2009 Newsletters


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Bicycle Blog RSS Feed; Seeking SRTS Programs; Tennis in the Parks Initiative; American Diabetes Month

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Update on Senate Climate Bill; Livable Communities Task Force

RESEARCH NOTES: 8 Steps to Fitness; An Economic Evaluation of Health-Promotive Built Environment Changes; Prospective Study of Urban Form and Physical Activity in the Black Women's Health Study

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Physical Activity Research Center for Public Heath; Toolkit Helps Employers Promote Healthy Child Weight

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Alliance Awards $104,000 in Grants; Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving; Physical Activity and Socio-Economic Status

SCHOOLS: Two Featured Resources from Safe Routes to School; Record Participation for Walk to School Day

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute; Seventh Annual International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)

Expand to read this issue.

"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

The American Public Health Association's (APHA) annual meeting just adjourned and the Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group (PA SPIG) was visible and busy! We had a business meeting, evening social, 5K fun run/walk, water fitness class, and a host of scientific sessions. However, we have much more work to do! You are invited to become a member of APHA and affiliate with the PA SPIG, whose mission is to provide a visible and credible home within APHA for PA researchers, practitioners, advocates and partners, help close the gap between science and practice, and integrate PA into APHA's advocacy efforts. You can learn more by going to the PA SPIG web page at http://www.apha.org/membergroups/primary/aphaspigwebsites/physical/

Our goal over the next three years is to have 250 or more APHA members as affiliates, and you can sign up by going to www.apha.org and then linking to the online membership form and selecting the PA SPIG as your primary affiliation in the Section/SPIG drop down menu. If you are already an APHA member, you can also affiliate with the PA SPIG by accessing your personal membership file and either changing your primary affiliation or selecting the PA SPIG as a secondary affiliation. Students are also welcome to join!

We are in need of persons to serve in various capacities (annual meeting abstract reviewer, secretary, and membership, nominations, awards, and fun run/walk committees). There's something for everybody. As Chair of the Leadership Team, I invite you to get involved and look forward to working with you.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


LEAGUE BLOG RSS FEED: The League's blog is packed with great content ranging from cyclists' rights, the media's sometimes inaccurate portrayal of bicycling, to Congressman Earl Blumenauer biking to work. The League's board, staff, and occasional guest writers use this blog to sound off about topics near and dear to our hearts: bicycling, bicycling education, bicyclist advocacy, and promoting bicycling. Check out the blog and follow league activities through the Bike League RSS feed: at http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/feed/. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, November 9, 2009]

SEEKING SRTS PROGRAMS: The National SRTS Center is developing a report that describes how SRTS programs are measuring changes in health or the environment. Measures may include looking at physical activity amounts, counting cars arriving at the school campus in order to estimate reductions in pollution, assessing changes in air quality, or other ways to look for potential improvements related to physical or environmental health. If you have a program that attempts to measure such activities, the Center would like to speak with you about what is being measured, how it's being measured and what results, if any, have been collected. Even if you are only in the development stages, they would like to hear about your plans. Please contact Megan Cornog at cornog@hsrc.unc.edu or (919) 962-7411. [Source: Safe Routes Matters, Sept/Oct 2009

TENNIS IN THE PARKS INITIATIVE: This joint initiative of the USTA and the National Recreation and Park Association has contributed to the resurgence of tennis as a lifelong recreational sport. This partnership makes resources available to help public Parks and Recreation agencies engage more youth and adults in physically active lifestyles through tennis. An addition to available resources is the newly created TIP Peer Advisors, a network of experienced public tennis practitioners from every state to mentor parks and recreation agencies. Read more at http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/nrpa/usta.pdf. If you are interested in becoming a TIP Peer Advisor, please visit www.nrpa.org/usta to obtain an application, which should be forwarded to:

United States Tennis Association
Attn: Tennis in the Parks
70 West Red Oak Lane
White Plains, NY 10604
914-696-2032 Fax
[Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, Nov. 3, 2009]

AMERICAN DIABETES MONTH. November 1-30, 2009. This November, join the American Diabetes Association in a national movement to Stop Diabetes™. Visit the website at http://tinyurl.com/5ytu5


UPDATE ON SENATE CLIMATE BILL: FUNDING FOR CLEAN TRANSPORTATION INCREASED IN SENATE BILL. On October 23, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) released the chairman's mark of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733). The allocations announced on the 23rd include a new program to fund transportation projects that cut greenhouse gas emissions. Allocations for clean transportation and smart growth programs would average out to about 2.4% over the life of the bill. Read a fact sheet about this bill at http://preview.tinyurl.com/y9ttug2. [Source: Washington Update: November 2, 2009]

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES TASK FORCE (LCTF). Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-D) has created the Livable Communities Task Force, a collection of 20 Congressmen who will provide and expedite legislation that builds more livable communities. The LCTF will work to improve our communities through legislation that helps reduce dependence on oil, protect the environment, improve public health, and invest in transportation projects that create jobs and give people more commuting choices. The LCTF will issue a bi-monthly newsletter highlighting events in Washington and important legislative developments. A list of LCTF members can be found on the LCTF website at www.blumenauer.house.gov/livablecommunities. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, October 26, 2009]


8 STEPS TO FITNESS was a faith-based behavior-change intervention promoting PA among members of African American churches. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine differences between the intervention group (n =72) and comparison group (n = 74). Health, psychosocial, and behavioral variables were assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-months. Repeated measures ANCOVAs tested changes across time between groups. At 3-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in BMI, waist circumference and social support than the control group. At 6-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in waist to hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and depressive symptoms. Bopp, Wilcox, Laken, et al. “8 Steps to Fitness: A Faith-Based, Behavior Change Physical Activity Intervention for African Americans.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(5), 568-577, 2009.

AN ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF HEALTH-PROMOTIVE BUILT ENVIRONMENT CHANGES. The 2001 National Household Travel Survey sample (N = 4,974) from Dane County, Wisconsin, was used to develop a Spatial Seemingly Unrelated Regression model of daily vehicle miles traveled and miles walked or biked. The empirical model was used to analyze the travel impacts of hypothetical built environment changes. Based on the present analyses, an investment of $450 million to make sidewalks available to all Dane County residents was estimated to yield a cost-benefit ratio of 1.87 over a 10-year life cycle. Guo, Gandavarapu. “An Economic Evaluation of Health-Promotive Built Environment Changes.”Preventive Medicine, In press.

PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF URBAN FORM AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN THE BLACK WOMEN'S HEALTH STUDY. The authors used data from 20,354 women in the Black Women's Health Study to assess the association between neighborhood urban form and PA. For all women, housing density had the strongest association with utilitarian walking (OR = 2.72, 95% CI: 2.22-3.31), followed by availability of public transit. Women who moved during follow-up to neighborhoods of lower density were 36% more likely to decrease their levels of utilitarian walking, and those who moved to neighborhoods of higher density were 23% more likely to increase their levels of utilitarian walking, relative to women who moved to neighborhoods of similar density. Coogan, White, Adler, et al. “Prospective Study of Urban Form and Physical Activity in the Black Women's Health Study.” American Journal of Epidemiology, 170(9), 1105-1117, 2009.

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.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RESOURCE CENTER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH (PARC-PH). The Physical Activity Epidemiology group at the University of Pittsburgh has developed the Physical Activity Resource Center for Public Health (PARC-PH). This resource was developed to satisfy the need for a comprehensive center that can provide up-to-date physical activity assessment and intervention information as well as guidance to researchers and community members. Their mission is to support physical activity assessment and lifestyle promotion efforts whether as part of a research or community intervention. Visit the website at http://www.parcph.org/. [Source: CFAH'S DAILY DIGEST: Thursday, October 29, 2009]

NEW PEDESTRIAN SAFETY RANKING CALLS FOR COMPLETE STREETS. A new report ranking the nation's most dangerous metropolitan areas for walking finds that 'incomplete' streets are a major culprit in the deaths of thousands of Americans every year. Dangerous by Design, from Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Project, finds that as many as 40% of fatal pedestrian crashes are in places where no crosswalk was available, and that arterials designed only for cars are the most dangerous. Read the full report at http://preview.tinyurl.com/ybp2ugn. [Source: National Complete Streets Coalition Newsletter, 11/09/09]

TOOLKIT HELPS EMPLOYERS PROMOTE HEALTHY CHILD WEIGHT. It's Everyone's Business (published by the National Business Group on Health with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau) is an action-oriented toolkit designed to help employers address childhood obesity and its implications on health care costs for the current and future work force. It includes examples of how employers can use existing programs or facilities to fight childhood obesity in their communities. A list of resources and relevant websites is also included. The toolkit is available at http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/benefitstopics/et_chobesity.cfm. [Source: MCH Alert, November 6, 2009]


ALLIANCE AWARDS $104,000 IN GRANTS. The Alliance for Biking & Walking is awarding $104,000 in grants to five grassroots biking and walking advocacy organizations. The Advocacy Advance Grants will be used to jump-start emerging advocacy organizations and to fund innovative campaigns with the potential to dramatically increase biking and walking. The second round of 2009 grants was extremely competitive with 76 proposals totaling over $1.2 million. Read about the winners at http://preview.tinyurl.com/ychetwb. [American Bicyclist Update, November 9, 2009]

SIMPLE STEPS GET WALKERS MOVING. A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health attempted to increase walking activity in a multicultural housing site in Seattle, WA. Interventions included sponsoring walking groups, improving walking routes, offering information about walking options, and advocating for pedestrian safety. A pre-post study design was used to assess changes in walking activity. Self-reported walking activity increased from 65 to 109 minutes per day. Krieger, J, Rabkin, J, Sharify, D, Song, L. “High Point Walking for Health: Creating Built and Social Environments That Support Walking in a Public Housing Community.” American Journal of Public Health, 99(S3):S593, 2009.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS. Since 2000, many municipalities across Canada have been offering targeted programming and scheduling for families, women and low income groups. What they discovered is that women in disadvantaged circumstances-including immigrant women, multicultural women, low-income women, and single-parent mothers-report that they do not receive enough information about local opportunities for physical activities and sport. Find out what a series of focus groups revealed about what communities can do to promote physical activity among women of low socio-economic status. Read the complete article at
http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/publications/wellspring/2009/oct-low-SES-women.html. [Source: Wellspring, October 2009 20(5)]


1: Teaching Children to Walk Safely: Being able to walk safely is an important skill that needs to be developed, starting with hand-held walks. This resource is a guide to help parents and caregivers match their guidance and expectations with their children's abilities. It includes handouts to assist parents in assessing and strengthening their child's pedestrian skills. See: www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/education_teachingchildren.cfm

2: School Bicycling and Walking Policies: A tip sheet, jointly-developed by the SRTS National Partnership and the National Center for Safe Routes to School, provides simple steps explaining how to approach and overturn barrier policies that prohibit walking and/or bicycling to school, and encouraging supportive policies, which enable bicycling and walking to school programs.
See: www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/program-development_tip-sheets.cfm

RECORD PARTICIPATION FOR 2009 WALK TO SCHOOL DAY. A record number of communities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in Walk to School Day 2009. A total of 3,369 Walk to School Day events registered through the National Center's Web site -- an increase of 481 events (17%) over last year! Walk to School Day continues to grow in popularity because community members encourage safe walking and bicycling to school. Also, local, regional and national officials joined in local Walk to School Day celebrations nationwide and helped create interest and excitement surrounding scheduled events..." [Source: Safe Routes Matters, September/October 2009]

[Source: Safe Routes to School E-Newsletter, October/November 2009]


BUILT ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT TRAINING (BEAT) INSTITUTE. The Institute of Medicine and other key organizations have identified environment and policy changes as the most promising strategies for controlling obesity and improving diet and physical activity. There are now a variety of measures that can be used by researchers and practitioners to plan and evaluate changes to the built environment. The BEAT Institute is designed to train participants to use these measures. June 13-18, 2010, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SEVENTH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON ACTIVE AGING (ICAA) Conference, December 2-5, 2009, Orlando, Florida. http://www.icaa.cc/convention.htm


POSITION AVAILABLE. The USC Arnold School of Public Health Prevention Research Center is seeking a full-time Community Development Specialist to work with a team in conducting community advocacy and health development projects as part of a community based participatory research project in underserved communities. This is a field staff position located primarily in Sumter with some work in Columbia and some statewide travel in later project years. This is a full-time temporary grant funded position with state employee benefits approved for funding through September 2014. Hours will vary, sometimes requiring evening and occasional weekend work.

To inquire about or apply for this position, contact the USC Division of Human Resources Employment Office:

Website http://hr.sc.edu/employ.html
1. After accessing site, click on USC Jobs
2. Click on Search Postings in left margin
3. In the Department field, use the drop down box to select Prevention Research Center

Email uscjobs@sc.edu; Telephone 803.777.3821


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ask Google to Generate Biking Route Maps; Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid; The Bike League Blog is Back; National Turn off the TV Week; Active Aging Week; Walk to School Month

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: New Bills Recognize the Benefits of Complete Streets

RESEARCH NOTES: Activity, Diet, and Risk of Alzheimer Disease; Neighborhood Safety, Socioeconomic Status, and Physical Activity in Older Adults; Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures Used in Middle-Aged Women; Comparison of Two Methods of Conducting Fit and Strong! Arthritis and Rheumatism

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Motoring Group Promotes Cycling; Adolescent Athletes Enjoy Better Sleep; Journal Supplement Focuses on Adolescent Obesity

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: New IOM Report Affirms Local Governments’ Role in Creating Healthy Environments; Advocacy Advance & League Web Advances

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging – Research to Practice Conference; 2009 PEP Grant Resource Conference; WALK 21: 10th Annual Conference; National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition; APHA Annual Meeting & Public Health Expo


Expand to read this issue.

"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

It is official - the American Public Health Association's (APHA) Executive Board approved the formation of the Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group (PA SPIG)! This is a major accomplishment, and I wish to thank all of you for your support, especially those persons who have dedicated their time and effort as members of the Leadership Team over the past two years. Now, we have much more work to do! You are invited to become a member of APHA and affiliate with the PA SPIG whose mission is to provide a visible and credible home within APHA for PA researchers, practitioners, advocates and partners, help close the gap between science and practice, and integrate PA into APHA's advocacy efforts. We will also provide exciting professional development and PA opportunities at the annual APHA meeting. You can learn more by going to the PA SPIG web page at http://tinyurl.com/mcff5a.

Our goal over the next three years is to have 250 or more APHA members as affiliates, and you can sign up by going to www.apha.org and then linking to the online membership form and selecting the PA SPIG as your primary affiliation in the Section/SPIG drop down menu. If you are already an APHA member, you can also affiliate with the PA SPIG by accessing your personal membership file and either changing your primary affiliation or selecting the PA SPIG as a secondary affiliation. Students are also welcome to join! Be on the look out for more information from the PA SPIG in the coming days. As Chair of the Leadership Team, I invite you to get involved and look forward to working with you.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


ASK GOOGLE MAPS TO GENERATE BIKING ROUTE MAPS, According to an article in the Aug. 26th Marin County Bicycle Coalition newsletter, "It has come to MCBC's attention that a request for Google to create maps for the best cycling routes in any particular area has been posted on their 'Suggest It' page. MCBC thinks this is a great idea and suggests that everyone with an interest in biking (and walking) go to http://tinyurl.com/ctuuos and “vote” under Route Information. If Google is flooded with requests, it may result in a tool of interest to all cyclists and walkers.

THE BEST CITIES TO RAISE AN OUTDOOR KID. Backpacker Magazine and the Outdoor Foundation worked together to come up with a list of cities that offer an ideal mix of accessible trails, inspiring teachers, and great recreational resources: “America's top 25 places to beat nature deficit disorder.” To see the list and a map, along with other search options, such as which cities are best for which sports, go to http://tinyurl.com/mz6466. [Source: PARKS AND RECREATION WEEKLY NEWS BRIEF Sept. 1, 2009]

THE BIKE LEAGUE'S BLOG IS BACK! After a long hiatus, the League of American Bicyclists' blog is back, featuring contributions from the whole staff and occasional guest writers. The League now has two policy analysts to keep the blog up to date on the latest national and notable regional bicycle news, policy and politics, to include bicycling, bicycling education, bicyclist advocacy, and promoting bicycling.. Read the blog at http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/. {Source: American Bicyclist Update August 17, 2009]

NATIONAL TURN OFF THE TV WEEK, September 20-26, 2009, http://www.tvturnoff.org/

ACTIVE AGING WEEK, September 24-30, 2008, http://www.icaa.cc/aaw.htm

WALK TO SCHOOL MONTH, October 1-31, 2009, http://www.walktoschool.org/


NEW BILLS RECOGNIZE THE CLEAR BENEFITS OF COMPLETE STREETS.Two bills recently introduced in Congress recognize the clear benefits that complete streets provide for improving the safety and livability of a community for everyone living there-regardless of age or ability. Senator Christopher Dodd [CT] was joined by Senators Menendez [NJ], Merkley [OR], Bennet [CO] and Akaka [HI] in introducing the Livable Communities Act of 2009 (S. 1619) that would fund development and implementation of regional plans to link transportation, land use, housing and economic development to create prosperous, sustainable communities. The Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety and Roadway Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R. 3355), introduced by Rep. Jason Altmire (PA-4), would improve design guidelines, data collection, and provide funding for states to make roads safer for older drivers and pedestrians. Read more about both bills at http://tinyurl.com/krqkck. [Source: National Complete Streets Coalition E-Newsletter, August 12, 2009]


ACTIVITY, DIET, AND RISK OF ALZHEIMER DISEASE. This study investigated the combined association of diet and physical activity with Alzheimer disease (AD) risk. This was a prospective cohort study comprising 1,880 community-dwelling elders without dementia. Neurological and neuropsychological measures were administered approximately every 1.5 years from 1992-2006. Adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet and physical activity, separately and combined, were the main predictors in Cox models. A total of 282 incident AD cases occurred during a mean of 5.4 ± 3.3 years of follow-up. When considered simultaneously, both diet adherence and physical activity were associated with lower AD risk. Compared with individuals neither adhering to the diet nor participating in physical activity, those both adhering to the diet and participating in physical activity had a lower risk of AD. Scarmeas, Luchsinger, Schupf, et al. “Physical Activity, Diet, and Risk of Alzheimer Disease.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(6), 627-637, 2009.

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN OLDER ADULTS. The study investigated the association between perceived neighborhood safety and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) in a nationally representative sample of older adults, and evaluated SES characteristics as potential effect modifiers. Data from the 2004 Health and Retirement Study of older adults aged ≥50 years were used to examine the association between perceived neighborhood safety and LTPA. After controlling for multiple factors, older adults who perceived their neighborhood as safe had an 8% higher mean rate of LTPA compared to older adults who perceived their neighborhood as unsafe. The association was no longer significant when self-rated health was added. SES was not a significant effect modifier in the association between perceived neighborhood safety and LTPA. Tucker-Seeley, Subramanian, Li, Sorensen. “Neighborhood Safety, Socioeconomic Status, and Physical Activity in Older Adults.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37(3), 207-213, 2009.

EVALUATION OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MEASURES USED IN MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN. This study evaluated the reliability and validity of five commonly used physical activity questionnaires (PAQ) in women aged 45-65 yr with varying physical activity (PA) levels. Data were obtained from the Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures in Middle-aged Women (PAW) Study and included 66 women (aged 52.6 ± 5.4 yr). PAQ evaluated include Modifiable Activity Questionnaire, Nurses' Health Study PAQ, Active Australia Survey, and Women's Health Initiative PAQ. The PAQ were shown to be reproducible and relatively stable over time (ICC = 0.32 to 0.91) and were associated with total counts per day (all p < 0.001), and most were associated with many facets of physical fitness, including cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and muscular fatigue. Pettee Gabriel, McClain, Lee, et al. “Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures Used in Middle-Aged Women.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(7), 1403-1412, 2009.

COMPARISON OF TWO METHODS OF CONDUCTING FIT AND STRONG! ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM. Fit and Strong! is an evidence-based, multiple-component intervention for older adults with lower-extremity osteoarthritis. Fit and Strong! was originally tested using physical therapists (PTs) as instructors, but has transitioned to using nationally certified exercise instructors (CEIs). This study tested the impact of this shift in instruction type on participant outcomes using a 2-group design (PTs and CEIs). There were no significant differences by group on outcomes at 8 weeks or 6 months, and participants in both groups improved significantly on many outcomes. Participant rated both types of instruction equally highly, attendance was identical, and no untoward health events were observed or reported under either instruction mode. Seymour., Hughes, Campbell, et al. “Comparison of Two Methods of Conducting Fit and Strong! Arthritis & Rheumatism.” (Arthritis Care & Research), 61(7), pp 876-884, 2009.

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.


MOTORING GROUP PROMOTES CYCLING: The Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK has done a study showing that over five millions drivers there also ride bicycles. Published in August, their report, Cycling Motorists, promotes different strategies to get more drivers to cycle. Consensus is that drivers who ride bicycles are more considerate of other cyclists when they are driving their cars. Problems with increasing the number of cyclists include heavy traffic, inconsiderate drivers, poor roads, big trucks, and the risk of accidents. See the report at http://tinyurl.com/mh7zl6.

ADOLESCENT ATHLETES ENJOY BETTER SLEEP. According to a new Swiss study, teens who exercise vigorously have a better quality of sleep than their couch-potato peers. 434 adolescents participated, including 258 students who were part of the “Swiss Olympic Classes,” a program that offers a high level of athletic training. The other group involved 176 typical high school students who were not in training. The athletes exercised about 17.5 hours a week while the other teens spent a little more than 4.5 hours exercising. The study was published online August 18, 2009 in the Journal of Adolescent Health. [Source: Health Behavior News Service, August 17, 2009]

JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT FOCUSES ON ADOLESCENT OBESITY. A supplement to the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health highlights recent findings that illustrate the depth of research related to adolescent obesity prevention and its relevance for informing policy changes. Articles are based on research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aimed at providing policymakers with evidence to guide effective action to reverse the rise in childhood obesity. In an article following the commentary, the authors present a framework for action to promote healthier eating and physical activity. The issue is available online to subscribers at http://tinyurl.com/no2ppk. [Source: Maternal and Child Health Alert, September 4, 2009]


NEW IOM REPORT AFFIRMS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS' ROLE IN CREATING HEALTHY ENVIRONMENTS. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. The report identifies specific actions that local governments can take to improve healthy eating and increase physical activity in communities. Highlighted are twelve policies that have the greatest potential for impact, including incentive programs to attract grocery stores to underserved areas, complete streets policies, and joint use. Read more on this report at http://www.preventioninstitute.org/IOMreport.html#more. Many of these policies can be found in Prevention Institute's Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT), along with tools and resources for implementation. [Source: Prevention Institute Alert, September 3, 2009]

ADVOCACY ADVANCE & LEAGUE WEB ADVANCES. Advocacy Advance is a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking to research issues critical to the bicycling community. The research team will produce reports on over a dozen topics covering funding, legislation, and legal and policy issues and will bring the research to advocates in the field. Additionally, the League is publishing all of the work online. Read the first report, The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments. [Source: League of American Bicyclists August 17, 2009]


Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging - Research to Practice Conference, to be held September 15-16, 2009 in Chapel Hill, NC. Register at www.prc-han.org

2009 PEP Grant Resource Conference, sponsored by PE4Life, to be held at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, October 4-5, 2009. Register at http://www.pe4life.org/sub/Events/index.cfm?pageID=86.

WALK 21: 10th Annual Conference to be held October 7-9, 2009 in New York City. Register at http://www.walk21.com/newyork/newyork.html.

National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Congress and Exposition to be held October 13 - 16, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Register at http://www.nrpacongress.org/display.asp?eid=2.

APHA Annual Meeting & Public Health Expo to be held November 7-11, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For more information and registration go to http://www.apha.org/meetings/exposition/


COMINGS AND GOINGS. The USC PRC bids a fond adieu to Catherine Carlstedt who has helped organize material for the newsletter over the past year and recently graduated with a MPH in Physical Activity & Public Health degree. We extend a warm welcome to our new Graduate Assistant, Jevretta Devlin, who will assume the duties of assisting with the newsletter and PRC research projects. We are also excited to announce the promotion of Jackie Guinyard to Business Manager and the hiring of Cynthia Cooper as Administrative Asst.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Bike Florida Launches Year-Round Touring; W.H.O. Europe Physical Activity Website; America on the Move's September Campaign; Healthy Aging® Month; National Turn Off the TV Week

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: House Passes Landmark Clean Energy Bill; Next Federal Transportation Bill

RESEARCH NOTES: (1) StrongWomen-Healthy Hearts Program: Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Rural Sedentary, Overweight, and Obese Midlife and Older Women; (2)The Association Between Perceived Discrimination and Obesity in a Population-Based Multiracial and Multiethnic Adult Sample; (3) Reasons for Urban Trail Use Predict Levels of Trail-Related Physical Activity; (4) 'Tell us something we don't already know or do!' - The response of planning and transport professionals to public health guidance on the built environment and physical activity

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: New Health Reform Library; Healthy Kids Need Places to Walk; Resources Related to Complete Streets Policies; Muddy Dog Running Log

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Columbia, MO Bicyclist Harassment Ordinance; Bike Pittsburgh Launches Car-Free Fridays; Healthy Communities are “CATCHing” on with Stimulus Funding

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: National Environmental Public Health Conference; Third International Conference on Physical Activity and Public Health; National Safe Routes to School Conference

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: USC PRC Celebrates Ten Years of Partnership and Successes with Sumter County Active Lifestyles

Expand to read this issue.

"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

I am thrilled to announce that the American Public Health Association (APHA) Executive Committee approved the application to establish a Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group (PA SPIG)! The two-year effort to achieve this milestone was successful due to the hard work and assistance of many individuals and organizations. As current chair of the PA SPIG, I thank each of you for your support and encouragement. Now, the real work begins! Soon, the ability to join APHA and designate the PA SPIG as your primary or secondary affiliate will be formally available via the APHA web site and other membership announcements. It will be critical to have as many of you as possible become APHA members and part of the PA SPIG to create a visible and credible home within this large organization so that we can forge expanded programs for professional development, advocacy efforts to increase resources for both research and practice, and policies and environments supportive of physically active lifestyles among all sectors of society. There will also be the need to solicit your assistance with planning and implementing activities associated with the annual meeting, newsletters, membership recruitment and retention, etc. I look forward to working with the existing PA SPIG leadership team and many others as this process continue to unfold and opportunities for service emerge.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


BIKE FLORIDA LAUNCHES YEAR-ROUND TOURING. For the first time in 25 years, year-round long-distance bicycle touring will return to Florida October 10-16, 2009 when Bike Florida leads the inaugural tour in its fall-winter program. Tours will initially cover the 260-mile St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop, a richly historic route that includes two rail-trail corridors between East Palatka and St. Augustine, and the longest in the state, the 52-mile East-Central Regional Rail-Trail between Enterprise and Titusville. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/lq2ua5. [American Bicyclist Update, July 6, 2009]

WHO EUROPE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WEBSITE. WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. Visit the new physical activity website from the World Health Organization in Europe at http://www.euro.who.int/physicalactivity. [Source: AusPAnet, July 3, 2009]

America on the Move's September Campaign, September 1-30, 2009, http://www.americaonthemove.org/

Healthy Aging® Month, September 1-30, 2009, http://healthyaging.net/events.htm

National Turn Off the TV Week, September 20-26, 2009, http://www.tvturnoff.org/


HOUSE PASSES LANDMARK CLEAN ENERGY BILL. On June 28, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, (H.R. 2454). Climate Legislation provides provisions to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by including efforts to increase walking, bicycling and other forms of nonmotorized transportation (see section 222 of Bill). Full text is available at http://preview.tinyurl.com/mfsynd. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, July 6, 2009]

NEXT FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION BILL. Markup of this bill started on June 24th. Although there are no specific dollar amounts yet, there is hope for non-motorized transportation, bicyclists and pedestrians, because it includes creation of the Office of Livability (see page 198). Housed within the Office are many of the programs that bike-ped people will find familiar: Safe Routes to School (page 122); Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (page 165); Transportation Enhancements; Recreational Trails Program (page 165); and US Bicycle Route System (page 213). The full text of the Committee Print can be downloaded here: http://tinyurl.com/mrabp7. [Source: CenterLines 230, June 24, 2009]


THE STRONGWOMEN–HEALTHY HEARTS PROGRAM: REDUCING CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE RISK FACTORS IN RURAL SEDENTARY, OVERWEIGHT, AND OBESE MIDLIFE AND OLDER WOMEN. Investigators conducted a randomized controlled trial in Arkansas and Kansas, assigning 8 counties to either an intervention group (12 wk, twice-weekly heart health program) or to a delayed intervention group. This community based intervention was designed to reduce CVD risk in sedentary midlife and older women who were overweight or obese. Weight, waist circumference, diet, physical activity, and self-efficacy were measured at baseline and post in 10 to 15 women from each site. Compared with the control group, the intervention group had a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference, and energy intake, with increases in physical activity and self-efficacy. Folta, Lichtenstein, Seguin et al. “StrongWomen–Healthy Hearts Program: Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Rural Sedentary, Overweight, and Obese Midlife and Older Women.”American Journal of Public Health, 99(7):1271-1277,2009.

THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PERCEIVED DISCRIMINATION AND OBESITY IN A POPULATION-BASED MULTIRACIAL AND MULTIETHNIC ADULT SAMPLE. This study examined whether perceived chronic discrimination was related to excess body fat accumulation in a random, multiethnic, population based sample of US adults. Consistent with other studies, analyses showed that perceived unfair treatment was associated with increased abdominal obesity. Compared with Irish, Jewish, Polish, and Italian Whites who did not experience perceived chronic discrimination, Irish, Jewish, Polish, and Italian Whites who perceived chronic discrimination were 2 to 6 times more likely to have a high-risk waist circumference. No significant relationship between perceived discrimination and the obesity measures was found among the other Whites, Blacks, or Hispanics. Hunte, H., and Williams, D. R. “The Association Between Perceived Discrimination and Obesity in a Population-Based Multiracial and Multiethnic Adult Sample. ”American Journal of Public Health, 99, (7):1285-1292, 2009.

REASONS FOR URBAN TRAIL USE PREDICT LEVELS OF TRAIL-RELATED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails. 335 adults living within a 1 mile buffer of urban trails in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles completed a self-report measure assessing demographics, reason for trail use, and physical activity on the trail. Accelerometers were used to measure moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, and environmental features of the trail were assessed with the SPACES instrument.  Reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature) for recreational trail use. Dunton, Spruijt-Metz, Wolch. “Reasons for Urban Trail Use Predict Levels of Trail-Related Physical Activity.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(4), July 2009.

'TELL US SOMETHING WE DON'T ALREADY KNOW OR DO!' — THE RESPONSE OF PLANNING AND TRANSPORT PROFESSIONALS TO PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE ON THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Researchers analyzed planning and transport practitioners' perceptions and responses to government public health guidance aimed at modifying environmental factors to promote physical activity. This study was informed by questions on the role of evidence-based guidance, the views of professionals towards the guidance, the links between guidance and existing legislation and policy, and the practicality of guidelines. 76 people were recruited from the main professional planning organizations across England and were interviewed in 8 focus groups.  Researchers found that evidence-based public health guidance is a new voice in urban and town planning, although much of the advice is already reflected by the 'accepted wisdom' of these professions. Allender, Cavill, Parker, & Foster. “'Tell us something we don't already know or do!' - The response of planning and transport professionals to public health guidance on the built environment and physical activity.” Journal of Public Health Policy, 30(1): 102-116, 2009.

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.


NEW HEALTH REFORM LIBRARY. The Prevention Institute, a non-profit national center dedicated to improving community health and well-being by building momentum for effective primary prevention, has created a new library. The Health Reform Library is a collection of significant recent work (reports, guides, and memos) from leading prevention, public health, and public policy organizations aimed at shaping national dialogue and policymaking on health and health reform. The library is located at http://www.preventioninstitute.org/index.html. [Source: Prevention Institute website: http://www.preventioninstitute.org/healthreformlibrary.html]

HEALTHY KIDS NEED PLACES TO WALK. According to a recent policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), statistics show that roughly 32% of American children are overweight. The AAP urges federal and local governments to take proactive action for the health of our nation's children. In The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children, the AAP states emphatically that government policies must support efforts to encourage physical activity through land use design: the physical environment of a community can support opportunities for play and physical activity. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/mqysvt.  [Source: PEDIATRICS 123(6), pp. 1591-1598 June 2009]

RESOURCES RELATED TO COMPLETE STREETS POLICIES. In its June newsletter, the National Complete Streets Coalition published a list of resources available to states, cities and towns that are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone. Topics include emergency response and street design, accessible pedestrian signals, and action strategies for healthy communities. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/lwehlo. [Source: National Complete Streets Coalition Complete Streets News, June 18, 2009]

MUDDY DOG RUNNING LOG. Want your kids to do the mileage, but need a little incentive? Here is a brand new kids running and walking program. Sponsored by USA Track and Field organization, it's similar to the original Log-a-Mile program that thousands of children participated in over the years. If you follow this new program, you will find connections to running and writing, running and math, and more. To download free materials, go to http://www.carolgoodrow.com/running.htm


COLUMBIA, MO. BICYCLIST HARASSMENT ORDINANCE. Columbia, Mo. unanimously passed a bicyclist harassment ordinance making the throwing of objects, verbal assault and other offenses illegal, and a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine or one year of jail time. The Columbia ordinance is modeled after similar ordinances in South Carolina and Colorado. The city also plans to expand the ordinance to include other types of pedestrian traffic. Read more at
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/06/16/b/. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, July 6, 2009]

BIKE PITTSBURGH LAUNCHES "CAR FREE FRIDAYS. Commuters are encouraged to leave their cars at home at least once a week. On “Car Free Fridays” the air will be a little cleaner and the streets a little safer. People can take part in bike pools departing from neighborhoods throughout the city and going to major commuting destinations. They can stop at designated breakfast locations to pick up a voucher for discounts at participating businesses all day. For more info visit the Car Free Friday website at http://tinyurl.com/lqfp8t. [Source: Centerlines 230, June 26, 2009]

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES ARE “CATCH”ING ON WITH STIMULUS FUNDING. With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, you can help reverse the trend of childhood obesity and create healthier environments for children and families. Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, describes how funding can support physical activity, healthy eating, and access to healthy foods in your community. As an added value, RJF’s professional grant writer can provide you with free advice and recommendations as you prepare your applications. For more info, call the CATCH Team today at 800-793-7900, [Source: Catch 3(9), June 2009]

NEW ARLINGTON (VA) TRAIL BYPASSES A MILE OF HAZARDS: Arlington County and the City of Alexandria celebrated the opening of a multi-use trail linking the popular Washington & Old Dominion Trail and the Four Mile Run Trail located at South 27th Road and South Four Mile Run Drive. The new trail eliminates nearly a mile of on-street riding and difficult road crossings, and is a safer, more direct path along the Four Mile Run stream. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/mgeclh. [Source: Centerlines 230, June 26, 2009]


NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH CONFERENCE. Registration is open for the National Environmental Public Health Conference, in Atlanta, GA, October 26-28, 2009. Specific topics will include Healthy Places; Public Health and Environmental Exposures; Sustainability and Public Health; Environmental Systems and Public Health; Environmental Health Emergences; and Environmental Health Science and Practice. http://www.team-psa.com/2009nephc/main.asp.

3RD INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH. Toronto, Canada. May 5-8, 2010. The Program Committee has selected “Mobilizing Research for Global Action in Policy and Practice” as the major title for the Congress. The title highlights the major goal of providing leading edge research as the foundation for the development of future physical activity policies and programs. For more information on this exciting conference visit http://www.cflri.ca/icpaph/.

NATIONAL SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL (SRTS) CONFERENCE. Register today for the National Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Conference, to be held August 19-21 in Portland, OR.  This year's themes include transportation infrastructure and safety; empowering families and youth; education and encouragement program development; health and evaluation; and growing the SRTS movement.  Whether you are a local practitioner, transportation planner, advocate, school official, engineer, parent, health professional, researcher, non-profit partner, or with law enforcement, this conference will provide valuable information for propelling your Safe Routes to School work to the next level. http://saferoutesconference.org/


MAKING IT EASIER TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE IN SUMTER COUNTY:  TEN YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER AND SCAL. Ten years “and counting”- this is where the USC PRC and the Sumter County Active Lifestyles (SCAL) coalition find ourselves in our joint core research project. Since 1998, this community-based participatory research project has been conducted in Sumter County, SC, to create an active community environment through changes in the physical environment and related policies that help residents incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. To commemorate this significant milestone, SCAL hosted a 10th anniversary celebration on June 12, 2009. Forty-two guests, including members of city and county councils, SCAL members and community partners, USC PRC faculty and staff, friends and family, gathered for a time of fellowship and acknowledgement of what our research partnership has been able to accomplish over the past decade. We were honored to have in attendance two staff persons from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) PRC Program Office, Mr. Robert Hancock and Ms. Andrea Washington. Highlights of the event were award presentations from SCAL to the USC PRC core research project team and the CDC PRC Program Office; a photo slide presentation of SCAL’s projects and community events, a heartwarming speech from SCAL’s former (and first) executive director, Ms. Annette Cook, and an uplifting keynote address from Mr. George McGregor, Sumter City-County Planning Director. For information about SCAL and the community-based participatory research project, visit www.sumtercountyactivelifestyles.org  and http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/about/activities.htm.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda, Catherine Carlstedt, Linda Pekuri


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Personal Fitness and the Recession; Rentabikenow.com Offers Rental Bikes in 144 U.S. Cities; National Great Outdoors Month; National Trails Day

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: No Child Left Inside; Smart Planning for Smart Growth Act of 2009; Stimulus Funding for Bicycling

RESEARCH NOTES: Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Survival; Maternal Education and PA in Children; Physical Activity in Renovated Parks

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Strategies to Keep People Exercising after Chronic Disease Exercise Programs; Bicycle-Friendly State Rankings; Walk Slow, Long, and Often to Help the Heart

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: EPA Recognizes Healthier Aging Projects; Action Strategies Toolkit Offers Concrete Resources

SCHOOLS: U.S. Experts Urge Healthcare Reform in Cities and Schools

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Research to Practice Symposium; ISBNPA Annual Meeting; 5th Annual AAPHERD Leadership Conference; PE4Life Summit; National Plan 2009
Conference; 4th IANA Conference

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: New Grant for Center and Core Research Project

Expand to read this issue.

"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

It is with great excitement, and a sigh of relief, that I announce that the USC PRC has been approved for another 5-year cycle of support from CDC beginning October 2009.  Our major theme will remain the same (see above), and we will continue to explore multiple strategies to promoting physical activity in underserved populations.  Our long-time community partner, Sumter County Active Lifestyles Coalition, will be by our side every step of the way.  Our renewal will also allow us to further our communication of breaking news from science, practice and advocacy in this newsletter and via our listserv.  We look forward to another 5 years of serving you!

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


PERSONAL FITNESS AND THE RECESSION. A recent Wall Street Journal article outlines how the recession is causing people to cut back on everything, including their exercise regimens. A new low-budget fitness movement has developed. There are low-cost and easy fitness alternatives that range from dusting off old dumbbells to jumping rope or kickboxing in front of the television. There are other creative workout options, such as investing in the “Wii Fit” videogame, or taking yoga at a local college. For more information and ideas on less expensive fitness regimens, read the entire article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123984558896723563.html#printMode. [Source: Athavale, A. “Lean Times Bring Workouts Home,” The Wall Street Journal, 04/16/09]

RENTABIKENOW.COM OFFERS RENTAL BIKES IN 144 U.S. CITIES. According to an Apr. 15th news release, "RentaBikeNow.com has launched North America's only coast-to-coast bike rental service.” Cyclists across the globe can easily reserve quality bikes online from hundreds of participating bike shops before they travel throughout the US and Canada. All types and sizes of bikes are available. Travelers can select a destination, travel dates and type of bike; photos, specs, prices, and shop hours are listed. Read more at http://www.prweb.com/releases/RentaBikeNow/bike_rentals/prweb2324484.ht. [Source: CenterLines 225, April 15, 2009]

NATIONAL GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH, June 1-30, 2009. http://www.funoutdoors.com/taxonomy/view/or/115

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY, June 6, 2009. http://www.americanhiking.org/NTD.aspx

4th IANA (International Academy on Nutrition and Aging) MEETING ON: ADVANCES ON NUTRITION AND AGE RELATED DISEASE


NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE. On April 22, 2009, Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI: H.R.2054 and S.866). The draft bills seek to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (commonly called No Child Left Behind) and provide means to expand environmental education, create environmental stewards, and produce graduates who are equipped to address the challenges, adjustments and opportunities of the 21st century.  The bills offer incentives through grant funding to state and local educational agencies for the creation of environmental literacy plans. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/cl6338. [Source: CenterLines 225, 04/15/2009]

SMART PLANNING FOR SMART GROWTH ACT OF 2009: On March 30, 2009 Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) submitted her own bill on transportation and climate change: H.R.1780. It aims to reduce greenhouse gases through transportation efficiency. The language in this bill is exactly the same as Rep. Waxman's energy bill (H.R.2371). Both would require states to submit plans for achieving transportation-related greenhouse gas reduction goals. Approved strategies to be incorporated into plans include efforts to increase and coordinate public transportation and land use planning, and promote walking, bicycling, and the use of public transportation. Bill Text at http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090331/acesa_discussiondraft.pd.
[Smart Growth America's Washington Update, 4/20/09]

STIMULUS FUNDING FOR BICYCLING: States must spend 3 percent of their allocation on the Transportation Enhancements program, which is a primary source of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure funding. The remaining “highway” money also creates an opportunity to build complete streets. Highway funding is flexible, and bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible. A number of funding opportunities exist, but cycling advocates must get their cities and states to request funds for these purposes. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/crfdjd. [Source: “Welcome to the Fast Lane,” the Official Blog of the US Secretary of Transportation, 4/22/09]


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL. A cohort of 1,231 women diagnosed with breast cancer was followed to determine the association between lifetime total physical activity performed prior to diagnosis and disease outcomes.  Participants were followed for a minimum of 8.3 years for any cancer progressions, recurrences and new primaries; and a minimum of 10.3 years for deaths.  A decreased risk of breast cancer death and all deaths was observed among women in the highest vs. the lowest quartiles of recreational activity.  Both moderate and vigorous intensity recreational activity decreased the risk of breast cancer death. Additionally, moderate intensity recreational activity decreased the risk of a recurrence, progression or new primary cancer. Friedenreich, Gregory, Kopciuk, et al. “Prospective cohort study of lifetime physical activity and breast cancer survival.” International Journal of Cancer, 124(8), 1954-1962, 2009.

MATERNAL EDUCATION AND PA IN CHILDREN. Maternal education was reported by parents of 184 5 – 6 year olds and 358 10 – 12 year olds to associations between socioeconomic position (SEP) and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors among children and adolescents. PA was assessed by accelerometry, with PA and television (TV) viewing behaviors self-reported in older children, and proxy-reported by parents of younger children.  Girls of higher SEP demonstrated greater decreases in TV viewing behaviors than those of low SEP. In general, no prospective associations were evident between SEP and objectively measured PA. This study did not find strong evidence that maternal education was cross sectionally or longitudinally predictive of children’s PA or sedentary behaviors. Ball, Cleland, Timperio, et al. “Socioeconomic position and children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviors: longitudinal findings from the CLAN Study.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(3), 289–298, 2009.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN RENOVATED PARKS. This study examined visitation and physical activity (PA) levels in two parks in low-income neighborhoods that underwent field renovations.  Data was collected in two intervention parks and a control park from May 30 to June 5, in 2006 and 2007. Both intervention park playfields saw significant increases in male and female visitors, with over a 4-fold increase in the average number of visitors per observation among most age groups. For both genders, there was a significant increase in sedentary, moderately active, and vigorously active visitors to the intervention park playfields.  Park playfield renovations, with and without family and youth involvement initiatives, appear to increase visitation and overall PA. Tester,Baker. “Making the playfields even: evaluating the impact of an environmental intervention on park use and physical activity.” Preventive Medicine, 48(4), 316-320, 2009.

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.


STRATEGIES TO KEEP PEOPLE EXERCISING AFTER CHRONIC CONDITION EXERCISE PROGRAMS (CCEP): Many health care providers and organizations are now offering such programs, since exercise helps people with chronic health conditions manage those conditions and improve their quality of life. A major issue, however, is that many participants stop exercising after they complete the program. The April 2009 WellSpring identifies promising strategies to keep people exercising after they finish a CCEP. For information on these strategies, visit http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/publications/wellspring/2009/apr-chronic-condition-exercise.html. [Source: Alberta Center for Active Living. WellSpring, 20(2), April 2009]

PHYSICAL INACTIVITY. Speaking at the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition. Robert Sallis, M.D., FACSM, immediate past-president of ACSM and chair of Exercise is Medicine™ stated that “Physical inactivity is the most emergent public health problem of our time.” He also stressed the powerful effect exercise has on disease treatment and prevention. “If we had a pill that provided all the benefits of exercise, we would recommend it to every patient," said Sallis. "Physicians must encourage patients to take a step toward a healthy lifestyle." Read more About Exercise is Medicine™ at http://preview.tinyurl.com/pva8nf. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, 04/13/2009]

BICYCLE FRIENDLY STATE RANKINGS. The League has released the second annual ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. To determine the rankings, the League scored all 50 states on a 75-item questionnaire that evaluates a state's commitment to bicycling and covers six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement. For 2009, the top five highest scoring states are Washington, 1; Wisconsin, 2; Maine, 3; Oregon, 4; and Minnesota, 5. The lowest scoring states (46-50) are New Mexico, 46; Alaska, 47; Oklahoma, 48; Montana, 49; and Alabama, 50. See the complete list at www.bicyclefriendlystate.org. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, 05/11/09]

WALK LONG, SLOW, AND OFTEN TO HELP THE HEART. A new study has shown that frequent long, slow walks -- 45 minutes to 60 minutes a day at a moderate pace, five to six days a week -- were found to burn more calories, improve cardiac function, and reduce weight and body fat in overweight cardiac rehab patients. The current standard rehab regimen consisting of walking, biking, or rowing for 25 minutes at a brisk pace 3 times per week doesn’t result in weight loss. Read about this study at http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=626952. [Source: Health Behavior News Digest, 05/12/2009]


EPA RECOGNIZES HEALTHIER AGING PROJECTS. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized two universities for improving the quality of life of older residents through community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth. The University of Maine's Center on Aging will receive $100,000 to develop a statewide summit for older adults to learn about smart growth development activities within their own communities. Portland State University will use their $100,000 to demonstrate the benefits of Green Streets for Active Aging, building upon their groundbreaking work in the area of green streets and active living. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/c9u7z9

ACTION STRATEGIES TOOLKIT OFFERS CONCRETE RESOURCES. Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has created the Action Strategies Toolkit to provide guidance on some of the best approaches policy-makers can use to make their states, communities and schools healthier places to live.  The toolkit offers practical examples of policy approaches and resources that can help state and local policy-makers prevent childhood obesity and improve children’s health. It covers a wide range of issues, including increasing access to parks and recreation centers, improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, offering healthier foods in schools, and attracting grocery stores that provide healthy, affordable foods to lower-income communities. Download full toolkit and executive summary at http://tinyurl.com/ptqslf. [CenterLines 227, 05/13/2009]


U.S. EXPERTS URGE HEALTH REFORMS IN SCHOOLS, CITIES. A panel of experts commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has stated that the government should broaden its efforts to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system to include steps that provide better access to good food and recreation rather than an intense focus on how much it costs to treat the sick." While getting coverage to all Americans is a very important goal ... it turns out that programs that may have the biggest impact on our health are programs that we don't think about as being healthcare programs at all," said Dr. Mark McClellan, panel chairman. Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/euRegulatoryNews/idUSN0150765320090402. [Source: Reuters, 4/2/2009]


RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SYMPOSIUM: Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging. September 15-16, 2009, UNC William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, Chapel Hill, North Carolina



PE4LIFESUMMIT. June 19, 2009, Bentonville, Arkansas. http://www.pe4life.org/sub/Events/index.cfm

NATIONAL PLAN 2009 CONFERENCE. July 1-2, 2009, Washington, DC. http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/conference2009.htm

4th IANA (International Academy on Nutrition and Aging) MEETING ON: ADVANCES ON NUTRITION AND AGE RELATED DISEASE. July 5, 2009, Paris, France. http://www.healthandage.org/html/min/iananda/congress.htm


NEW GRANT FOR CENTER AND CORE RESEARCH PROJECT. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded more than $25 million to study how people and their communities can avoid or counter the risks for chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. The funds will support prevention research at 35 academic institutions in 25 states.  This includes 28 previously funded programs and seven newly funded programs.  The awards are for the first year of a five-year funding period. The USC PRC is one of the previously funded programs whose project has been approved.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda, Catherine Carlstedt


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Denver, CO Bike Share Program; Geocaching; New Neighborhood Safety Brochure; World Physical Activity Day; National TV Turnoff Week; National Start! Walking Day

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Transportation: Call for Big, Bold Change; Trails, Walking, Biking: $825 Million in Stimulus Package

RESEARCH NOTES: Neighborhood Environment and Income; Test-retest reliability of the Women's Health Initiative physical activity questionnaire; Prevalence of self-reported physically active adults - United States, 2007

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: How States Encourage Bicycling, and Walking; New SRTS Progress Report Available; PRC Partnership Tool (PTT); Community Health Status Indicators

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Car-Free Weekends; The Greenprints Project; North Carolina Kids Get Their Game On

SCHOOLS: Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH); Safe Routes Snapshots: Columbia, SC

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: SPARK Spring and Summer Institutes; 124th American Alliance for Health, Physical Activity, Education, Recreation and Dance National Convention; 3rd International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health; SOPHE Mid-Year Scientific Conference; 4th International Making Cities Liveable Conference


Expand to read this issue.

"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

As the dust settles from the recent flurry of legislative actions at the federal level, it is apparent that additional economic resources and partners will be available to promote research and practice focused on activity-friendly policies, communities and lifestyles.  It is incumbent upon physical activity researchers and professionals to step forward and make the best use of this opportunity.  This economic shot in the arm could prove to be a turning point in the fight against sedentary behavior and unfavorable environments and policies.  I know that we are up to the challenge!  I wish all of us success as we mobilize our expertise and experience to shine the spotlight on physical activity as one the best ways to enhance the health of individuals, communities, and our nation,

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


DENVER, CO BIKE SHARE PROGRM. The Denver 2008 Democratic National Convention Host Committee presented a gift of $1 million toward the creation of America's first large scale community bike share program. Plans call for 30-40 automated kiosk-style bike racks across the city to facilitate a fleet of 500 specifically designed bicycles. Creating a community-wide bike share program in a major city positions Colorado as a leader in friendly bicycle accommodations. The program is modeled on dramatically successful programs in many European cities. View a brief video on the BCycle bike share program at http://www.bcycle.com/. [Source: Centerlines, Issue: 219, 01/21/2009]

GEOCACHING. If you love playing with the latest gadgets and exploring the great outdoors, try the “hot” new sport of geocaching: using hand-held GPS (global positioning system) devices to find waterproof containers (holding small toys, a log book, or other items) hidden outdoors. Go to geocaching.com for a list of caches, with latitude and longitude coordinates. Described as “hiking with a purpose,” geocaching uses technology to motivate the gadget-prone outdoors. Visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html; look under activities to see a video of kids geocaching in Minnesota. [Source: NRPA Weekly, March 3, 2009; originally published in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota StarTribune on 02/27/09]

NEW NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY BROCHURE: The Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) has created a new brochure entitled "Traffic! A Problem in Your Neighborhood?" It is available as an artwork file that ALRC staff will customize for free with the logo, tagline, and contact information of a sponsoring group or organization. It can then be printed and distributed locally. Artwork sets are available in English and Spanish. Brochures and artwork sets are produced through an outreach program supported by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant. See the brochure at http://www.activelivingresources.org/assets/Neighborhood_safety_English.pdf  (English) and http://www.activelivingresources.org/assets/Neighborhood_safety_Spanish.pdf  (Spanish). Request a customized artwork set at: http://www.activelivingresources.org/links6.php.

WORLD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DAY. Agita Mundo Network encourages the world to celebrate the World Day for Physical Activity on April 6, 2009: “Active Neighborhood Builds Health.” You can organize your event in April (around 1st to 10th) and register it at this website: http://www.agitamundo.org/site_en.htm. In past years, more than 6.000 events have happened all around the world.

NATIONAL TV TURNOFF WEEK. Help make screen-time-reduction a vital and integral part of all plans that improve health, education and wellness while building stronger families and communities on April 20-26, 2009. For more, visit http://www.tvturnoff.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=8

NATIONAL START! WALKING DAY. April 8, 2009 is the day that adults nationwide can make the pledge to Start! walking and to become active and heart healthy, especially in the workplace. Visit http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3053117


TRANSPORTATION: CALL FOR BIG, BOLD CHANGE: Every six years, Congress sets transportation and infrastructure priorities, allocating billions of dollars for projects that shape our communities for generations. This year's reauthorization of the transportation bill is our best chance to create a system where cyclists and pedestrians are safe, trains are faster and run cleaner, public transportation is available and efficient, roads and bridges are in good repair, and Americans everywhere benefit from a smarter network of transportation alternatives. Make sure your representatives and senators hear the voices of thousands of regular Americans calling out for big, bold change. Take Action at http://action.smartgrowthamerica.org/t/3224/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=259. [Source: Transportation for America, February 2009]

TRAILS, WALKING, BIKING: $825M IN STIMULUS PACKAGE. President Obama has already signed into law an economic recovery package that contains $825 million in funding for Transportation Enhancements. While representing less than two percent of transportation funding in the bill, this investment could create tens of thousands of jobs and critical active transportation connections that communities need: the immediate job creation will also deliver long-term benefits for communities by reducing traffic congestion, climate emissions, oil dependence and obesity rates. Visit www.railstotrails.org/atfa to learn more about the immediate and long-term benefits of funding active transportation. [Source: Centerlines, Issue: 221, February 19, 2009


NEIGHBORHOOD BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND INCOME: EXAMINING MULTIPLE HEALTH OUTCOMES. The purpose of this cross sectional study was to determine the association between neighborhood built environment and median income to multiple health outcomes, and to determine whether the associations were similar for low and high income neighborhoods.  32 neighborhoods were stratified by income and walkability.  Participants were aged 20 – 65 years (n = 2199, 26% ethnic minority). The authors concluded that living in walkable neighborhoods was associated with more physical activity and lower overweight/obesity, with lower and higher income groups benefiting similarly from living in high walkability neighborhoods. Sallis, Saelens, Frank, et al. “Neighborhood built environment and income: examining multiple health outcomes.” Social Science and Medicine, in press.

TEST-RETEST RELIABILITY OF THE WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE. The study’s purpose was to examine the test-retest reliability of the physical activity (PA) questionnaire used in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study.  Participants (n = 1092) were postmenopausal women aged 50 - 79 years, and were randomly selected from the baseline sample of participants in the WHI Observational Study. Overall, questions on recreational walking, moderate recreational PA, and strenuous recreational PA had higher test-retest reliability than questions on mild recreational PA.  No meaningful differences were observed by race/ethnicity, age, time between test and retest, and the amount of reported PA. Meyer, Evenson, Morimoto, et al. “Test-retest reliability of the Women's Health Initiative physical activity questionnaire.”  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(3), 530-538.

PREVALENCE OF SELF-REPORTED PHYSICALLY ACTIVE ADULTS. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans report provides new guidelines for aerobic physical activity and muscle strengthening physical activity.  Recommendations for aerobic physical activity in the 2008 Guidelines differ from those used in Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010).  The CDC analyzed data from the 2007 BRFSS survey to establish baseline data for the 2008 Guidelines, and to compare the percentage of respondents who reported meeting these guidelines with the percentage who reported meeting HP 2010 objectives. Overall, 64.5% of respondents in 2007 reported meeting the 2008 Guidelines, and 48.8% of the same respondents reported meeting HP 2010 objectives. Public health officials should be aware that when applied to BRFSS data, the two sets of recommendations yield different results. Carlson, Fulton, Galuska, et al. “Prevalence of self-reported physically active adults - United States, 2007.”  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 57(48), 1297-1300, 2008.

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.


HOW STATES ENCOURAGE BICYCLING AND WALKING. A new report published by the National Conference of State Legislators, Encouraging Bicycling and Walking: The State Legislative Role (http://www.ncsl.org/programs/pubs/summaries/014234-sum.htm) shows how state legislatures have proactively supported bicycling and walking as transportation choices, and includes discussion of Complete Streets measures considered and adopted in state legislatures.  The report also looks at related economic, public, and environmental health benefits of bicycling and walking.  Discussions of funding stream mechanisms, planning, infrastructure design, and safety improvements are also included.  It was published in partnership with Coalition members the League of American Bicyclists and Bikes Belong (http://bikesbelong.org/).

NEW PROGRESS REPORT AVAILABLE: The National Center for Safe Routes to School has completed a three-year progress report mapping the growth of SRTS throughout the nation. The report includes case studies and updates on current state and national initiatives in support of communities building Safe Routes to School programs. Please go to http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/report/.  [Source: NCSRTS News, Jan/Feb 2009]

PRC PARTNERSHIP TRUST TOOL (PTT). All materials needed to implement the PTT are now available. The PTT is designed to engage PRCs’ academic, community, and public health practice partners in a dialogue about issues that foster and hinder trust. It allows partners to explore strengths, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop strategies for enhancing trust. For more information on the development of the PTT and its benefits, and to download the components visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc/about-prc-program/partnership-trust-tools.htm. [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Prevention Research Centers Program Update, January 20, 2009]

COMMUNITY HEALTH STATUS INDICATORS (CHSI) Report. An overview of key health indicators for local communities is available to encourage dialogue about improving a community's health. It contains over 200 measures for each of the 3,141 U.S. counties. Community profiles can be displayed on maps or downloaded in brochure format. Mapping capability allows users to visually compare their own counties with similar counties (termed peer counties) and adjacent counties. The report can serve as a starting point for community needs assessment; quantification of vulnerable populations; and measurement of preventable diseases, disabilities, and deaths. See more at http://www.communityhealth.hhs.gov/HomePage.aspx


CAR-FREE WEEKENDS: Last summer, Kansas City, Missouri closed Cliff Drive, the only urban Scenic Byway in the state, to motorized vehicles on weekends from May through October. “The Innovative Car Free Weekends” pilot program was initiated to provide safe opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle-oriented activities that promote healthy lifestyles. Based on last year’s success, the city decided to expand it, and will now close Cliff Drive every weekend year round. Gates reopen each Monday at 8:00am. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/c7jdmp. [Source: CenterLines Newsletter, Issue: 222, March 4, 2009; originally published in the Kansas Cyclist, February 27, 2009]

THE GREENPRINTS PROJECT. This project began as an initiative of the Mayor and City Council of Woodstock, Georgia in September 2007.  Residents, business owners, and landowners developed a plan for a “green infrastructure system” which would connect the City through a series of trails and open spaces. The result was the The Greenprints Project plan document which identified locations for future open spaces and planned a network of over 60 miles of trail system. A citizen action group is forming a 501(c)3 group to advocate and fundraise for future development. Access plan documents at http://preview.tinyurl.com/bdguqz. [Source:  Cherokee Tribune, 02/27/2009]

NORTH CAROLINA KIDS GET THEIR GAME ON. Henderson County was one of five counties chosen to implement a comprehensive program addressing childhood obesity. On a cold day in January, the Henderson County Partnership for Health sponsored “Be Active Day,” the first event in their project. Dozens of children jumped on bouncy balls, threw beanbags, played Nerf games, jumped rope, hula-hooped, and hopscotched. Representatives of more than twelve health-related agencies and organizations handed out information to parents hoping to inspire them and their kids to be more physically active.


COORDINATED APPROACH TO CHILD HEALTH (CATCH).  The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has approved three CATCH programs to be included in the resource database used by schools enrolled in their "Healthy Schools Program:" CATCH Go for Health for the classroom, CATCH PE for physical education, and CATCH Kids Club for after-school. The program offers solutions for schools to become healthier places that promote physical activity and healthy eating. Any school can enroll. One of the benefits is access to the resource database. If your school would like to join the Program, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org/schools. [Source: CATCH NEWS, (3)4, 2009]

SAFE ROUTES SNAPSHOTS: COLUMBIA, SC. There is a Comprehensive Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program at Rosewood Elementary School. A teacher and parent noticed on her walks to school with her daughter that cars were driving too fast near the school and running the red light at one of the school's main intersections. The teacher heard about SRTS, and with help from parents, teachers, administrative staff, and the school nurse, she worked to develop and implement SRTS activities at Rosewood Elementary. Listen to a new NCSRTS podcast featuring Tracy Shaw from Rosewood at: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/podcast/saferoutespodcast001.cfm. [Source: NCSRTS News, Jan-Feb 2009]


SPARK SPRING AND SUMMER INSTITUTES: After-School/Active Recreation-April 7 & 8, 2009, Early Childhood - April 9 & 10, 2009; Elementary P.E.: Level 1: K-2 - July 13 & 14, 3-6 - July 15 & 16, Level 2: K-6 - July 27-29, 2009; Middle School - July 30 & 31, 2009; High School – August 3 & 4, 2009.  Attendees learn new content ideas and instructional strategies designed to make physical activity more comprehensive, active, and enjoyable for kids. Participants can expect both activity and instructional-based lessons throughout the two-day training.  Space is limited to 40 for each Institute. For more information, please contact: Lindsay Santoro- lsantoro@sparkpe.org or call (800)-SPARK PE ext. 2239. http://www.sparkpe.org/institutes.jsp.


3RD INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH. May 5-8, 2009 in Toronto, Canada. http://www.cflri.ca/icpaph/en/index.php

SOPHE MID-YEAR SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE. May 6-9, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. http://www.sophe.org/event_items.asp?month=5&year=2009&item_id=12168

INTERNATIONAL MAKING CITIES LIVABLE (47th).  May10-14, 2009, in Portland, Oregon. http://www.livablecities.org/


NATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PLAN. A plan that will help Americans become physically active every day is being developed. A conference seeking input from policymakers, scientists, healthcare providers and leaders in public health, education, transportation, media, business and industry and non-profit organizations will be held July 1 – 2, 2009, in Washington, D.C. University of South Carolina’s Prevention Research Center, with initial support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is taking the lead to organize the groups that will be involved in developing and implementing the National Physical Activity Plan, which is expected to be released in late 2009. Read more at http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda, Catherine Carlstedt


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Safety Fact Sheet Available; Have an Active Winter; Sustainable Sites Initiative; Annual Healthy Weight Week; Trails Advocacy Week

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Bicycle Commuter Tax Provision; Cyclists Fare Well In November Elections

RESEARCH NOTES: Active Transportation and Obesity Rates; Population-Wide Strategies To Promote Physical Activity; Food And Physical Activity

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Checklist for Safe Playgrounds; NCOA Issue Briefs; Active Living Videos; Program Gets Kids on Feet; E-Newsletter From Nia

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Physical Activity and Communities; New Bike Parking Ordinances Proposed In NYC; Los Angeles County Launches Youtube Channels

SCHOOLS: Oberstar Award

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: 2nd Safe Routes To School National Conference; 3rd International Congress On Physical Activity And Public Health; 2009 National Bike Summit; Active Living Research Annual Conference

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Utilization and Physical Activity Levels at Renovated and Unrenovated School Playgrounds

Expand to read this issue.

"Promoting Health through Physical Activity"

A new year, new president, and new economic challenges are upon us.  I am not sure what this means for physical activity (PA) research and practice.  I imagine we’ll experience both gains and losses as the future unfolds.  However, we have a very strong foundation from which to build, and momentum on our side as evidenced by the recent release of the new PA Guidelines and the soon-to-be National PA Plan.  The USC PRC hopes you will find success this year despite the barriers we face, and we promise to continue providing you with the most up-to-date information to assist you in your endeavors.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


SAFETY FACT SHEET AVAILABLE. An updated safety fact sheet is now available to download and distribute.  Use it at public meetings to share with elected officials, and spread the word on how complete streets improve safety for everyone. Other fact sheets are also offered at http://www.completestreets.org/benefits.html. [Source: Complete the Streets News, December 2008]

HAVE AN ACTIVE WINTER. Stay warm, safe, and fit despite the winter chill. Colder weather and fewer hours of daylight can make it challenging to get regular physical activity. Regular activity is just as important to your good health during these months as it is during the rest of the year. If the weather's too bad for outdoor activities, look for indoor opportunities. Visit http://www.catchinfo.org/archive1203.asp for some excellent suggestions from the CDC. [Source: CATCH Newsletter-December 2008, Vol 3 Issue 3]

SUSTAINABLE SITES INITIATIVE (SSI). SSI (an effort to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices), invites public comment on a new report titled Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks Draft 2008, the most comprehensive set of national guidelines yet developed for the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes. The report is available at www.sustainablesites.org and an online feedback form has been created for users to help improve the guidelines. [Source: National Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, November 11, 2008]

ANNUAL HEALTHY WEIGHT WEEK. January 18-24, 2009 (third week), http://www.healthyweight.net/hww.htm

TRAILS ADVOCACY WEEK. February 12-15, 2009, http://www.americanhiking.org/events/ntd/


BICYCLE COMMUTER TAX PROVISION: Effective January 1, 2009, cyclists are on the same footing as people who get tax breaks for parking fees or for commuting by public transit. Bicycle commuters can now deduct $20 pretax per month from their paychecks to cover bicycling-related expenses. Employers also receive tax benefits: they won’t pay payroll taxes on the pre-tax funds deducted from employees' paychecks. The League of American Bicyclists is taking the lead to obtain guidance that employers can use to set up their programs. Visit their FAQ web page at http://www.bikeleague.org/news/100708faq.php.

CYCLISTS FARE WELL IN NOVEMBER ELECTIONS: Many key congressional supporters are returning in the 111th Congress. Key bike caucus members were re-elected by strong margins, such as Representatives Oberstar (D-MN) with 68 percent, Blumenauer (D-OR) with 75 percent, Petri (R-WI) with 64 percent. On the Senate side, Senators, Collins (R-ME) with 69 percent, Durbin (D-IL) with 67 percent, Mark Udall (D-CO) with 52 percent and Tom Udall (D-NM) with 61 percent. To read more about how the Bike Caucus did in the elections visit http://www.bikeleague.org/news/111408adv.php. [American Bicyclist Update, November 24, 2008]


ACTIVE TRANSPORATION AND OBESITY RATES. Surveys of travel behavior and health indicators were conducted from 1994 to 2006 in Europe, North America, and Australia to examine the relationship between active transportation and obesity rates. Walking and bicycling are far more common in European countries than in the US, Australia, and Canada. Active transportation is inversely related to obesity in these countries. Although the results do not prove causality, they suggest that active transportation could be one factor that explains international differences in obesity rates. Bassett, Pucher, Buehler, et al. “Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5(6):795-814, 2008.

POPULATION-WIDE STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. A lifetime cost-effectiveness analysis from a societal perspective was conducted to estimate the costs, health gains, and cost-effectiveness of seven public health interventions to promote physical activity in a simulated cohort of healthy U.S. adults stratified by age, gender, and physical activity level. Cost-effectiveness ratios ranged between $14,000 and $69,000 per quality adjusted life year gained, relative to no intervention. Results were sensitive to intervention-related costs and effect size. All of the evaluated physical activity interventions appeared to reduce disease incidence, to be cost-effective, and compared with other well-accepted preventive strategies, to offer good value for money. Roux, Pratt, Tengs, et al. “Cost effectiveness of community-based physical activity interventions.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(6):578-588, 2008

FOOD AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. This study examined the association between weight status and characteristics of food and physical activity environments among adults in rural U.S. communities.  Cross-sectional telephone survey data from 826 rural residents were used to examine the association between obesity and perceived access to produce and low-fat foods, frequency and location of food shopping and restaurant dining, and environmental factors that support physical activity. Eating out frequently, specifically at buffets, cafeterias, and fast food restaurants was associated with higher rates of obesity. Perceiving the community as unpleasant for physical activity was also associated with obesity. Casey, Elliott, Glanz, et al. “Impact of the food environment and physical activity environment on behaviors and weight status in rural U.S. communities.”  Preventive Medicine, 47(6): 600-604, 2008.

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.


CHECKLIST FOR SAFE PLAYGROUNDS. NRPA’s National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) has identified twelve of the leading causes of injuries on playgrounds, and published The Dirty Dozen - A Checklist for Safe Playgrounds. The Dirty Dozen Online Guide is now available for FREE and is an excellent service to share with employees and park advocates, parents, educators and the general public. To access the Dirty Dozen Online Guide visit http://www.pyxislearningcenter.org/DirtyDozen/DirtyDozen.html. [NRPA Weekly, December 16, 2009]

NCOA ISSUE BRIEFS. National Council on Aging (NCOA) Healthy Aging Community offers professionals and consumers a myriad of resources related to healthy aging, including a comprehensive series of issue briefs that can be downloaded for free at http://www.healthyagingprograms.com/content.asp?sectionid=73. Briefs include:
• Designing Safe and Effective Physical Activity Programs
• Keeping Current on Research and Practice in Physical Activity for Older Adults
• Maintaining Participation of Older Adults in Community-Based PA Programs
• Motivating Participants to Be More Physically Active
• Recruiting Older Adults into Your Physical Activity Programs
[Source: Active for Life e-Newsletter, December 2008]

Active Living Videos. The Active Living Resource Center offers free downloadable videos on community assessment, safe routes to school, and barriers to walking. These can be used to assist in public awareness programs, as well as to educate community leaders. Please go to http://www.activelivingresources.org/videolibrary.php. [Source: Active for Life e-Newsletter, December 2008]

PROGRAM GETS KIDS ON FEET. GO FAR, an acronym for Go Out For A Run, a 10-week fitness and nutrition program, teaches elementary school students about healthy eating, physical activity and self-discipline while they train for the culmination of the program, a 5K race. The goal, though, is not so much to get the kids running, but to get them active, so speed-walking is encouraged for those who don't want to run. Read more about the program at http://www.gofarclub.org/news.php. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly Newsletter, December 2, 2008; originally published by the (South Carolina) Georgetown Times on 11/30/2008

E-NEWSLETTER FROM NIA. Spotlight on Aging Research (SOAR): News and Notes from the National Institute on Aging offers the research community, aging services providers, health care professionals, policy makers, media, and others information about National Institute on Aging programs, people, and achievements. Subscription to the electronic publication is free at http://list.niapublications.org/niaalert/lists/?p=subscribe&id=4. [Source: Active for Life E-Newsletter, December 2008]


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND COMMUNITIES: The New South Wales Premier’s Council for Active Living (PCAL) in Australia has published two resource guides focusing on physical activity and communities. The Council has developed Building stronger communities through physical activity: a practitioner’s resource to help practitioners plan, implement, and evaluate physical activity programs that build social capital in communities.  A related document, Guidelines for the use of physical activity for community development purposes: Final report, is also available at http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/library/roundup/2008/12/december-11-2008.html under “Community,” [Source: AusPAnet News, December 19, 2008]

NEW BIKE PARKING ORDINANCES PROPOSED IN NEW YORK CITY. A new initiative has been proposed to require secure parking for bicycles in new multi-family residential, commercial, and institutional buildings throughout the city. It is designed to encourage bicycle ridership by providing a long-term and secure place to store bikes at home and at work. Recent studies have found that the lack of safe and secure bicycle parking is a leading factor preventing people from cycling to work. Read more at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/about/pr111008.shtml.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNELS. The County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation recently launched its own YouTube channel to share information and create a digital media initiative. It will showcase original videos produced by the department, including PSAs, park tours, interviews, and closer looks at the department’s facilities, and programs. The first video posted is the Stop and Smell the Flowers PSA, which is part of the Play for Life! public information and social marketing campaign. The channel can be visited at http://www.youtube.com/lacountyparks. [Source: National Parks and Recreation Newsbrief, January 6, 2009


OBERSTAR AWARD. The National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) announced that Bear Creek Elementary School in Boulder, CO, has received the 2008 James L. Oberstar Award. Bear Creek’s program involves 70 percent of students in walking and bicycling activities throughout the year. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by a school or community in establishing a SRTS program, and is given annually by the National Center for SRTS to an exemplary SRTS. See the entire case study on Bear Creek Elementary School at http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/case_studies/pdfs/CO.bearcreek.pdf. [Source: E-Newsletter of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, November/December 2008]


2ND SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL CONFERENCE:  At the Hilton Portland, Portland, Oregon August 19-21, 2009. Learn how Safe Routes to School programs across the country are changing the habits of an entire generation of schoolchildren and putting thousands of families two steps ahead of health and environmental concerns, For registration info, visit www.saferoutesconference.org.

3RD INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH. Toronto, Canada. May 5-8, 2010. Program Committee has selected “Mobilizing Research for Global Action in Policy and Practice” as the major title for the Congress. The title highlights the major goal of the Congress to provide leading edge research as the foundation for the development of future physical activity policies and programs. For more information on this conference visit http://www.cflri.ca/icpaph/.

2009 NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT. Be a part of the smart transportation movement and help build bicycling into the transportation bill this March. Join fellow advocates, industry leaders, and retailers as we speak to the new Congress and Administration. Washington, D.C., March 10-12, 2009. All events take place at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, except Thursday's meetings and reception, both of which are on Capitol Hill. For more information and to register go to http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit09/index.php.

ACTIVE LIVING RESEARCH ANNUAL CONFERENCE. The sixth Active Living Research Annual Conference is being held February 18 - 20, 2009 in downtown San Diego, CA. The theme for the 2009 conference is Active Communities for Youth and Families: Creating Momentum for Change.  The conference agenda contains a variety of breakfast roundtable discussions, keynote speaker, plenary and concurrent presentations, as well as panel presentations. For more information and to register for the conference go to http://activelivingresearch.org/conference/2009.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda, Catherine Carlstedt

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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.

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