2010 Newsletters


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Free Webinar on Joint-Use Agreements; The National Bike Summit; Bike League 2020 Vision Strategic Plan

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: $1 Billion Allocated to Bike/Ped Projects in 2010; Complete Streets in the Nation’s Capital; White House Reportedly Green-Lights Transportation Bill; however…

RESEARCH NOTES: Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State, and International Data; Beyond Recreational Physical Activity: Examining Occupation and Household Activity, Transportation Activity, and Sedentary Behavior in Relation to Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk; Trends in Leisure-, Transport-, and Work-Related Physical Activity in Canada 1994-2005

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: New Resource: Safe Routes to School and Health: Understanding the Physical Activity Benefits of Walking and Bicycling to School; New BHFNC Website; State Indicator Report on Physical Activity 2010; National Action Guide

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: New Program Recognizes Walk Friendly Communities; Achieve (Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and Environmental Change);Increasing Physical Activity through Community Design

SCHOOLS: NCSRTS Seeks Applications for $1,000 Grants; Video Games Help Schools Get Kids Moving, Exercising More; Inclusive Physical Education

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: 138th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition; 2010 International Sports Management Conference: Bridging Research and Practice; State Trail Administrators Annual Meeting; European Public Health Association (EUPHA) Annual Conference; Texas Obesity Research Center 2010 Conference; International Council on Active Aging Conference

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Community Partnership Engagement Award- 2010

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

I just returned from the annual American Public Health Association meeting in Denver, CO.  As outgoing chair of the Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group (PA SPIG), I was busy with meetings and professional networking. I did squeeze in 3-4 scientific sessions and was extremely impressed with their quality. These presentations were provided by researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and advocates. It is abundantly clear to me that the nexus between science, practice and policy is much greater than it was 10-15 years ago. This will be required even more in the future if we hope to stem the tide of sedentary lifestyle and its health consequences. This newsletter, as have previous editions, contains information from each of these important sectors to help keep you as informed as possible so you can continue to make a positive contribution to the field of physical activity and public health. On a personal note, I hope you will enjoy the upcoming holiday season with family and friends. All of us at the USC PRC wish you the very best and a Happy New Year!

Steven P. Hooker, PhD, Director


FREE WEBINAR ON JOINT-USE AGREEMENTS. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is partnering with the National Center for Safe Routes to School and America Walks to offer a free webinar called "Making New Places for Play: Joint Use Agreements between Schools and Parks" on Nov. 30, 2010, at 1 p.m., EST. This webinar will examine how such agreements can be negotiated to allow shared use of school recreational facilities, parks, and community recreation centers. Benefits include reduced costs, better services to the public, and increased access to new recreational and physical-activity opportunities for all ages. Reserve a seat at http://www.nrpa.org/Content.aspx?id=4270

THE NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT. Learn how you can ask Congress to make strategic transportation investments that foster healthy people and healthy communities. The National Bike Summit has improved bicycle-friendliness and livability in many communities, but the need and opportunity to improve physical activity, safety and livability in the U.S., while reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on oil – remains greater today than a decade ago. The Summit will be held March 8-10, 2011 in Washington, D.C. to act on a simple solution - the bicycle. Register and learn more here. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, November 8, 2010]

BIKE LEAGUE 2020 VISION STRATEGIC PLAN. Last month, the League of American Bicyclists’ Board and staff started a long-term visioning and planning process. They will be drafting 10-year measurable outcomes in support of their mission and the priority areas of advocacy, education, and promotion. They want to know what you think. Your input will help them shape the 10-year vision plan and give them direction for the next decade. Please take their short survey at http://preview.tinyurl.com/235k4jo. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, October 12, 2010]


$1 BILLION ALLOCATED TO BIKE/PED PROJECTS IN 2010. For the second year in a row, federal spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects exceeded $1 billion. According to the Federal Highway Administration's Financial Management Information System (FMIS), U.S. states spent $1.04 billion of federal funds on bicycle and pedestrian projects in fiscal year 2010. More than a third of those funds ($337 million) came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/367tshr. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, November 08, 2010]

COMPLETE STREETS IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL. On October 18th, the District of Columbia formally adopted Complete Streets as its guiding policy for transportation projects. Effective immediately, the policy establishes a vision for all transportation and other public space projects to “accommodate and balance the choice, safety, and convenience of all users of the transportation system.” The District has much to gain, since nearly 40% of residents rely on their feet, bikes, and public transportation to get to work, school, shops, and community destinations. The newly policy will ensure efforts to make a more livable District through improved transportation options. [Source: CenterLines 265. October 27, 2010]

WHITE HOUSE REPORTEDLY GREEN-LIGHTS TRANSPORTATION BILL; HOWEVER….  USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood has told members of the Transportation Equity Network that he has received approval from the White House to move on the country's next 6-year transportation bill, to be included in the President's budget request for fiscal year 2012." However, the current extension of the existing transportation law, expires on December 31st. Consensus is that if Congress instead opts for a two-year extension this fall, there would be “little to no likelihood” of passage of full reauthorization during the 2012 presidential election cycle. [Source: American Trails, at http://www.americantrails.org/reauth.html]


WALKING AND CYCLING TO HEALTH: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CITY, STATE, AND INTERNATIONAL DATA. This study analyzed city- and state-level data from the United States and international data from 15 countries to study the relationship between "active travel" -- bicycling or walking rather than driving -- and physical activity, obesity and diabetes.  The results showed that more than half of the difference in obesity rates among countries is negatively associated with walking and cycling rates. Additionally, statistically significant positive relationships were found between active travel and physical activity and statistically significant negative relationships between active travel and diabetes at the stat and city level. The authors express the need for U.S. cities to encourage more walking and cycling for daily travel by providing safe, convenient and attractive infrastructure, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths and lanes, and intersection modifications that protect pedestrians and cyclists. Pucher, Buehler, Bassett, Dannenberg. "Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State, and International Data." Am J Public Health, 100(10), 1986-1992. (AJPH.2009.189324. 2010)

BEYOND RECREATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:  EXAMINING OCCUPATION AND HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITY, TRANSPORTATION ACTIVITY, AND SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR IN RELATION TO POSTMENOPAUSAL BREAST CANCER RISK. The relationship between structured, recreational physical activity and reductions in the risk of breast cancer has been widely established.  However, a similar relationship between physical activity in household, occupational, and transportation settings and breast cancer risk has not been fully explored.  Using data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study involving 97,039 participants, the authors examined non-recreational physical activity behaviors among women who would later develop breast cancer.  The results of this study suggest there is an inverse relationship, independent of recreational physical activity, between increasing levels of activity at the home, the job, and in commuting with risk of breast cancer.  Among women reporting heavy lifting at work or home, a 38% reduction in risk was observed compared to those who reported sitting all day.  These results suggest if an individual cannot meet the recommended guidelines for recreational physical activity, activity at home or work may still hold a protective effect for breast cancer. George, Irwin, Matthews, et al. "Beyond recreational physical activity: examining occupational and household activity, transportation activity, and sedentary behavior in relation to postmenopausal breast cancer risk." Am J Public Health 100(11): 2288-95, 2010. (AJPH.2009.180828)

TRENDS IN LEISURE-, TRANSPORT-, AND WORK-RELATED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN CANADA 1994-2005. Despite reductions in caloric intake and increases in leisure-time physical activity over the past 30-40 years among Canadian adults, the combined prevalence of overweight and obese individuals rose from 49% to 59% between 1978 and 2004. The authors of this manuscript hypothesized this increase to be a result of decreases in non-recreational physical activity levels, specifically in work and transportation domains. Using data from the National Population Health Surveys and the Canadian Community Health Surveys, the authors found both men and women to be less inactive (more active) during leisure time and transportation, but more inactive at work. Given the large amount of time individuals spend at work, the authors hypothesize this increase in inactivity may contribute to the overall increases in overweight and obese Canadian adults. Juneau and Potvin. "Trends in leisure-, transport-, and work-related physical activity in Canada 1994-2005." Preventive Medicine, 51(5): 384-386, 2010. (doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.09.002)


NEW RESOURCE: SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL AND HEALTH: UNDERSTANDING THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BENEFITS OF WALKING AND BICYCLING TO SCHOOL. Walking and biking are two of the easiest ways to be active. The National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has prepared a new research-based resource that specifically looks at the potential physical activity benefits of a SRTS program and describes strategies for measuring those benefits. To view the resource, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/online_library/details.cfm?id=4619

NEW BHFNC WEBSITE. The British Health Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity has created a new website as a useful resource for promoting physical activity. The new and improved website provides visitors with a wide range of information, including:

  1. Curriculum support
  2. Health & Safety advice and guidance
  3. Calendar of events
  4. Latest news in Physical Education & School Sport

The new website is an essential reference point for anyone working in physical education. The website has been completely re-designed to allow easier access to the most commonly used features. Visit the Association for Physical Education and School Sport (afPE) website at http://www.afpe.org.uk/. [Source: AusPAnet, Tuesday, October 26, 2010]

STATE INDICATOR REPORT ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 2010. This report presents 12 policy and environmental indicators derived from strategies recommended by The Guide to Community Preventive Services, CDC’s Guide to Strategies for Increasing Physical Activity in the Community, The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation, and The National Physical Activity Plan. They are from multiple data sources and measure several aspects of a state’s ability to support physical activity. You can find this report at http://preview.tinyurl.com/295lgey.

NATIONAL ACTION GUIDE. The State Indicator Report on Physical Activity,2010 provides national- and state-levels information on the physical activity levels of Americans and on related policy and environmental supports. This action guide summarizes physical activity levels and also provides potential action items to support state-level policy and environmental changes to increase physical activity among all Americans. Access the guide at http://preview.tinyurl.com/2cajcly.


NEW PROGRAM RECOGNIZES WALK FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES.  The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has officially launched Walk Friendly Communities (WFC), a national recognition program to encourage towns and cities across the United States to establish or recommit to a high priority for safe walking. The PBIC will assess communities' commitment to improving conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort, and will recognize communities that set the bar in fostering and accommodating walking. The program began accepting applications nationwide on November 1, 2010." Applications are de by December 15th. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/2bwkdvs. (Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Newsletter, Summer 2010]

ACHIEVE (ACTION COMMUNITIES FOR HEALTH, INNOVATION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE). The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) invites local health departments to submit applications to become an ACHIEVE community. ACHIEVE communities receive support to strengthen a coalition of community partners (YMCA, Parks & Rec, schools, etc) and develop a community action plan that addresses comprehensive chronic disease prevention through policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. 2011 grant applications are now available at http://www.achievecommunities.org/Pages/default.aspx. [Source: SPARK E Newsletter October, 2010]

INCREASING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY THROUGH COMMUNITY DESIGN. The Active Living Resource Center's newest publication, Increasing Physical Activity (IPA) Guide will help you and your community work towards the goal of a healthy community in which walking and bicycling are normal parts of daily life. The guide can be downloaded at http://preview.tinyurl.com/26jp28v .  A "Feet to the Streets" webinar, sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, presented a guided tour of the publication. This webinar was recorded and is available for free viewing at http://tinyurl.com/362hdsw


NCSRTS SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR $1,000 GRANTS. The National Center for Safe Routes to School (NCSRTS) is accepting applications for 25 mini-grants of $1,000 each. These mini-grants support the goal of enabling and encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school safely. They will fund activities that range from efforts to help start or sustain a program, to creative ideas for improving safety and/or increasing the number of students walking and rolling to school. To learn more about the possibilities, go to http://tinyurl.com/yb3kbc6. [Source: CenterLines 265, October 27, 2010]

VIDEO GAMES HELP SCHOOLS GET KIDS MOVING, EXERCISING MORE. Last year, an elementary school in Las Cruces, NM has students doing five minutes of an active video game (“Just Dance” for Nintendo Wii) at the beginning of each school day. The dance video is broadcast to classroom TV monitors. Interestingly, tardiness decreased! When they started the activity again this year, students cheered. They love the fact that their teachers dance with them. The school administration was inspired to try this idea by researchers at New Mexico State University who are investigating the use of active video games as part of an obesity-prevention project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, Oct. 12, 2010]

INCLUSIVE PHYSICAL EDUCATION. It can be very challenging for physical education teachers to include students with special needs into their classes effectively . For a list of strategies (pertaining to organization and management, equipment, and activity modifications) to help ensure that all students are able to participate in physical education, Click Here. [Source: The Official SPARK Blog, November 2010]


138TH AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING AND EXPOSITION, 11/6/2010 - 11/10/2010, Denver, CO, http://www.apha.org/meetings/

2010 INTERNATIONAL SPORTS MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: BRIDGING RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, 11/4/2010 - 11/6/2010, Lausanne, Switzerland, http://www.worldeventsforum.com/ismc/

STATE TRAIL ADMINISTRATORS ANNUAL MEETING, 11/11/2010 - 11/13/2010, Chattanooga, TN, http://www.ibrc.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/stam2010/index.htm

EUROPEAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION (EUPHA) ANNUAL CONFERENCE, 11/13/2010 - 11/13/2010, Amsterdam, Netherlands, http://www.eupha.org/site/upcoming_conference.php

TEXAS OBESITY RESEARCH CENTER 2010 CONFERENCE, 11/18/2010 - 11/19/2010, Houston, TX, http://hhp.uh.edu/obesity/conference/

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON ACTIVE AGING CONFERENCE, 2010, 12/2/2010 - 12/4/2010, San Diego, CA, http://www.icaa.cc/convention.htm


NCC COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP ENGAGEMENT AWARD- 2010. On October 11, 2010, the USC Prevention Research Center received the National Community Committee’s inaugural award for fostering close collaboration with our local community committees in respect to our CDC-funded core Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects in Sumter County. NCC Committee members work together to make recommendations about how community committees can share information and better serve individual PRCs as well as the national program. The USC PRC will also be eligible for the upcoming Community-Based Participatory Research Best Practice Award.


Marsha Stepp, Robin Shook


NEWS YOU CAN USE: October is International Walk to School Month; Healthy Aging® Month; Active Aging Week; Family Health and Fitness Day USA

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Senate Committee Approves Forward-Looking Livable Communities Act

RESEARCH NOTES: Analyzing the Time Frame for the Transition from Leisure-Cyclist to Commuter-Cyclist; Longitudinal Associations between Neighborhood-Level Street Network with Walking, Bicycling, and Jogging: The Cardia Study; Accelerometer Output and MET Values of Common Physical Activities; Using Google Earth to Conduct a Neighborhood Audit: Reliability of a Virtual Audit Instrument

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health; Active Parent Education Kit

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Bicycle City: A Place for Car-Free, Sustainable Living; 2010 Fall Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced; Cities Can Help Promote the Outdoors

SCHOOLS: Safe Routes Coaching Action Network Seminar: Looking Both Ways: Helping Parents and Educators Support Safe Walking and Bicycling

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: PE4Life Resource Conference Play to W.I.N.; 48th International Making Cities Livable Conference; 138th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition; European Public Health Association (EUPHA) Annual Conference; Texas Obesity Research Center 2010 Conference

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

Finally, the humidity gauge has been turned down a little and college and professional football seasons have begun in America. That means schools are back in session and fall is upon us. Back to the daily grind for most of us. However, I love this time of year as everyone one seems to have a fresh start and a positive attitude. It’s also stimulating to know that soon I will be at the annual Physical Activity and Public Health Course in Park City, Utah where I will be surrounded by some of the brightest physical activity researchers and practitioners on the planet. And, around the corner is the annual American Public Health Association meeting in Denver, CO which is filled with several exciting scientific sessions and events organized by the PA Special Interest Group. Yes, the doldrums I felt this past summer are gone, and I hope that you are feeling reenergized at this time of year as I am. I look forward to seeing many of you this fall and sharing our enthusiasm with one another.

Steven P. Hooker, PhD, Director


OCTOBER IS INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL MONTH. During the month of October, elementary and middle school students and their families can help their schools win one of five $5,000 grants by walking or bicycling to school. Parents are invited to sign up online for the “Walk to School Challenge” and log their families' walking or bicycling trips on behalf of their school. The five schools with the highest levels of participation will be eligible to win a $5,000 grant. Frequent walkers and bicyclists can also earn individual prizes, ranging from green shoelaces to reusable water bottles. Sign up at www.facebook.com/greenworks. [Source: Safe Routes Matter - News Brief, September 2, 2010]

HEALTHY AGING® MONTH, September 1-30, 2010, http://www.healthyaging.net/

ACTIVE AGING WEEK, September 20-26, 2010, http://www.icaa.cc/aaw.htm

FAMILY HEALTH AND FITNESS DAY USA, September 25, 2010, http://www.fitnessday.com/family


SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES FORWARD-LOOKING LIVABLE COMMUNITIES ACT. On August 3, 2020, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs approved Chairman Christopher Dodd’s (D-CT) Livable Communities Act, S 1619.  The Act would take unprecedented steps to help communities deal with a range of critical issues, from traffic congestion to housing affordability to neighborhood stability. [Source: Transportation for America, August 2010]


ANALYZING THE TIME FRAME FOR THE TRANSITION FROM LEISURE-CYCLIST TO COMMUTER-CYCLIST. Recent findings suggest many commuter-cyclists were first leisure-cyclists.  Using survey data, this study examined factors and length of time that described this process to becoming a commuter-cyclist.  Factors associated with commuting using bicycle included shorter distances between home and work, higher proportions of bike lanes segregated from the road, and fewer signalized traffic intersections on the commuting route.  Additionally, bicycle commuters who were previously leisure-cyclists also had higher levels of physical fitness and awoke earlier each day. Park, Lee, Shin, & Sohn. “Analyzing the time frame for the transition from leisure-cyclist to commuter-cyclist.” Transportation, Published online August 12, 2010. http://www.springerlink.com/content/y77r6ljnm20m8921/fulltext.pdf

LONGITUDINAL ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN NEIGHBORHOOD-LEVEL STREET NETWORK WITH WALKING, BICYCLING, AND JOGGING: THE CARDIA STUDY. Using prospective data from repeated exams on 5115 young adults, the authors linked self-reports of physical activity and residential street locations determined from a Geographic Information System.  Neighborhood street density (number of intersections) was positively associated with walking, bicycling, and jogging in low urban areas, but not for middle or high urban areas.  The authors hypothesize the findings suggest the importance of interconnected streets and local roads in areas lacking other environmental supports for physical activity.  Additionally, women in high urban areas with high-levels of local roads were less likely to be physically active, suggesting barriers to PA, such as poorer aesthetics and higher crime rates associated with urban areas, may be particularly salient for women compared to men. Hou, Popkin, Jacobs, et al. “Longitudinal associations between neighborhood-level street network with walking, bicycling, and jogging: The CARDIA study.” Health and Place. In Press: Corrected proof published online August 10, 2010 http://preview.tinyurl.com/375kd9l.

ACCELEROMETER OUTPUT AND MET VALUES OF COMMON PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES. In this study, the authors measured the MET values (via a portable metabolic system) and accelerometer output among 277 adults for 23 activities, ranging from washing dishes to treadmill walking to climbing stairs.  A linear regression model among all activities to predict MET values from accelerometer counts accounted for 65% of the variability in our sample, which is considered a moderate to high association.  However, the authors also describe intrinsic errors when using a linear regression model to predict MET values from accelerometers, specifically for activities that require upper body effort, walking on a level surface vs. walking on an incline, and for intermittent activities such as ascending stairs.  Based on these findings, the authors state linear regression models are inappropriate for accurately predicting METs from accelerometer output. Kozey, Lyden, Howe, Staudenmayer, & Freedson. “Accelerometer output and MET values of common physical activities.” Med Sci Sports Exerc, 42(9), 1776-1784, 2010,

USING GOOGLE EARTH TO CONDUCT A NEIGHBORHOOD AUDIT: RELIABILITY OF A VIRTUAL AUDIT INSTRUMENT. Research highlighting the influence of community characteristics (e.g. population density, land use, neighborhood block size) on the physical and mental health of their residents has been ongoing for over two decades, although assessment techniques for these characteristics are relatively new.  The authors assessed the reliability of neighborhood audit instrument using two methods: 1) in-person assessment, and 2) assessment via Google Street View, a component of Google Earth, a free, internet-based computer program. There was strong agreement between methods for objective measures such as identifying recreation facilities, local food environments (e.g. supermarkets), alcohol signage, and presence of trees lining neighborhoods.  However, qualitative measurements, such as street quality and presence of glass or garbage, were less reliable.  Overall, using the internet to conduct neighborhood audits has the potential to reduce costs of collecting data.  Clarke, Ailshire, Melendez, Bader, & Morenoff. “Using Google Earth to conduct a neighborhood audit: Reliability of a virtual audit instrument.” Health and Place. In Press: Corrected proof published online August 11, 2010. http://preview.tinyurl.com/366ln3g


GLOBAL RECOMMENDATIONS ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR HEALTH.  For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published new physical activity recommendations at the international level. The purpose of these recommendations is to provide national and regional policy makers with clear, comprehensive, and evidence-based guidelines on the dose-response relationship between physical activity and health. They were developed by a team of international experts and were peer reviewed before finalization by the WHO Secretariat. The primary focus of these recommendations is the prevention of non-communicable diseases through physical activity at population level. Read the entire publication at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241599979_eng.pdf. [Source: World Health Organization. (2010). Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.]

ACTIVE PARENT EDUCATION KIT. Developed by the Department of Sport and Recreation of the Government of Western Australia, this tool provides information and education on the benefits of physical activity and the importance of positive behaviors in sport and recreation. The kit targets parents, schools, clubs, coaches, and any community group who need information about the parent’s role in a sport and recreation environment.  The goal is to promote good role models for building stronger, healthier, happier, and safer environments. Examine the toolkit at http://preview.tinyurl.com/388zgl4. [Source: AusPAnet, September 14, 2010]


BICYCLE CITY: A PLACE FOR CAR-FREE, SUSTAINABLE LIVING. This planned bicycle-only development in Gaston, South Carolina will not allow cars, and will be home to ten eco-friendly houses and 4.5 miles of interconnected bicycle and walking trails. Co-developer Joe Mellett hopes to begin construction soon on a 160-acre tract of land. The Gaston location was chosen for three reasons:

  • It’s relatively close to Columbia’s numerous college communities;
  • It’s in Lexington County, which has recently built many bike-only greenways that connect the county car-free; and
  • A new state-of-the-art South Carolina State Farmers Market is opening nearby, which hopefully will entice home buyers with a penchant for organic farming.

Read more at http://tinyurl.com/236xchg. [Source: CenterLines 261, September 1, 2010]

2010 FALL BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES ANNOUNCED. On September 15th the League of American Bicyclists announced 18 new Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs) and 8 renewing BFCs for 2010 at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference. To see the new winners, go to http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/. See the complete list of BFCs at http://preview.tinyurl.com/2dcq6v4. The new listings shows a number of cities have achieved a higher ranking than before. To learn more about becoming a BFC, go to http://preview.tinyurl.com/nkqah9. [Source: League of American Bicyclists Press Release, September 15, 2010]

CITIES CAN HELP PROMOTE THE OUTDOORS.  In Minnesota, sales of hunting and fishing licenses have been on the decline, and overall interest in outdoor recreation has apparently been flagging. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has made a determined effort to get people — especially kids —into the woods and out on the water. Minnesota’s calendar is now dotted with free fishing weekends, special youth-only hunting seasons and a variety of other events designed to get families outdoors. Local, or city, governments can play a big role in promoting easy access to outdoor recreation.  If they do, Minnesota’s experience shows that people will take advantage of it. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, September 14, 2010]


SAFE ROUTES COACHING ACTION NETWORK SEMINAR: LOOKING BOTH WAYS: HELPING PARENTS AND EDUCATORS SUPPORT SAFE WALKING AND BICYCLING.  This webinar on September 28th at 1:00 pm will focus on how parents and educators can support safe walking and bicycling. You will find out what researchers learned from focus groups with parents of “tweens,” and how it might be applied in your community. In addition, speakers will discuss new resources for marketing, and how parents can assess and build their child's pedestrian safety skills. The webinar will also include a discussion of the new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Child Pedestrian Safety Curriculum which will be released soon. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/343473744. [Source: National Center for Safe Routes to School Announcement]


PE4LIFE RESOURCE CONFERENCE PLAY TO W.I.N. 10/4/2010 - 10/5/2010, Overland Park, KS; http://www.pe4life.org/events/pe4life-upcoming-events/

48TH INTERNATIONAL MAKING CITIES LIVABLE CONFERENCE. 10/17/2010 - 10/21/2010, Charleston, SC; http://www.livablecities.org/conferences/forthcoming-conferences.html

138TH AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING AND EXPOSITION. 11/6/2010 - 11/10/2010, Denver, CO; http://www.apha.org/meetings/

EUROPEAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION (EUPHA) ANNUAL CONFERENCE. 11/10/2010 - 11/13/2010, Amsterdam, Netherlands. http://www.eupha.org/site/upcoming_conference.php

TEXAS OBESITY RESEARCH CENTER 2010 CONFERENCE. 11/18/2010 - 11/19/2010, Houston, TX; http://hhp.uh.edu/obesity/conference/


NEW STAFF. Robin Shook is a first-year doctoral student in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.  Robin is originally from a small town in Iowa, and received his bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Northern Iowa and his master’s degree in Exercise Science from Iowa State University.  Prior to enrolling at USC, he has worked in research labs at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas, TX, Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, and the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.  Among his other duties, Robin will select and summarize newly published research articles for both this newsletter and the USC PRC website.  He is married and the proud owner of two dogs.


Marsha Stepp, Robin Shook


NEWS YOU CAN USE: League of American Bicyclists Seeking New Board Members; Proposals for TRB’s Annual Meeting; Safe Routes Coaching Action Network Seminar; Places to Play; Pro Walk/Pro Bike® Program Update

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: FY 2011 Appropriations Update; President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

RESEARCH NOTES: Assessing Physical Activity in Public Parks in Brazil Using Systematic Observation; The Longitudinal Influence of Home and Neighbourhood Environments on Children's Body Mass Index and Physical Activity over 5 Years: The Clan Study; Effect of Teammates on Changes in Physical Activity in a Statewide Campaign

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Health Benefits from Tai Chi and Qigong; Computer Fun Helps Improve Girls' Food Choices, Fitness; PBIC Publishes Nat'l Bicycling & Walking Study Update

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: PBIC Seeks Walk-Friendly Communities; Livable Communities Need Sustainable Solutions; Community Leaders’ Perspectives on Building Healthier Neighborhoods in Urban Settings

SCHOOLS: Call for 2010 James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award Applications; 179 Schools Celebrated for Healthy Achievements

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: IDEA World Fitness Convention; Sports & Exercise Medicine Annual Conference; PE4Life Resource Conference Play to W.I.N; 48th International Making Cities Livable Conference

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: Presentation at National Conference

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

The dog days of summer are upon us – at least here in South Carolina where it’s hot and steamy nearly every day. The days are longer and the pace of life seems much slower.  It sort of feels this way right now within the physical activity (PA) world. After nearly two decades of historic events that have shaped the PA landscape, it seems as if a lull may be coming upon the field. I wonder what the next major event, breakthrough, or plan of action is going to be.  Certainly, for us in the U.S., implementation of the National PA Plan looms large, as does the continued worldwide exploration of using technology to promote behavior change, causes and consequences of sedentary behavior, and environmental and policy “magic bullets”. I know there are many of you out there that will play a vital role in constructing an exciting future for PA research and practice, and the lull I am feeling will be short-lived as a result of your tireless energy and efforts.

From the home of the 2010 National College Baseball Champions – USC Gamecocks!

Steven P. Hooker, PhD, Director


SEEKING NEW BOARD MEMBERS. The League Governance Committee is soliciting recommendations for candidates for the 2011 Board elections. The Board governs and sets broad policy and direction for the League. Board members serve three-year terms. Starting this year, seven will be elected nationally by all League members; the Board selects the remaining five. Four member-elected and one Board-appointed positions are open. In addition, the League's Bylaws allow the Board to create up to five additional Board seats for a total that may range from the current 12 up to 17. Learn more about the qualifications and how to apply at http://www.bikeleague.org/about/board/elections.php

PROPOSALS FOR TRB'S ANNUAL MEETING. Papers for the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting (Jan. 23-27, 2011 in Washington, DC) must be submitted by August 1ST. Topics include:

  • Emerging and Innovative Public Transport and Technologies
  • Integrating modes for sustainable tourism and public land access
  • Public Involvement in Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues
  • Transportation Accessibility and Mobility Research
  • Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities Call for Papers

To see the full list of Calls for Papers, go to: http://tinyurl.com/27tyk6r. The Paper Submission site is open at http://tinyurl.com/2b9a5xd
[Source: CenterLines 257, July 7, 2010]

SAFE ROUTES COACHING ACTION NETWORK WEBINAR. This webinar will be on July 27th at 1:00pm EDT, “Navigating Change: How to Use the Updated System for Accessing Your Parent Surveys and Student Travel Tallies.” The National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has updated the online data system used by local SRTS programs to enter Parent Survey and Student Travel Tally questionnaires and to view summary reports of those data. The webinar will provide an overview of the updated system, highlighting features that are relevant to users from local programs. For more information please contact Michelle Gulley at mgulley@americawalks.org. [Source: National Center for Safe Routes to School [news@saferoutesinfo.org]

SPACES TO PLAY. In Arizona, the Maricopa Council on Youth Sports and Physical Activity has developed a website that helps kids find places to go for sports and recreation. Funded by grants from private foundations, the website lists public locations in central Arizona by sport. When you click on a location, you get information on hours of operation and available amenities. The website has a separate section for spaces to play at night (earmarking those with lighting), since summer heat can make outdoor activities difficult during the day. The council plans to seek additional funding to go statewide. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, June 2010]

PRO WALK/ PRO BIKE® 2010 PROGRAM UPDATE. Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2010 Chattanooga is nine weeks away (Sep 13-17 in Chattanooga, TN). A complete list of special meetings and mobile workshops will be available at the end of the month. In the meantime here are two meetings that are part of the extended PWPB program:

  1. U.S. Bicycle Route System Implementation Workshop, Monday, September 13; 1- 4 pm. Contact Ginny Sullivan at gsullivan@adventurecycling.org. for more information.
  2. Accessible Pedestrian Signals Workshop, September 17. For more information or to register, contact Daniel Carter at (919) 962-8720 or daniel_carter@unc.edu.

AMERICA ON THE MOVE'S SEPTEMBER CAMPAIGN: September 1-30, 2010, http://www.americaonthemove

HEALTHY AGING® MONTH: September 1-30, 2010, http://www.healthyaging.net/

NATIONAL TURN OFF THE TV WEEK: September 19-25, 2010, http://www.tvturnoff.org/

FAMILY HEALTH AND FITNESS DAY USA, September 25, 2010, http://www.fitnessday.com/family

For more information and to register, go to http://www.bikewalk.org/2010conference/index.php
If you are interested in being a sponsor contact sharon@bikewalk.org. [Source: CenterLines 257, July 7, 2010]


FY 2011 APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE. House Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the twelve annual spending bills began before the July 4th holiday. The President's budget request for USDOT, HUD, and EPA included the following funding requests: a $200 million FHWA program to fund performance-based transportation planning, $20 million to start an Office of Livability at USDOT, $150 million for the Sustainable Communities Planning and Challenge grants at HUD, and $11.23 million for the EPA Smart Growth program. [Source: Smart Growth America, June 29, 2010]

PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL ON FITNESS, SPORTS, AND NUTRITION. President Obama has issued an executive order establishing a committee to promote fitness and outdoor exercise. Health and Human Services will work with Agriculture and Education to "develop and coordinate a national program to enhance physical activity, fitness, sports participation, and good nutrition." The president will appoint 25 unpaid members to sit for two-year terms, and may appoint paid staff. The council can work with national, state and local groups. It will expire in two years unless the president decides to extend it. For more info, see http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-15851.htm. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, July 6, 2010]


ASSESSING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN PUBLIC PARKS IN BRAZIL USING SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATION. This study assessed park use in Recife, Brazil, and differences in PA and occupation rates in public parks with and without the Academia da Cidade Program (ACP), which provides cost-free, supervised PA classes. The authors used the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities in 128 targeted areas in 10 park sites (5 ACP sites, 5 non-ACP sites) to obtain data on the number of users and their PA levels and estimated age. Each area was assessed 4 times a day for 11 days over a 4-week period.  On the basis of systematic observation, ACP appears to be a useful strategy in promoting park use and PA among the population in Recife. Parra, McKenzie, Ribeiro, et al. Assessing Physical Activity in Public Parks in Brazil Using Systematic Observation .  American Journal of Public Health, 100(8), 1420-14262010.

THE LONGITUDINAL INFLUENCE OF HOME AND NEIGHBOURHOOD ENVIRONMENTS ON CHILDREN'S BODY MASS INDEX AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OVER 5 YEARS: THE CLAN STUDY. This study examined the independent contributions of family and neighborhood environments to changes in youth PA and BMI z-score over 5 years. In 2001, 2004 and 2006, 301 children had their height and weight measured, and PA assessed using accelerometers. In 2001, parents reported on the home environment (social support, role modeling, rules and restrictions, physical environment) and perceived neighborhood environment (local traffic, road safety, sporting venues, public transport), and Geographic Information Systems were used to map features of the neighborhood environment (destinations, road connectivity, traffic exposure). The results indicated that the home environment seemed more important than the neighborhood environment in influencing children's PA and BMI z-score over 5 years. Crawford, Cleland, Timperio, et al. “The longitudinal influence of home and neighborhood environments on children's body mass index and physical activity over 5 years: the CLAN study.” International Journal of Obesity, 34, 1177-1187, 2010.

EFFECT OF TEAMMATES ON CHANGES IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN A STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN. This study reported the PA outcomes from Shape Up Rhode Island (SURI) 2007, a statewide campaign to increase steps through team-based competition. Given the importance of social networks in behavior change, this study focused on the effects of team and team characteristics on activity outcomes. For 16 weeks, 5,333 adults comprising 652 teams wore pedometers and reported their steps online.  The findings suggest that team members influence individual activity outcomes in team-based statewide campaigns. Leahey, Crane, Marinilli, et al. “Effect of teammates on changes in physical activity in a statewide campaign.” Preventive Medicine, 51, 45-49, 2010.


HEALTH BENEFITS FROM TAI CHI AND QIGONG. In the current issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, there an across-the-board review of the health effects of Qigong and Tai Chi that finds they offer many physical and mental health advantages, with benefits for the heart, immune system and overall quality of life. The review included 77 randomized controlled trials on Qigong or Tai Chi interventions published in peer-reviewed journals between 1993 and 2007, with 6,410 participants in those studies. The authors say that there is now a “stronger evidence base” than before for bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, physical function, balance, quality of life, fall prevention and psychological benefits. Jahnk, Larkey, Rogers, et al. “A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi.” Am J Health Promot. 24(6):e1-e25, 2010.

COMPUTER FUN HELPS IMPROVE GIRLS' FOOD CHOICES, FITNESS. An internet program from scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas has helped some 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls make better food choices and be more physically active. As part of a preliminary study, the “Food, Fun, and Fitness Internet Program for Girls” uses culturally sensitive comic strips geared towards 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls to promote better food choices and physical activity. Cartoon personalities struggle with meeting food and fitness goals. Read more at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2010/100622.htm. [Source: United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Website]

PBIC PUBLISHES NAT'L BICYCLING & WALKING STUDY UPDATE: The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has released a 15-year status report that details trends and changes in bicycling and walking since the National Bicycling and Walking Study was published in 1994. According to this new study, since 1994 there has been an increase in bicycling and walking, and a decrease in pedestrian and bike fatalities and injuries across the United States. Data from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey indicate that there has been an increase of approximately 25% in both activities, and a 22.3% decrease in fatalities. The full report can be accessed at www.walkinginfo.org/15_year_report/. [Source: Centerlines 257, July 7, 2010]


PBIC SEEKS WALK-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) is seeking up to 5 communities to pilot test the online draft of the Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) assessment tool. The program will officially be launched this fall. To ensure that it will be a comprehensive tool for all communities, PBIC is seeking communities for pilot testing. Initial pilot tests were held in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, Orlando, Florida, and Davidson, North Carolina. The second round will test the usability of the online application and submission mechanisms, and will involve the assessment of a community through completion and submission of the latest version of the assessment tool. For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/2ba9ryx. [Source: Centerlines 257, July 7, 2010]

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES NEED SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS. The city of Normal, Illinois received a $22 million TIGER grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) for a new city transportation hub. This program was created by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project brought Amtrak trains, city and regional buses, and taxis to one centrally located building. It also led to a new hotel and conference center, both in walking distance from the hub. According to Mayor Chris Koos, making uptown accessible for walking, biking and public transit was a key goal of their small city’s redevelopment effort, allowing more residents a place where they could live, eat and shop. Read more at http://preview.tinyurl.com/373chyh. [Source: Transportation for America Email (info@t4america.org), June 2010]

COMMUNITY LEADERS’ PERSPECTIVES ON BUILDING HEALTHIER NEIGHBORHOODS IN URBAN SETTINGS. A Canadian study conducted in Edmonton, Alberta focused on planning decisions made by key city stakeholders and how they were influenced to promote or prevent development of neighborhoods in urban areas where walking, being active, and buying healthy foods would be easy. Seventeen stakeholders were interviewed for the study:

  • Nine public health sector employees who work in transportation, planning, and community initiatives
  • Three city council members.
  • Five from the private sector, e.g., land developers

Read an article on this study published in Research Update, a publication of the Alberta Centre for Active Living: http://preview.tinyurl.com/2g9k6x7. [Source: AusPAnet, July 6, 2010]


CALL FOR 2010 JAMES L. OBERSTAR SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL AWARD APPLICATIONS: Applications Due August 4, 2010.  The 2010 Award will recognize outstanding achievement by a school or community in conducting a SRTS program that has greatly improved safety or increased the number of elementary and/or middle school students walking and bicycling to school. Applications can be submitted by individuals or organizations such as schools, local SRTS programs, community organizations, local governmental departments, state SRTS coordinators, SRTS advocates, state Departments of Transportation, Governor's Highway Safety Offices, FHWA Division representatives, and NHTSA Regional Offices. For more information and an application, visit http://preview.tinyurl.com/32he96f. [Source: National Center for Safe Routes to School: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/]

179 SCHOOLS CELEBRATED FOR HEALTHY ACHIEVEMENTS. At theAnnual Healthy Schools Program Forum last month in New York City, 179 schools from across the country that have transformed their campuses through healthy eating and physical activity policies and programs were honored. This year’s successes include Memorial High School in West New York, N.J., the first and only school to earn a Gold National Recognition Award. Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Lincoln, Los Angeles; Miami; Raleigh-Durham, and San Antonio each boast multiple bronze- or silver-level schools. Former President Bill Clinton, American Heart Association Chairman Neil Meltzer and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO RisaLavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., all spoke at the event. Read more at http://www.healthiergeneration.org/ [Source: Alliance for a Healthier Generation News Release, June 15, 2010]


IDEA World Fitness Convention. 8/4/2010 - 8/10/2010, Los Angeles, CA. http://www.ideafit.com/

SPORTS & EXERCISE MEDICINE ANNUAL CONFERENCE. 09/17/2010 - 09/18/2010, Dublin, Ireland

Overland Park, KS, http://www.pe4life.org/events/pe4life-upcoming-events/

48TH INTERNATIONAL MAKING CITIES LIVABLE CONFERENCE. 10/17/2010 - 10/21/2010, Charleston, SC, http://www.livablecities.org/conferences/forthcoming-conferences.html


PRESENTATION AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE: Dr. Hooker recently attended the following meeting sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health: Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in High Risk Rural Communities. As part of the invited workgroup, Dr. Hooker gave a presentation titled “Policy and Environmental Interventions to Promote Physical Activity – Cutting Edge Research.” Recommendations from this workshop will be used to create future funding initiatives within NIH and other federal agencies to combat CVD and other health disparities in rural communities.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda


NEWS YOU CAN USE: Early Registration for Pro-Walk/Pro Bike ends on Memorial Day; National Bike Month; Competition to Encourage Bicycling; National Great Outdoors Month; National Trails Day

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President

RESEARCH NOTES: A Small Grants Program to Involve Communities in Research; The Role of Objective Neighborhood Features and Psychosocial Factors; Immigrant Generation and Physical Activity among Mexican, Chinese & Filipino Adults in the U.S.

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: National Physical Fitness and Sport Month Healthfinder Toolkit; Women’s Bicycle Survey; Green Exercise Improves Mood

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Colorado Becomes “Roll Model” with B-Bikes; New Review: Links Between Parks and Physical Activity; Maine Bicycling PSAs

SCHOOLS: Webinar: Ensuring Safe Routes to School Includes Children with Disabilities; Opening School Grounds to the Community after Hours

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); 2010 Built Environment Assessment Training Institute; World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

Another seminal event in the history of physical activity promotion occurred on May 3, 2010 when the nation’s first-ever National Physical Activity Plan was announced.  Hearty congratulations to USDHHS, CDC, Dr. Russ Pate, Dan Bornstein, the many actors who served on the steering and sector committees, and those who provided input at any time during the process of crafting the plan. Now, it’s up to all of us to help facilitate its implementation in states and communities across America. Not an easy task, but one well worth tackling. All the best to each of us as we do our part to make the plan come alive!

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


EARLY REGISTRATION FOR PROWALK/PRO BIKE ENDS ON MEMORIAL DAY! Chattanooga, Tennessee, host to ProWalk/ProBike® 2010, has much to boast about, including a walkable downtown, electric transit opportunities, a heavily used river trail, mountain biking within minutes of town and the restored Walnut Street Bridge, which serves as the basis for the 2010 event logo. Register now at https://center.uoregon.edu/conferences/NCBW/2010/registration/ to join us in the Scenic City September 13-16, 2010, for ProWalk/ProBike®! At the conclusion of ProWalk/ProBike® 2010, be sure to head to the Equal Footing Summit http://www.americawalks.org/equal-footing/ with America Walks from 3 – 7 pm on September 16! [Source: America Walks Monthly E-Newsletter, May 2010]

MAY IS NATIONAL BIKE MONTH. May is Bike Month, and there are tons of events nationwide. The weather is welcoming, so now is time to encourage friends, family and co-workers to bike to work, school and for errands. Bike to Work Week is May 17-21 and Bike to Work day is Friday, the 21st. There are Bike Month banners, logos and buttons. For these promotional materials and more info on Bile Month, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3zze6l. Help make every month “Bike Month!" [Source: League of American Bicyclists Website]

COMPETITION TO ENCOURAGE BICYCLING. To underline their commitment to climate change and bicycle advocacy for all ages, Clif Bar (maker of organic snacks and drinks) is giving away $100,000 to three nonprofit organizations: the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Trips for Kids, and the Alliance for Climate Education. Each organization will receive a $25,000 grant, and has been assigned to a 2 Mile Challenge team. If you are interested in participating, go to http://tinyurl.com/22snvyp to find out how. [Source: Centerlines Issue: 253, May 12, 2010]

NATIONAL GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH, June 1-30, 2010, http://www.funoutdoors.com/taxonomy/view/or/116

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY, June 5, 2010, http://www.americanhiking.org/NTD.aspx


WHITE HOUSE TASK FORCE ON CHILDHOOD OBESITY REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT. In February, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let's Move!” campaign to solve the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. As part of this effort, President Barack Obama established the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to develop and implement an interagency plan that details a coordinated strategy, identifies key benchmarks, and outlines an action plan to end the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. In total, the report presents a series of 70 specific recommendations, many of which can be implemented right away.  See the report at http://www.letsmove.gov/taskforce_childhoodobesityrpt.html. [Source: “Let's Move!” website]


A SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM TO INVOLVE COMMUNITIES IN RESEARCH.  JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY HEALTH. A key tenet of CBPR is that communities be involved in all facets of research, from defining the problem to identifying solutions, to assisting in the research, and to participating in the publication of results. In this study, the authors instituted a small grants program for community participation. Funds available were $2,500.00–3,500.00 for 1 year’s worth of work. To help evaluate the progress of the RFA community projects according to the perspectives of the Community Advisory Board (CAB), an open-ended, semi-structured interview was created and administered by a former staff member to CAB members. In 4 years, ten small grants proposed by community members were funded. Funds allocated totaled approximately $25,000. Interviews with CAB members indicated that the RFA program was perceived positively, but there were concerns about sustainability. Thompson, Ondelacy, Godina, Coronado. “A Small Grants Program to Involve Communities in Research.” Journal of Community Health, 35(3), 294-301, 2010.

THE ROLE OF OBJECTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD FEATURES AND PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS. Compared to people with a high socioeconomic status (SES), those with a lower SES are more likely to perceive their neighborhood as unattractive and unsafe, which is associated with lower levels of PA. Agreement between objective and perceived environmental factors is often found to be moderate or low, so it is questionable to what extent ‘creating supportive neighborhoods’ would change neighborhood perceptions. This study among residents (N=814) of fourteen neighborhoods in the city of Eindhoven (Netherlands), investigated to what extent SES differences in perceived neighborhood safety and perceived neighborhood attractiveness can be explained by five domains of objective neighborhood features (i.e. design, traffic safety, social safety, aesthetics, and destinations), and to what extent other factors may play a role. Kamphuis, Mackenbach, Giskes, et al. “The Role of Objective Neighbourhood Features and Psychosocial Factors. Health and Place.” 16(4), 744 – 754, 2010.

IMMIGRANT GENERATION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG MEXICAN, CHINESE & FILIPINO ADULTS IN THE U.S. This study examined relationships between immigrant generation and PA among Mexican, Chinese and Filipino adults, and the extent to which the relationships are confounded by SES. Data from the 2000 US Census was linked with data on adults 18 years and older from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey. Generation was significantly associated with LTPA among Mexican and Chinese adults and with NLTPA among all 3 ethnic origin groups; however the nature of the relationships varied. After adjusting for individual and neighborhood SES factors, a positive association between generation and LTPA remained among Mexican adults, and negative association between generation and NLTPA remained among Chinese and Filipino adults. Afable-Munsuz, Ponce, Rodriguez, Perez-Stable. “Immigrant generation and physical activity among Mexican, Chinese & Filipino adults in the U.S.” Social Science and Medicine, 70(12), 1997-2005, 2010.


NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORT MONTH- HEALTHFINDER TOOLKIT. Healthfinder.gov recently launched a National Physical Fitness and Sports Month Online Toolkit. The toolkit provides readers with easy, actionable ways to educate and engage people in this national health observance. it includes resources from CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Elements include:

  • A sample newsletter or listserv article
  • Sample tweets (for organizations on Twitter)
  • “5 Ways to Get Involved”
  • Background information and related healthfinder.gov content
  • A list of tools and resources
  • E-cards, Web badges and more
The toolkit is available at http://www.healthfinder.gov/nho/MayToolkit.aspx. [Source: CDC/NSPAPPH Physical Activity One-Way Listserv, May 17, 2010]

WOMENS’ BICYCLE SURVEY. The Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals (APBP) invited women to participate in an online survey about their attitudes and concerns about bicycling. As of the end of March, responses have been received from 7,300 women. Preliminary findings include:

  • 59% of respondents use their bikes for some of their daily trips
  • 11% percent ride more than 80 miles per week during the summer
  • Some of respondents’ reasons for cycling:
    • 90%--It’s great exercise and keeps me in shape
    • 73%--Bicycling reduces my stress
    • 72%--It saves me money
    • 70%--It’s very green and I’m doing my bit

Read more at http://www.apbp.org/news/. [Source:  APBP News Release, May 13, 2010]

GREEN EXERCISE IMPROVES MOOD? A simple, free way to boost mental health is to exercise outdoors, whether walking, gardening or cycling, concludes a recent study on "green" exercise."Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood," even urban parks, says the study by Jo Barton and Jules Pretty of the United Kingdom's University of Essex. Places with water gave an extra lift. Read more at http://www.greenexercise.org/. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, May 11, 2010]


COLORADO BECOMES ”ROLL MODEL” WITH B-CYCLE. The City of Denver unveiled the United States’ first bike fleet system that makes cycling the easiest choice in the downtown area. On April 22, the program launched with 500 B-cycles at 50 B-stations around the city, offering a green alternative to cars for short commutes and errands. The B-cycle bikes are equipped with computers to track mileage, calories burned and carbon offsets. Riders can monitor their personal fitness, see their contributions to the city’s green efforts and connect with others online at www.Bcycle.com. Contact Bridget O’Malley Edelman at bridget.omalley@edelman.com for more information. [Source: CDC/NSPAPPH Physical Activity One-Way Listserv, May 17, 2010]

NEW REVIEW: LINKS BETWEEN PARKS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. This synthesis summarizes the growing body of evidence concerning the role of parks in shaping active lifestyles across a variety of study populations, including children, seniors, lower-income families, specific racial and ethnic groups and other populations at high risk of being inactive. Review the research and findings at http://www.activelivingresearch.org/files/Synthesis_Mowen_Feb2010.pdf.[Source: Active Living Research website]

MAINE BICYCLING PSAS. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has created two new public service announcements about bicycle safety. One raises awareness about the Maine law requiring motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing cyclists. The other stresses the importance of wearing bicycle helmets. Watch the PSAs http://preview.tinyurl.com/22v292x. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, May 10, 2010]


WEBINAR: ENSURING SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL INCLUDES CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES. Many schools use Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs that encourage more walking and bicycling. Students with disabilities should be included from the earliest planning stages. This webinar will address how to work with children with disabilities, what kinds of instruction they need, with practical advice on involving students, their parents and special education professionals. It is part of the Safe Routes to School Coaching Action Network Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/984617537. [Source: National Center for Safe Routes to School Announcement May 11, 2010]

OPENING SCHOOL GROUNDS TO THE COMMUNITY AFTER HOURS. A new toolkit provides guidance on increasing physical activity in communities through “joint use agreements.” Developed by Planning for Healthy Places at Public Health Law & Policy in California, the PHLP’s toolkit helps communities and school districts work together to develop these joint use agreements. You can review or download the entire toolkit or choose a specific chapter or appendix of interest. Note: The four California model joint use agreements within this toolkit are available in editable versions on the PHLP website: http://preview.tinyurl.com/2e5eek3. [Source: AusPAnet, May 7, 2010]


ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE (ACSM), 6/2/2010 - 6/5/2010, Baltimore, MD, www.acsm.org

2010 BUILT ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT TRAINING (BEAT) INSTITUTE, 6/13/2010 - 6/18/2010, Philadelphia, PA, http://preview.tinyurl.com/yg3m86u

WORLD CONFERENCE ON HEALTH PROMOTION AND HEALTH EDUCATION, 7/11/2010 - 7/15/2010,.Geneva, Switzerland, http://www.iuhpeconference.net/


MINORITY HEALTH FELLOW AWARD. Jorge Banda, doctoral student in Exercise Science and Graduate Assistant in the PRC, has been awarded one of four new ASPH/CDC/PRC Minority Health fellows. There are 37 PRCs, and each was allowed to submit one fellowship application; thus, Jorge’s application was deemed extremely competitive and worthy of approval. This outstanding award provides a substantial annual stipend and additional funds for research and travel purposes for at least two years. Jorge’s project, “Examining the relationship between park and neighborhood characteristics and park use in rural, low income communities” is a key component of the PRC’s core research project in Sumter County. Jorge’s research will be featured at annual ASPH/CDC/PRC and other national meetings that spotlight fellows and their work.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda


NEWS YOU CAN USE: SRTS Mini-Grant Call for Applications; NRPA GIS Project; Grab Your Bike and Go with Google Maps; Spring into Health Month; Walk to Work Day; World Physical Activity Day

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: Sustainability Grants for Regional Integrated Planning; Enhancing Livability for All Americans Act; First Lady Michelle Obama: Let’s Move”

RESEARCH NOTES: Using Computer Technology to Battle Heart Disease among Latinos; Communicating Prevention Messages to Policy Makers: The Role of Stories in Promoting Physical Activity; Promoting Sustainable Community Change in Support of Older Adult Physical Activity

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: Impact of Parental Attitudes on Children’s Physical Activity; Benchmarking Report on Walking in the U.S; International Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Mobility Scan; Cool Pedestrian Environments; Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motorcycle Research Available

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Safe Routes Coaching Action Network Seminar: What Does it Take to Get Drivers to Yield? Engineering Measures That Work; Joint Use of Community Resources; “Be Active ’09” Conference

SCHOOLS: Schools Find Ways to Fit In Fitness; Run for Something Better School Awards Program; How Well are Parents Contributing to the Health of Their Children's Schools?; SRTS Local School Project Report Released

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting; 13th Annual Health & Fitness Summit; 3rd International Conference on Physical Activity and Health; 2010 PE4life Resource Conference

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: New Staff Member for Core Research Project; New Project in Spartanburg

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

I recently attended the Active Living Research (ALR) conference for the 5th time in 7 years.  Jim Sallis, Carmen Cutter, and the entire ALR staff and advisory committee always organize a tremendous meeting with stellar professional presentations mixed with opportunities for physical activity, networking, and fun.  Each time I have attended I have learned a ton, and have been amazed at how complex it really is to study the impact of environmental and policy approaches to promoting physical activity.  However, without a conference such as this, the intersection of multidisciplinary research and practice would be sorely lagging.  To all those involved in any way with the ALR program office, kudos to a job well done over the years!  I look forward to being with you again in San Diego in 2011.

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


SRTS MINI-GRANT CALL FOR APPLICATIONS. The National Center for Safe Routes to School is accepting applications for up to 35 $1,000 mini-grants for creative, youth-focused ideas that support safe walking and/or bicycling to school. Eligible activities must occur at an elementary or middle school in Fall 2010 and support the overall goal of SRTS programs -- to enable and encourage children nationwide to safely walk and bicycle to school. These mini-grants encourage communities to get students involved in the effort to foster a culture of walking and bicycling in their own neighborhoods. More info: http://tinyurl.com/yfjvdlp. [Source: CenterLines Issue: 248, March 3, 2010]

NRPA GIS PROJECT: This project’s goal is a future where all parks, trails, and recreation facilities across the nation can be compiled and compared, statistically and graphically on maps, giving you benchmark data to justify your budget, promote your parks, and provide other useful management, planning, marketing, and maintenance data. Its purpose is to have local governments collect consistent information in their GIS systems allowing for better local, regional and statewide management and planning of park and recreation resources. Download this GIS model for a test and give the NRPA your opinion. Read more at http://www.nrpagisdata.org/. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, January 19, 2010]

GRAB YOUR BIKE AND GO WITH GOOGLE MAPS.  Google has added biking directions in the U.S. to Google Maps.  This allows cyclists to map their commutes and plan recreational or trail rides.  This new feature includes: step-by-step bicycling directions; bike trails outlined directly on the map; and a new "Bicycling" layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes, bike-friendly roads avoiding hilly terrain whenever possible. Simply enter a start point and destination and select "Bicycling" from the drop-down menu. [Source: League of American Bicyclists Press Release, March 10, 2010]

SPRING INTO HEALTH MONTH, April 1-30, 2010, http://www.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=13281

WALK TO WORK DAY, April 2, 2010; http://walking.about.com/od/pedestrians/p/walktoworkday.htm

WORLD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DAY. April 6, 2010, http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/PAlinks/index.htm


SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS FOR REGIONAL INTEGRATED PLANNING. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued an Advanced Notice of their intention to offer funding through the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program (http://preview.tinyurl.com/ybsggjx). The Notice of Funding Availability will be published the week of April 12 and applications for funding will be due around the first week of June. Grant recipients are expected to be announced in early August. For more information and to submit comments, visit www.hud.gov/sustainability.

ENHANCING LIVABILITY FOR ALL AMERICANS ACT OF 2009. H.R. 4287 was introduced last month and would move the newly created Office of Livability from Federal Highways to the office of the Secretary of Transportation.  Supported by both Secretary LaHood and advocates for pedestrians and cyclists, the bill proposes competitive grant programs for multimodal transportation planning and projects, and disseminates best practices on complete streets and similar strategies. It will encourage walkable communities, provide money for planning and projects that support walking and become a clearing house for Complete Streets best practices.  [Source: America Walks Monthly E-Newsletter, January 2010]

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: “LET’S MOVE.” America’s Fist Lady is bringing unprecedented attention to the issues of healthy eating and physical activity. Mrs. Obama refers to environmental approaches, from building sidewalks and creating safe neighborhoods to supporting farmers markets and decreasing food industry marketing to children. (View her speech here.) "Let's Move" focuses on four key areas:

  • Offering parents tools and information needed to make
    better decisions about children's nutrition.
  • Getting healthier foods in schools.
  • Improving accessibility and affordability of healthy foods.
  • Physical activity--increasing opportunities for kids to play and move.

[Source: Strategic Alliance Rapid Response Alert, February 9, 2010]


USING COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY TO BATTLE HEART DISEASE AMONG LATINOS. Many promising technology-based programs designed to promote healthy behaviors such as physical activity and healthy eating have not been adapted for use with diverse communities, including Latino communities. The authors designed a community-based health kiosk program for English- and Spanish-speaking Latinos. Users receive personalized feedback on nutrition, physical activity, and smoking behaviors from computerized role models that guide them in establishing goals in 1 or more of these 3 areas.  The authors found significant improvements in nutrition and physical activity among 245 Latino program users; however, no changes were observed with respect to smoking behaviors. The program shows promise for extending the reach of chronic disease prevention and self-management programs. Leeman-Castillo, Beaty, Raghunath, Steiner, Bull. “LUCHAR: Using computer technology to battle heart disease among Latinos.” American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 272-275, 2010.

COMMUNICATING PREVENTION MESSAGES TO POLICY MAKERS: THE ROLE OF STORIES IN PROMOTING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. To improve the translation of evidence into policy, researchers and public health practitioners need to consider new ways for communicating health promoting messages to state and local policymakers. The authors describe issues related to the translation of evidence supporting physical activity promotion, and offer some communication approaches and tools that are likely to be beneficial in translating research to policy.  They discuss the use of narrative (ie, stories) and describe its potential role in improving communication of research in policy-making settings. In addition, they provide an outline for the development and design of policy briefs on physical activity, and for how to target these briefs effectively to policy-oriented audiences. Stamatakis, McBride, Brownson. “Communicating prevention messages to policy makers: the role of stories in promoting physical activity.”  Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7(1), S99-1072010.

PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY CHANGE IN SUPPORT OF OLDER ADULT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. This article reports results of a community-organizing approach to disseminating evidence-based interventions in a sustainable way: The Southeast Seattle Senior Physical Activity Network (SESPAN). The SESPAN organizing strategy involved networking to: (1) make connections between two or more community organizations to create new senior physical activity programs; and (2) build coalitions of community groups and organizations to assist in making larger scale environmental and policy changes to increase senior physical activity. Networking among organizations led to the creation of 16 ongoing exercise classes and walking groups, serving approximately 200 older adults in previously underserved Southeast Seattle communities. In addition, the project's health coalition is sustaining current activities and generating new programs and environmental changes. Cheadle, Egger, LoGerfo et al. “Promoting Sustainable Community Change in Support of Older Adult Physical Activity: Evaluation Findings from the Southeast Seattle Senior Physical Activity Network (SESPAN).” Journal of Urban Health, 87, 67-75 2010.


IMPACT OF PARENTAL ATTITUDES ON CHILDREN’S PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. How much does the value parents place on physical activity influence their children’s attitude and participation? A recent study by Anderson, Hughes, and Fuemmeler looked at parental beliefs about specific types and intensities of physical activity and their relationship to children’s physical activity and sedentary behavior. The study involved 433 Houston Texas children in 4th and 5th grade and their parents. Read more at http://www.cflri.ca/eng/research_file/documents/ResearchFile_February_FinalENG.pdf

[Source: Summary from the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute and ParticipACTION, issued February 2, 2010]

BENCHMARKING REPORT ON WALKING IN THE U.S. Bicycling and Walking in the United States: The 2010 Benchmarking Report, has been released by the Alliance for Biking & Walking.  The report is nearly 200 pages on the state of bicycling and walking in America and in 50 states and the 51 largest cities. The report is full of data tables and graphs so you can see how your state or city stacks up. Inside you will find unprecedented statistics to help support your case for increasing safe bicycling and walking in your community. [National Complete Streets Coalition, February 17, 2010]

INTERNATIONAL PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE SAFETY AND MOBILITY SCAN. Lessons from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have been assembled in the final report for the 2009 International Scan on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility. The report describes how these countries have made walking and bicycling safer and more convenient through policy, engineering, education, and other strategies. The team learned that many of the countries studied have established an urban street user hierarchy that gives the highest priority to walking, biking, and public transit. [Source: Complete Streets News, March 2010]

COOL PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENTS. Transportation consulting firm Fehr & Peers, a Complete Streets Partner, has established a web-based resource for pedestrian planning, design, and safety documents and links to other resources. The site covers topics like ADA accommodations, master planning, grant writing, training, and complete streets. [Source: Complete Streets News, March 2010]

PEDESTRIAN, BICYCLE, MOTORCYCLE RESEARCH AVAILABLE. Twenty-four papers that explore pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcyclist research and issues are now available from the Transportation Research Board. [Source: Complete Streets News, March 2010]


SAFE ROUTES COACHING ACTION NETWORK SEMINAR: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET DRIVERS TO YIELD? ENGINEERING MEASURES THAT WORK. On Tuesday, March 30, 2010 from 2:00-3:00 pm, there will be a Webinar that will address problems that many schools and neighborhoods have in finding ways to control and slow traffic in areas where pedestrians cross streets. Engineering experts will share knowledge and understanding of pedestrian safety and traffic control devices. For more information please contact Michelle Gulley, at mgulley@americawalks.org. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/728334985. [Source: National Center for Safe Routes to School Bulletin, received March 3, 2010]

JOINT USE OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES: “Joint Use” is a way to increase opportunities for children and adults to be more physically active. It refers to two or more entities — usually a school and a city or private organization — sharing indoor and outdoor spaces like gymnasiums, athletic fields, pools, and playgrounds. The concept is simple: share resources to keep costs down and communities healthy. To read more about “joint use” and how and where it is already working, go to http://www.jointuse.org/about/about-joint-use/. [Source: Prevention Institute Alert, January 21, 2010]

“BE ACTIVE ’09” CONFERENCE: The Journal of Science and medicine in Sport (Volume 12, Supplement 2, pages e1-e232) has published abstracts from the October 2009 sports medicine, sports science, sports injury, and physical activity promotion conference, “Be Active '09” that was held in Brisbane, Australia. This conference brought together some of the finest speakers from Australia and around the world to present a comprehensive scientific forum on all facets of these fields - from elite performance to community participation in sport, physical activity and their impact on individual and public health. To access all of these abstracts, go to http://preview.tinyurl.com/yajldle. [Source: AusPANet News, Feb 12]


SCHOOLS FIND WAYS TO FIT IN FITNESS. First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced her plans to fight childhood obesity that include the goal of 60 minutes of physical activity daily for school children. Illinois, with the nation's fourth-highest childhood obesity level, requires schools to offer daily physical education. But most public schools in Chicago offer it only once a week. 22 Chicago-area elementary schools have implemented” Stretch-N-Grow,” an in-class fitness program. It and other efforts that offer dancing, yoga and cardio training to Chicago Public Schools students help augment — or are a substitute for — physical education programs. More. [Source: NRPA Weekly News Brief, March 2, 2010]

RUN FOR SOMETHING BETTER SCHOOL AWARDS PROGRAM. ING Run For Something Better, in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), seeks to increase physical activity in students and help fight childhood obesity nationwide through the creation of school-based running programs. The school awards program will provide (50) $2,000 grants to schools that desire to establish a school-based running program or expand an existing one. Awards are available to programs that target grades 4th through 8th in public elementary or middle schools.  Click Here for more information. Deadline: April 15, 2010. [Source: SPARK E-Newsletter, January, 2010]

HOW WELL ARE PARENTS CONTRIBUTING TO THE HEALTH OF THEIR CHILDREN'S SCHOOLS? Action for Healthy Kids has launched a new project to get parents more involved in their children's health and motivated to help create a healthy school environment. Schools still struggle to involve parents, a vast and virtually untapped resource. This new project, Parents CATCH onto Wellness, will recruit and train parents to be key players in the comprehensive school health model, measure the impact of their involvement, and identify and promote best practices for leveraging their help. . Read More. [Source: CATCH News: January 2010, Vol 4, Issue 4]

SRTS LOCAL SCHOOL PROJECT REPORT RELEASED: The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in collaboration with UC Berkeley's Safe Transportation Research and Education Center and PPH Partners released a report at the Active Living Research Conference in San Diego, CA. “Safe Routes to School - Local School Project: A health evaluation at 10 low-income schools” indicates that there is good progress toward achieving some amount of policy and environmental change in support of walking and bicycling. Additionally, nine out of ten schools had successful walk/bicycle educational and encouragement activities. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/yzolpdv. [Source: CenterLines Issue 247, February 17, 2010]


SOCIETY OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE ANNUAL MEETING, 4/7/2010 - 4/10/2010, Seattle, WA. http://www.sbm.org/

13TH ANNUAL HEALTH & FITNESS SUMMIT, 4/7/2010 - 4/10/2010, Austin, TX

3RD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH, 5/5/2010 - 5/8/2010; Toronto, Canada. http://www.cflri.ca/icpaph/en/index.php

2010 PE4LIFE RESOURCE CONFERENCE. If you are interested in presenting at the conference (10/4/2010 - 10/5/2010), submit your proposal to Carrie Gibson by April 2nd.


NEW STAFF MEMBER FOR CORE RESEARCH PROJECT. Sylvia Flint, MSPH is a Community Development Specialist who has joined the PRC community intervention staff, to be housed in our partnering community of Sumter, SC. Sylvia will provide community advocacy and leadership skills training, technical assistance and mentoring to assist community representatives enhance their effectiveness at creating an active community environment. She will work closely with both PRC researchers and community-based community coalition members in Sumter.

NEW PROJECT IN SPARTANBURG. In collaboration with Partners for Active Living and Furman University, the USC PRC will assist with a newly funded 3-year project to increase awareness and use of two urban trails in Spartanburg County, SC.  Funded by the Mary Black Foundation, the project will entail implementing several programs to introduce nearby residents to the trails and position the trails as valued community assets, and conducting ongoing evaluation of trail use.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda


NEWS YOU CAN USE: NHTSA Wants Your Opinion; USDOT Updates Transportation Planning Site; 2010 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards; APHA Physical Activity Special Interest Group

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON: New Livability Initiative; MUTCD Final Rule; Federal Policy Updates

RESEARCH NOTES: Development of The Community Healthy Living Index; Combining GPS, GIS, and Accelerometry; Creating Built and Social Environments that Support Walking in a Public Housing Community

REPORTS, SURVEYS, GUIDELINES, RESOURCES: The Health and Well-Being of Children: A Portrait of States and the Nation; Complete Streets Resources; The Hidden Benefits of Exercise

PROMOTING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES: Operation TLC2: Making Communities Safe; Sidewalks Paved With Gold; Best Practices in Play Report; Safety in Numbers: Portland

UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: 3rd Annual International Congress on Physical Activity and Health; 2010 Active Living Research Conference; National Bike Summit 2010; American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Summit And Exposition; American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition

USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER UPDATE: USC Prevention Research Canter Notes and the Physical Activity Listserv Subscriber Rolls Have Grown

Expand to read this issue.

“Promoting Health through Physical Activity”

Welcome to 2010!  It seems like yesterday that we were breathing a sigh of relief that Y2K hadn’t resulted in a massive meltdown of computers throughout the world.  I wonder what we’ll be saying about 2010 in 2020?  I guess that’s up to us to decide.  Will 2010 be a year of discovery and progress in battling sedentary lifestyles, or will it be a year of stagnation in our understanding of how to make a meaningful difference?  I am confident that we will make headway against the obstacles we face, but it will take concerted and collaborative efforts by many.  I look forward to our continuing endeavors to combat physical inactivity, and working with all of you to make sure that in 2020 we will say that the year 2010 was one of great strides (or is it steps?).

Steve Hooker, PhD, Director


NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION WANTS YOUR OPINION. The NHTSA wants your opinion on how it can make highway travel safer for all road users: drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists! NHTSA is currently in preparing a strategic plan to guide its safety efforts for the next five years and beyond. The agency is seeking suggestions, ideas, and comments from you on how to reduce the number of people killed or injured each year on our nation's roadways. Please be sure to visit www.regulations.gov and answer the questions posed under docket number NHTSA-2009-0171. [American Bicyclist Update, November 23, 2009]

USDOT UPDATES TRANSPORTATION PLANNING SITE. The Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program is a joint venture of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). It delivers products and services that provide information, training, and technical assistance to the transportation professionals responsible for planning for the capital, operating, and maintenance needs of our nation's surface transportation system. The TPCB website is a one-stop clearinghouse for state-of-the-practice transportation planning information and resources. On this website http://www.planning.dot.gov/ you will find planning news and events, regulations, policies, training information, technical resources, and peer exchange reports. [Source: Centerlines, Issue 244, January 6, 2010]

2010 TRANSPORTATION PLANNING EXCELLENCE AWARDS. The American Planning Association (APA) supports the Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program a biennial awards program developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to recognize outstanding initiatives to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. Nominations must be for a project, process, group, or individual involved that has used FHWA and/or FTA funding to make an outstanding contribution to the field of transportation planning. Winners will be announced in the summer. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2010. For more information and the nomination go to https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tpea/2010. [Source: CenterLines 243, December 23, 2009]

APHA PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP. The PA SPIG at APHA is looking ahead to the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.(more info below).  The Special Call for Abstracts is at http://apha.confex.com/apha/138am/pa.htm. The submissions deadline is February 1, 2010.

Abstract reviewers are needed! Anyone interested in reviewing PA-themed abstracts for the 2010 Annual Meeting should contact Sheila Smith (smitsa@musc.edu) by January 18th. Please include in your email a brief note explaining your interest in serving, your area(s) of PA expertise/experience, and your contact information.

Finally, articles for our Winter PA SPIG Newsletter are now being accepted. Those with brief articles, announcements, photographs, or reports that might be of interest to the membership of our PA SPIG should email our Newsletter Editor, Jim Konopack (jkonopac@monmouth.edu by February 1st for consideration.


NEW LIVABILITY INITIATIVE. The first funding through the new Livability Initiative at the US Department of Transportation was announced on December 1. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that $280 million in grant funds would be made available in early 2010 for a variety of urban circulator projects, including streetcars, buses, and bus facilities. Grant money will be limited to a maximum of $25 million per project. Eligible projects will focus on streetcar and bus projects to promote walkable, mixed-use development. $150 million will be available for projects that focus on providing job-access and neighborhood redevelopment. Read more at http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2009/dot20009.htm [Smart Growth America: Washington Update: December 22, 2009]

MUTCD FINAL RULE: The Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Final Rule was published in the Federal Register December 16, 2009. It defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways and private roads open to public traffic. States must adopt the MUTCD as their legal State standard for traffic control devices within two years. The Federal Highway Administration published the new edition of the MUTCD at mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov. [Source: American Bicyclist Update, December 22, 2009]

FEDERAL POLICY UPDATES. The Senate health care bill includes some policy of interest to complete streets advocates: a Prevention and Public Health Fund to provide community transformation grants (p. 1203, Sec 4201 that the Center for Disease Control would award on a competitive basis to states, local governments and non-profits for disease prevention activities. Activities that could be funded include infrastructure that supports active living, which would include projects to create complete streets. Also, the Complete Streets Act gained three new co-sponsors this month: Senator Gillibrand [NY] and Representatives Schauer [MI-7] and Ellison [MN-5]. [Source: Complete the Streets News, December 2009]


DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTHY LIVING INDEX. This paper presents a new, comprehensive tool for communities to assess opportunities for active living and healthy eating.  The Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) covers five major sectors where people live, work, learn, and play: schools, after schools, work sites, neighborhoods, and the community-at-large. CHLI and the accompanying procedures enable community teams to assess programs, the physical environment, and policies related to healthy living, and to plan improvement strategies. Preliminary data illustrate CHLI obtains reliable results and is feasible to implement. CHLI is a promising tool for community-based prevention efforts to draw attention to opportunities for healthy living and create impetus for community changes. Kim, Adamson, Balfanz, et a. “Development of the Community Healthy Living Index: A tool to foster healthy environments for the prevention of obesity and chronic disease.” Preventive Medicine, 50(S1), S80-S85, 2010.

COMBINING GPS, GIS, AND ACCELEROMETRY. This study assessed the feasibility of combining GPS, GIS, and accelerometry to understand transport-related physical activity (TPA) in adults. Forty adults wore an accelerometer and portable GPS unit over 7 consecutive days and completed a demographics questionnaire and 7-day travel log. Accelerometer and GPS data were extracted for commutes to/from workplace and integrated into a GIS database. GIS maps were generated to visually explore physical activity intensity, GPS speeds and routes traveled. Pragmatic issues of using GPS monitoring to understand TPA behaviors and methodological recommendations for future research were identified. Although methodologically challenging, the combination of GPS monitoring, accelerometry and GIS technologies holds promise for understanding TPA within the built environment. Oliver, Badland, Mavoa, et al. “Combining GPS, GIS, and accelerometry: methodological issues in the assessment of location and intensity of travel behaviors.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7(1), 102–108,.2010.

CREATING BUILT AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS THAT SUPPORT WALKING IN A PUBLIC HOUSING COMMUNITY. This study implemented and evaluated multiple interventions to increase walking activity at a multicultural public housing site. A community-based participatory research partnership and community action teams assessed assets and barriers related to walking and developed multiple interventions to promote walking activity. Interventions included sponsoring walking groups, improving walking routes, providing information about walking options, and advocating for pedestrian safety. A pre–post study design was used to assess the changes in walking activity. Self-reported walking activity increased among walking group participants from 65 to 109 minutes per day (p = .001). The proportion that reported being at least moderately active for at least 150 minutes per week increased from 62% to 81% (p = .018). Krieger, Rabkin, Sharify, Song. “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-S599, 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.


THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN: A PORTRAIT OF STATES AND THE NATION 2007. This report presents indicators of the health and well-being of children as well as the factors in the family environment and aspects of the neighborhood that may support or undermine children's and families' health. The report was published by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Key indicators for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia -- including indicators related to the child's health and activities; the child's family; and the family's neighborhood -- are presented in comparison with national statistics. The report is available at http://mchb.hrsa.gov/nsch07/index.html. [Maternal and Child Health Library, January 8, 2010]

COMPLETE STREETS RESOURCES. 1) The National Complete Streets Coalition has posted a new fact sheet on Sustainable complete streets. This fact sheet covers the connection between green infrastructure and roadways that are designed for all users. 2) The Coalition has also updated its safety fact sheet with new data and research. 3) Walkable Streets Resources: New Urban News has created a one-stop location for news, resources, and case studies on designing walkable, complete streets http://www.newurbannews.com/walkablestreets.html. . [Source: National Complete Streets Coalition E-Newsletter, November 11, 2009]

THE HIDDEN BENEFITS OF EXERCISE. The Wall Street Journal has published an article in its January 5, 2010 issue that says medical experts are offering an additional reason to exercise. A growing body of research is showing that regular exercise—as simple as a brisk 30- to 45-minute walk five times a week—can boost the body's immune system, increasing the circulation of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria. Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases and slow the process of aging. Also, exercise has been shown to improve the body's response to the influenza vaccine, making it more effective at keeping the virus at bay. Read the article at http://tinyurl.com/y9r9a6s

NEW ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR ACTIVE AGING ISSUES.  A new online Active Aging Community Center, located at http://www.humankinetics.com/aacc-home, brings tools and information on older adults physical activity to both professionals and students interested in the field.  The website provides free access to tools and information from international organizations, physical activity program successes, research findings, educational opportunities, conference information, event calendars, grants, and other funding opportunities.


OPERATION TLC2:(Totally Liveable Communities through Tender Loving Care) MAKING COMMUNITIES SAFE!.This is the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) volunteer management and background screening program designed to ensure that your agency attains the best, most qualified volunteers to support the safety and quality of life your community needs. This program supports the NRPA Recommended Guidelines for Credentialing Volunteers, developed to ensure that members never grant the privilege of working with our most vulnerable populations without first qualifying volunteers through a comprehensive national criminal background check system. To take advantage of this member benefit, visit the NRPA Store at www.nrpa.org.  For more information, contact NRPA at 800.626.6772 or www.nrpa.org/tlc2.

SIDEWALKS PAVED WITH GOLD. At the recent Walk21 International Walking Conference in New York, there was a session that showed how walkability pays off handsomely in economic benefits to a local community because walkers interact more with their environment. If that's a retail street, then they make more purchases. In one London neighborhood, it was found that shoppers who arrived on foot spent over $146.00 (£91), while bus riders spent a little over $100.00 (£63), car drivers $103.00 (£64), and subway-riders $74.00 (£46). Go to http://www.americawalks.org/2009/10/sidewalks-paved-with-gold/ to read about other ways walkable cities pay back. [Source: America Walks Monthly E-Newsletter, November 2009]

BEST PRACTICES IN PLAY REPORT: SAVE PLAY IN YOUR CITY! Children playing outside—in spaces dedicated for play or not—signify a vibrant, healthy community. However, children just don’t get out and play as they used to. Barriers to play include increased TV/video time, reductions in school-based playtime, more traffic, less open space, run-down play areas, and caregivers’ fears about safety. Providing more opportunities for play is emerging as a civic responsibility.  KaBOOM! Has identified 12 relevant and innovative best practices to help cities develop policies to promote play. Go to www.kaboom.org/bestpractices. [Source: Parks and Recreation Weekly News Brief, December 22, 2009]

SAFETY IN NUMBERS: PORTLAND: The Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division conducted a ‘mini-sting” operation at one of Portland’s less safe intersections for walking. A woman in red did laps across the marked intersection. She wore a bright color to help drivers see her. Many drivers allowed her to cross the intersection. When drivers didn't yield for her, they found themselves quickly pursued by a member of Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division. Enforcement actions like this aren't about writing tickets, the Portland police will tell you. "It's about teachable moments." Click here to read continue reading about pedestrian successes in Portland. [Source: December E-Newsletter from America Walks]


3RD ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH. , May 5-8, 2010, Toronto, Canada. Early Bird Registration until January 31st. http://www.cflri.ca/icpaph/en/registration.php

2010 ACTIVE LIVING RESEARCH CONFERENCE.February 9-11, San Diego, California. The theme is Engaging Communities to Create Active Living Environments. http://www.activelivingresearch.org/conference/2010

NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT 2010. March 9-11, 2010, Washington, D.C. http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit10/index.php

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE (ACSM) HEALTH AND FITNESS SUMMIT AND EXPOSITION. April 7-10. Austin, Texas,. http://preview.tinyurl.com/5unah6

AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING AND EXPOSITION. November 6-10, 2010, Denver, Colorado http://www.apha.org/meetings/pastfuture/


USC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER NOTES AND THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LISTSERV SUBSCRIBER ROLLS HAVE GROWN. The USC PRC continues to publish and distribute six e-mail newsletters per year to over 1,900 subscribers (an increase of over 40% since 2004).  Newsletter subscribers are categorized by email address as 36.7% from educational institutions (universities, colleges, medical schools, and K-12schools); 32.9% from individual physical activity practitioners; 11.4% from state, local, and regional governments; and 5.0% from 12 federal government agencies and the military.

The USC PRC Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network Listserv provides a forum for public health researchers and practitioners to share ideas and resources, debate current issues about PA,  and has 1042 subscribers (an increase of 44% since 2004.)  Inquiries about best practices for interventions, research tools, conference notices, and job opportunities are the most common topics on the Network. Listserv subscribers are categorized by email address as 41.6% from educational institutions (universities, colleges, medical schools, and K-12schools); 36.8% from individual physical activity practitioners; 10.6% from state, local, and regional governments; and 8.1% from 11 federal government agencies and the military.

For both the e-mail newsletter and listserv, the USC PRC has met the goal of enrolling over 50% of state physical activity specialists as subscribers: we now have 62% of these specialists as subscribers.


Marsha Stepp, Jorge Banda

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, e-mail the Prevention Research Center at USCPRC@mailbox.sc.edu. When subscribing, please include your name, e-mail address, title, and organizational affiliation. There is no subscription cost. If you have an e-mail filter in place that only allows messages from approved email addresses, please add uscprc@gwm.sc.edu to your approved list.

For continuing discussions about physical activity, join the Physical Activity and Public Health On-Line Network listserv. Instructions are located on our website, at http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/newsletter/commands.htm.

The USC Prevention Research Center is a member of the CDC Prevention Research Center's National Network, consisting of 33 Centers in the U.S. For more information about the PRC National Network, visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc.

Prevention Research Center
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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.

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