

BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REPORT: A report from the Synthesis Project, an ongoing Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative, entitled "The Built Environment and Physical Activity: What is the Relationship?" is now available online. The report examines what we know about how the physical or built environment affects activity and outlines the potential policy implications of these findings. To view the report, go to http://www.rwjf.org/publications/synthesis/reports_and_briefs/issue11.html.

ENGAGING SCHOOL LEADERS IN STUDENT HEALTH: Two reports from Action for Healthy Kids focus on building relationships with and engaging school leaders to improve the health and wellbeing our students. "From the Top Down: Engaging School Leaders in Creating a Healthier, More Physically Active School Environment" and "Engaging School Leaders as Partners in Creating Healthy Schools" provide recommendations for building an effective outreach and engagement strategy and techniques to engage specific groups of school leaders. To download both reports, go to http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/special_exclusive.php.

NEW PHYSICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM ANALYSIS TOOL: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its new Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) to help school districts conduct assessments of their physical education curriculum, based upon national physical education standards. The tool also includes guidance for curriculum improvements based on the assessment results. For more information about PECAT, go to http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/pecat/.

CITY-SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAM: The Active Living Research Center has published pilot study finding for City-Safe Routes to School, a program for diverse populations in heavily urbanized environments where schools are typically located in the middle of cities with row homes, multi-family dwellings and industrial neighbors. To read the report about the pilot program and 5 pilot workshops, go to: http://www.activelivingresources.org/saferoutestoschool8.php.


SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL CONFERENCE: The Michigan Fitness Foundation is soliciting presentation proposals for the 1st Safe Routes to School National Conference, to be held on November 5-7, 2007 at the Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, MI. The conference theme is "Creating, Building and Sustaining Momentum" and is the basis for the Call for Presentations. The submission deadline is June 8, 2007. Go to http://www.saferoutesmichigan.org/nationalconference.htm for conference and submission information.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND OBESITY IN CHILDREN: International Conference on Physical Activity and Obesity in Children will be held Toronto, Canada, June 24-27, 2007 Due to increased interest in attending this event, a larger venue has been secured and organizers are accepting new registrations. For more information, go to http://www.phe.queensu.ca/epi/obesity/.


Lara Peck, Anna Price, and Delores Pluto


WALK21 2007 Call for Papers; Sign- up for SRTS Email Alerts

10,000 Steps per Day Intervention; Scale to Assess PA in College Students

Obesity Program for Children; ICAA Welcome Back to Fitness Toolkit

Promoting Public Health through Smart Growth Report; Smart Growth Illustrated; Neighborhood Density Presentations Available

International Conference on Physical Activity and Obesity in Children; National Bike Summit

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

If you haven't heard, there's an effort to develop a Physical Activity Special Interest Group (PA SIG) within the American Public Health Association (APHA). I view this as a significant endeavor in forging the connection between science and practice. I strongly encourage you to consider submitting an abstract to this year's APHA meeting in November in Washington, D.C. We need a good showing to make our case in forming the PA SIG (and eventually, an independent PA Section). Specific calls for PA abstracts can be found within the Food and Nutrition, Gerontological Health, Health Education and Promotion, and School Health Sections. There has been a wonderful response from persons interested in reviewing PA abstracts. Now, it's up to all of us to give them something to review! Go to http://www.apha.org/meetings/sessions/ for more info. Submission deadlines range from Feb. 5-9. I look forward to your "active" response to this opportunity.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director
Delores Pluto, PhD, Newsletter Editor


WALK21 2007 CALL FOR PAPERS: Papers, presenters and workshop proposals are now being sought for Walk21 Toronto that can provide insight, guidance and support within each of the conference themes, from the local to the international level. The deadline to submit is Friday, March 23, 2007. Call for papers information can be found at http://www.walk21.com.

SIGN UP FOR SRTS EMAIL ALERTS: The National Center for Safe Routes to School has added an email alerts sign-up feature on its Web site. By signing up for the feature, subscribers will receive periodic updates from the Center, including news releases and Safe Routes Matters, the Center's electronic newsletter. To subscribe, please visit http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/signup.


10,000 STEPS PER DAY INTERVENTION: An intervention was designed to study the effects of a 10,000 step per day goal on body weight, body composition, resting blood pressure, and fasting lipid profile among overweight and obese adults between 30 to 60 years of age. Fifty-six participants were selected by a telephone interview to start the intervention. Of these original 56, 38 (68%) participated for the duration of the study and 19 (50%) of the participants adhered to the 10,000 step per day goal for the 36 week duration of the intervention. For those who completed the intervention, significant improvements were observed for mean values of steps per day, body weight, BMI, percentage body fat, fat mass, waist and hip circumference, and HDL-C. For those who completed the intervention but did not adhere to the 10,000 step per day goal, little or no change was observed for these criteria except that they increased their baseline physical activity levels by about 2500 steps per day. Schneider, Bassett, Thompson, et al. "Effects of a 10,000 Steps per Day Goal in Overweight Adults." American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(2), 85-89, 2006.

SCALE TO ASSESS PA IN COLLEGE STUDENTS: The newly developed Physical Activity Benefits and Barriers Scale (PABBS) was assessed to determine its effectiveness as a measure of benefits and barriers to physical activity among college students. In phase one of the study, exploratory interviews were conducted with the college students. In phase two, 275 college students filled out the PABBS and a physical activity measure. They were also interviewed about additional perceived benefits and barriers. In the third phase, 25 students took the PABBS on two occasions, one week apart. Factor analysis revealed five benefit and four barrier factors that were related with strenuous physical activity. Low Motivation accounted for most of the variance (36%) in strenuous physical activity, followed by Time Constraints (17%). The PABBS showed acceptable psychometric properties and was moderately associated with strenuous physical activity among college students, suggesting it is an efficacious measure of benefits and barriers to physical activity among college students. Brown, Huber, Bergman. "A Perceived Benefits and Barriers Scale for Strenuous Physical Activity in College Students." American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(2), 137-140, 2006.


OBESITY PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN: Rollie Robin is an obesity awareness and prevention program designed to encourage physical activities and healthy food choices among children in preschool to 3rd grade. Children help Rollie, a bird who cannot fly, by setting examples for him. They record their improved eating and enhanced physical activities in a journal and are rewarded with stickers and visual charting of their success. Visit http://www.rollierobin.com/ for more information.

ICAA WELCOME BACK TO FITNESS TOOLKIT: The International Council on Active Aging's Welcome Back to Fitness toolkit is designed to help older adults get back into a fitness regime, whether at home, at a club, with a personal trainer or on their own. The toolkit is available on the ICAA website and features topics such how to get started, age friendly equipment and physical activities, what look for in a trainer and questions to ask your doctor before getting started. An age-friendly fitness and wellness facilities locator (in United States and Canada) is also available. Go to http://www.icaa.cc/welcomeback.htm to view the toolkit.


PROMOTING PUBLIC HEALTH THROUGH SMART GROWTH REPORT: Smart Growth BC has prepared a report to explain how the built environment influences our transportation choices and health. "Promoting Public Health through Smart Growth" reviews the existing research for a range of transportation-related health impacts on seven public health outcomes: Physical Activity and Obesity, Air Quality, Traffic Safety, Noise, Water Quality, Mental Health, and Social Capital. To download the report, go to: http://www.smartgrowth.bc.ca/downloads/SGBC_Health%20Report%20Final.pdf [SCCOPE News & Updates 01/05/07]

SMART GROWTH ILLUSTRATED: The US Environmental Protection Agency's Smart Growth Illustrated provides visual examples of smart growth techniques as they have been used in different places. Although every example illustrates several smart growth principles, each was chosen to illustrate one specific principle. A narrative description and photographs are provided for each case study. To view the smart growth examples, go to http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/case.htm.

NEIGHTBORHOOD DENSITY PRESENTATIONS AVAILABLE: The Urban Land Institute, the National Multi-Housing Council, and the Sierra Club have prepared PowerPoint presentations, titled "A Plan for Tomorrow: Creating Stronger and Healthier Communities Today," that show how density can transform neighborhoods and provide research to allay the conventional fears about density. Presentations and customizable scripts for both urban and suburban audiences (planning officials, neighborhood groups, chambers of commerce, etc.) are available free of charge. Go to http://www.nmhc.org/Content/ServeContent.cfm?ContentItemID=3423 to download the presentation and scripts.


INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND OBESITY IN CHILDREN: The International Conference on Physical Activity and Obesity in Children will be held June 24-27, 2007 in Toronto, Canada. The conference aims to inform the development of a scientifically-based community strategy to reduce the incidence of childhood and youth obesity through increased sport and physical activity participation. More information about presenters, registration and abstract submission are available at http://www.obesityconference.ca.

NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT: The National Bike Summit will be held March 13-16 in Washington, DC. The summit is an opportunity for the bicycling community to communicate with top-level government leaders who have the power to dramatically improve bicycling in the United States. For summit and registration information, go to http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit07/index.php.


Lara Peck, Anna Price, and Matthew Thomas

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