the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
AARP AFL Report Released
Community-Wide Campaign to Promote Physical Activity
Among Midlife and Older Adults: Lessons Learned from AARP’s
Active for Life™ Campaign and a Synopsis of Evidence-Based
Interventions has just been released by AARP (http://www.AARP.org)
. The publication addresses marketing and communications,
partnership building, environmental barriers to physical activity,
and development of community-wide walking campaigns. It also
includes a summary of evidence-based community interventions
to promote physical activity in midlife and older adults.
Lifestyle Discussion During
Doctor Patient Interaction
AFL director Marcia G. Ory, PhD and colleagues recently published
an article to document the length of time that primary care
physicians discuss lifestyle issues with their older patients.
Although physician influence can be especially powerful with
older adults, the researchers found that little time was spent
in lifestyle discussions. On average, physical activity was
discussed for less than a minute and nutrition for slightly
less than 90 seconds. The article appeared in Medscape (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/565280).
Getting Outside in Winter
If your clients or patients complain about limited physical
activity options during the cold months, here’s an
innovative tool to help. The National Wildlife Federation
and NatureFind™ offer a quick way to find green places
in your community. You plug in your zip code and NatureFind
will display a list of close-by wild places including a
Web link to each locale, the distance from your house, and
the recreational opportunities available at each location.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour™
Web site provides suggestions for things to do including
animal tracking, catching snowflakes, filling bird feeders
and watching for feathered friends to visit, or organizing
a winter scavenger hunt. Many of these activities are as
close as your own back door. http://www.GreenHour.org
Smart Growth and Active Aging
The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North
Dakota State University released a report, Neighborhood
Design and Aging: An Empirical Analysis in Northern California,
that explores the residential and travel choices for older
adults. The report is available at http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.html?id=8344.
Women and Environmental Health
The US EPA Aging Initiative has released a fact sheet on
Women and Environmental Health. Heart disease is the number
one killer of women over 65 years of age. For those with
cardiovascular disease, air pollution can cause sudden variations
or an increase in heart rate. Air pollution can also worsen
coronary atherosclerosis or chronic heart conditions which
can result in a heart attack, especially among post menopausal
women. The fact sheet offers suggestions on how to reduce
environmental hazards. It can be ordered online at http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/order.htm
or downloaded at http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/weh_english_2007_10.pdf.
Prevention Throughout the
Many chronic diseases begin in childhood and are present
for years before people become aware of the symptoms. Toward
Healthy Aging: The Preservation of Health, published
in the November issue of the Journal of the American
Geriatrics Society (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01513.x)
notes that risk factors for a number of chronic diseases
have been identified. Research shows that addressing these
risk factors can result in a decrease in chronic diseases.
Thirst and Older Adults
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center
at San Antonio found that older adults show a dangerous
tendency toward reduced drinking in response to dehydration,
compared to younger adults. This emphasizes the importance
of encouraging older adults to hydrate adequately when undertaking
moderate and vigorous physical activity. The PET study on
thirst appeared in a recent issue of Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.
For more information see http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat.html?newID=1897.
Good Physical Functioning
Activity Lowers Risk of Stroke
Middle-aged and older adults who stay agile may be less
likely to suffer a stroke than their less-nimble peers,
researchers reported in an article in the December issue
of Neurology (http://www.neurology.org/).
In a study of more than 13,000 men and women, British researchers
found that middle-age and older adults who reported good
physical functioning at the beginning of the study were
less likely to have a stroke over the next seven years.
The findings suggest that measures of physical functioning
could help identify "apparently healthy" people
who are at increased risk of stroke.
Fitness Level May Be A Predictor
of Longevity for Older Adults
Adults age 60 and older who had higher levels of cardiorespiratory
fitness lived longer than unfit adults, according to a study
in the December issue of JAMA (http://jama.ama-assn.org/).
Researchers at the University of South Carolina, Columbia
examined the associations between cardiorespiratory fitness,
various clinical measures of adiposity (body fat) and death
in older women and men. The researchers found that those
who died were older, had lower fitness levels, and had more
cardiovascular risk factors than survivors. Participants
in the higher fitness groups were for the most part less
likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease,
such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels.
for Physical Activity Can Lengthen Life
According to research from the National Institutes of Health-AARP
Diet and Health Study, adults age 50-71 who got at least
30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days
a week were 27 percent less likely to die over the next
six or seven years. People who engaged in 20 minutes of
vigorous exercise at least three times per week cut their
risk of death by 32 percent. Smaller amounts of physical
exercise appeared to be associated with a 19 percent reduced
risk of death. Results of the study appeared in the December
issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine (http://archinte.ama-assn.org/).
Phone Coaching Helps Motivate
According to research led by Abby King, one of the developers
of Active Choices, telephone coaching, either from a person
or computer can be effective in motivating sedentary adults
to get exercise. This is according to a study that appeared
in the November issue of Health Psychology (http://www.apa.org/journals/hea/).
Researchers found that sedentary adults ages 55 and older,
who received periodic advice and encouragement via the telephone
increased exercise levels during a one-year period.
Adults At Risk for Disabilities
Able to Adhere to Exercise Program
Elderly adults at risk for physical disabilities are able
to adhere to a regular program of moderate exercise for
one year, according to a recent study. Researchers from
Tufts University observed that improvement in physical function
was related to the participants’ ability to adhere
to the physical activity regimen. The study was published
in the November issue of Medicine & Science in Sports
& Exercise (http://www.ms-se.com/).
Meetings and Conferences
New Partners for Smart
Growth Conference. Feb. 7-9, 2008. Washington,
American College of Sports
Medicine Health & Fitness Summit. March 24-27,
2008. Long Beach, CA. http://www.acsm.org.
National Council on Aging/American
Society on Aging Joint Conference. March 27-30.
Washington, DC. http://www.agingconference.org.
AAHPERD National Convention
& Exposition. April 8-12. Fort Worth, TX.
American Planning Association
Conference. April 27-May 1, 2008. Las Vegas,
American Geriatrics Society
Annual Meeting. April 30-May 4, 2008. Washington,
American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
May 28-31, 2008. Indianapolis, IN. http://www.acsm.org.
World Congress on Physical
Activity and Aging. Tsukuba, Japan. July 26-29,
2008. The University of Tsukuba, in collaboration with
the Japan Ministry of Health and Nutrition; the Foundation
of Fitness Promotion and Exercise Guidance, the Japan
Health Promotion and Fitness Foundation, the Center of
Excellence in Health and Sport Sciences, and the Tsukuba
Advanced Research Alliance will host this important scientific
event. Information will be posted at http://www.isapa2008.org.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is seeking proposals
for its Health Games Research program. It is seeking projects
that will investigate and develop evidence-based principles
to use in the design of interactive games that increase
players' physical activity and self-care. Proposals are
due January 29. For information, go to http://www.rwjf.org.
This award celebrates and supports outstanding individuals
60 or older who are already producing significant social
innovation and accomplishing work of great importance. The
Purpose Prize challenges prevailing perceptions by investing
significantly in carefully screened social innovators over
the age of 60. Each year Civic Ventures awards five $100,000
prizes, as well as ten $10,000 prizes, to individuals who
have demonstrated uncommon vision, determination and entrepreneurialism
in addressing community and national problems. For information
Prescription for Better Health
Sponsored by CVS/pharmacy and National Council on Aging
this prize will recognize a senior center for outstanding
work in promoting a healthy lifestyle for seniors in its
community. Nominated senior centers must provide details
on a unique health or well-being program they offer that
is educational and/or participatory. The winner will receive
$1,000 cash, paid expenses for one person to attend the
NCOA-American Society on Aging Aging in America conference
in Washington, DC, and the opportunity to present the winning
program during one of NCOA's monthly Healthy Aging Briefing
Webinars in 2008. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 30.
For details see http://ncoa.org/content.cfm?sectionID=44&detail=2240.
Participation in Research
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH/DHHS
is sponsoring support for research on health promotion,
disease prevention, and health disparities that is jointly
conducted by communities and researchers. For more information,
go to http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-05-026.html
or e-mail email@example.com.
Funding Childhood Obesity
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will commit at least
$500 million over the next five years to fight childhood
obesity in the U.S. The Foundation will focus on improving
access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for
safe physical activity in schools and communities. It will
place special emphasis on reaching children at greatest
risk for obesity and related health problems: African-American,
Latino, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander
children living in low-income communities. Information is
available at http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios/features/featuredetail.jsp?featureID=2276&type=3&iaid=138.
College Station, Texas 77843-1266