the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced
monthly by the Active for Life® National Program
Office at The Texas A&M University System Health
Science Center School of Rural Public Health. To include
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
to Prevent Childhood Obesity Grants Awarded
In response to the growing risk of overweight and
obesity among low-income children, The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation has created Generations Working to Prevent Childhood
Obesity to support intergenerational initiatives through
which adults will work to help prevent or reduce the incidence
of obesity among children in their communities.
Four Active for Life®
grantees will receive grants through this initiative:
Synergy for the
Ages: Creating Communities that Support Healthy Lifestyles:
Hamilton County General Health District, working with
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio
First Garden: FirstHealth
of the Carolinas
The OASIS Institute, San Antonio
San Pablo Park Steps
to Wellness Project: City of Berkeley Public Health Division,
a partner of San Mateo County Health Department
The projects will promote physical
activity and healthy eating. While the specific grants will
support work that is narrow in geographic or programmatic
focus it is expected that effective outcomes will be replicable
on a larger scale.
Active for Life®
Featured in AAMC Newsletter
AFL director Marcia Ory is quoted in the February 2006 issue
of the Association of Medical Colleges newsletter. The article,
Curing Couch Potatoes: Doctors Play Key Role in Promoting
Exercise, notes, “Last year, the National Committee
for Quality Assurance added a new measure to its set of
quality-care measurements, which requires physicians to
ask Medicare patients age 65 and older about physical activity
and to give them advice about starting and maintaining an
exercise program. Right now, whether or not your doctor
talks to you about physical activity is one of those things
that's going to be checked off," said Dr. Ory. The
article features a photo of Jewish Council for the Aging
of Greater Washington, Inc., AFL team leader Christine Bruchac
and program participant Vermetta Gilmore. For more information
Active Aging Presentations
at Upcoming NCOA/ASA Conference
The Joint Conference of the National Council on the Aging
and the American Society on Aging is coming up March 16-19,
2006. There are a number of presentations related to active
aging. Here are some highlights:
for Aging Americans: Using the Web to Increase Accessibility
to Physical Activity Programs. This session highlights
the importance of physically active lifestyles for older
adults. Components include community and Web-based surveys,
community coalition building, and increasing access to
physical activity programs for older adults.
for Aging Americans: Creating and Utilizing an Online
Census Survey of Physical Activity Programs for Older
Adults. This session covers the SHAPE survey and discusses
its translation and outreach efforts.
Just Doing It and
Keeping It Up: A Panel of Vintage Athletes. This session
features the return of a panel of female vintage athletes,
as well as the addition of some older male athletes, who
will discuss their experiences, motivations, rewards,
struggles and their adaptation to waning physical prowess.
Joint Conference of the National Council on the
Aging and the American Society on Aging. March 16-19, 2006.
Anaheim, CA. For information go to http://www.agingconference.org/agingconference/jc06/index.cfm.
Future of Aging Services
Conference. April 3-5, 2006. Washington, DC. For
information, go to http://www.aahsa.org/future06.
National Hispanic Council
on Aging. April 7-9, 2006. Miami, FL. Successful
Strategies for Generations of Change: A Roadmap for the
Hispanic Community. For information, go to http://www.nhcoa.org/html/event_description1.html.
National Public Health Week.
April 3-9, 2006. Sponsored by the American Public
Health Association. http://www.apha.org/news/press/2006/010306_NPHW.htm.
TV-Turnoff Week. April 24-30,
2006. For information and resources see http://www.tvturnoff.org.
International Congress on
Physical Activity and Public Health. April 17-20, 2006.
Atlanta, GA. The CDC Prevention's Physical Activity
and Health Branch, in partnership with the Association of
State and Territorial Chronic Disease Program Directors,
are sponsoring this congress. To learn more see http://www.ncpad.org/events/index.php?id=189.
American Occupational Therapy
Association Conference and Expo. April 27-30, 2006. Charlotte,
NC. For information, go to http://www.aota.org/.
Older American’s Month.
May 2006. The Administration on Aging sponsors
this annual celebration. See the AoA Web site for updates
National Bike Month. May
2006. The League of American Bicyclists is promoting
Bike-to-Work Week from May 15-19, 2006 and Bike-to-Work
Day on Friday, May 19, 2006. For more information, see http://www.bikemonth.com.
American Geriatrics Society
Annual Scientific Meeting. May 3-7, 2006. Chicago, IL.
The 2006 Annual Meeting will address the educational needs
of geriatrics professionals from all disciplines. To find
out more about the meeting, visit http://www.americangeriatrics.org/news/meeting/index.shtml.
CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation Annual Diabetes
Conference. May 16-19, 2006. Denver, CO. Sponsored
by CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation and CDC's Division
of Nutrition and Physical Activity, this conference will
address diabetes and obesity. For more information, see
National Employee Health
& Fitness Day. May 17, 2006. Presented by the
National Association for Health & Fitness. For more
information see http://www.physicalfitness.org/nehf.html.
N4A Annual Conference. Aug.
6-10, 2006. Chicago, IL. For information go to
NASU National Home and Community
Based Services Waiver Conference (in conjunction with the
Minnesota Aging and Disabilities Odyssey). Oct. 1-4, 2006.
Minneapolis, MN. For information go to http://www.nasua.org/waiverconference/.
Tactics and Tools
Becoming an Important Place to Reach Older Adults
As baby boomers age they are less likely to retire
than the previous generation. According to U.S. Census Bureau
data reported in Advertising Age - U.S. Consumer - Like
No Other on the Planet (January 2, 2006), in 2005 some
37 percent of men and 29 percent of women age 65 to 69 remained
in the work force. By 2015 it is predicted that 52 percent
of men and 44 percent of women in that some age group will
continue to work. Social marketers who strive to reach this
audience will need to consider work-related media outlets.
In addition, in less than 10 years, programs and services
targeted to the 65 and older population will need to allow
for the fact that a large percent of this group will not
access traditional aging services and programs during the
weekday. Social, medical, education, and wellness programs
will need to be structured so they are available to mature
adults during evening and weekend hours.
Good Read – The Breakaway
Ever wonder why and how some brands become leaders,
and others seem to spend their lives as a “me too”
product? Marketing experts Francis J. Kelly III and Barry
Silverstein examine how brands such as JetBlue, Apple and
Nike, among others, have set themselves apart – and
ahead – of a crowded marketplace in The Breakaway
Brand. Here’s a comment authors make about Nike:
“Name any major sport, and chances are Nike is the
dominant player. Lance Armstrong is a Nike athlete. Tiger
Woods won three Majors using Nike golf balls. That’s
because Nike’s core positioning is that the brand
stands for the serious athlete, not the spectator. Nike
never forgets that, and neither do its customers.”
The book is published by McGraw-Hill.
Keeping Current on Research
& Practice in Physical Activity for Older Adults,
National Council on the Aging Center for Healthy Aging released
the fourth in a series of issue briefs on best practices
in physical activity programming for older adults. The brief,
Keeping Current on Research and Practice in Physical Activity
for Older Adults, encourages and assists physical activity
programmers to stay on top of the latest research and best
practices in the field of physical activity and older adults.
It outlines steps to create a personal learning plan and
offers tools and resources to connect programmers with the
most current research and practice. For a copy go to http://www.healthyagingprograms.com/content.html?sectionid=73&ElementID=250.
Tip Sheets for Older Adults
The American Geriatric Society Foundation for Health in
Aging has a series of useful consumer tip sheets. New topics
are added frequently and current topics are updated as needed.
Currently, the following topics are offered:
Flu & Pneumonia
Hot Weather Safety
Challenges to Healthy Aging
The materials can be accessed at
Materials for Indoor Walking
The Administration on Aging has added a new set
of posters to its online Web site that can be used to create
an indoor walking trail. The materials guide you through
marking off the trail, offering events and motivation tips
to get people walking. Partners may access the posters for
the You Can! Indoor Walking Trail at http://www.aoa.gov
by logging on to the You Can! Partners Web site.
PBS to Rebroadcast Almost
On April 4, PBS will re-air Almost Home (originally
shown February 21, 2006), a film documentary of a visionary
nursing home director dedicated to transforming his institutional
facility into an individualized home environment. The film
tells the stories of adults facing dementia and disability,
and the challenges of ongoing family responsibilities. Senator
Herbert Kohl (WI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special
Committee on Aging and the Independent Television Service
hosted a screening featuring the documentary. Ken Salazar
(CO), member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and
Senator Kohl both noted that this film shows that transforming
the system of nursing home care can be done. The film will
be shown as a part of the Independent Lens series and viewers
should check local listings for times. For more information
about the film, visit http://www.almosthomedoc.org.
Get Gorgeous with Physical
Cosmetic surgery is booming in the Boomers market
segment, and it’s not just Botox® and hair transplants.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s
2004 Cosmetic Surgery Age distribution (51-65+) data, thigh
lifts increased 48% between 2000 and 2004 in the age 51-64
group and a whopping 157% in the 65 plus group. Tummy tucks
increased 125% in the same time period for the 65 plus group
and 71% among those ages 51 to 64. Increases have also been
seen in other procedures such as buttock lifts and upper
arm lifts. These data indicate appearance counts to many
people as they age. But for most people keeping the body
toned and trim can be managed without drastic surgical intervention.
When working with mid-life and older adults, it may be worthwhile
to address the physical appearance benefits of regular activity
and a good diet, as well as the benefits to health and independence.
Exercise Helps Older Age Group
A study published in the February 2006 issue of
the Journal of Aging and Health indicates that
older adults showed significant increases in body strength,
flexibility, balance and agility after participating in
an exercise program that included walking and resistance
training exercises twice-per-week over 16 weeks. The participants
averaged 83.5 years of age, ranging in age from 66 to 96.
Volunteers were divided into a walking group, a resistance
training group and a control group that did not exercise.
For more information see http://jah.sagepub.com/archive/.
Study Explores Exercise Perceptions
Research published in the January 2006 Journal
of Aging and Physical Activity assessed the perceptions
about exercise among a group of low-income, urban, primarily
minority older adult patients of a primary-care clinic.
The study showed that inequities in health behavior are
reduced when physicians encourage exercise, when patients
have the confidence to overcome barriers, and when community
exercise classes are available. http://www.humankinetics.com/JAPA.
Exercise and Brain Health
With the rapid aging of the population, the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) is intensifying the search for
strategies to preserve brain health as people grow older.
The effort moved an important step forward with a report
by an expert panel to the NIH, suggesting a number of promising
avenues for maintaining or enhancing cognitive and emotional
function. Specifically, the group said, education, cardiovascular
health, physical activity, psychosocial factors and genetics
appear to be associated with brain health with age, and
research aimed at directly testing the effectiveness of
interventions in several of these areas deserves further
attention. The report is published in the February issue
of Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the
Alzheimer’s Association. For information, go
Regular Exercise Important
in Conjunction with HRT
Women pondering hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) also should
consider regular exercise. A new study at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that being physically
fit offsets cognitive declines attributed to long-term HRT
therapy. The study appears online in advance of regular
publication in Neurobiology of Aging. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01974580
and search on “exercise and HRT”.
Keep Blisters At Bay
Often older adults who have been sedentary find that as
they begin a fitness program such as walking they may get
blisters and thus stop their activity. Blisters are often
the by-product of sweaty socks. To learn if certain types
of socks can help prevent blisters, a team of University
of Missouri-Columbia biological engineering students put
athletic socks to the test to find out what constitutes
a good sock versus a bad one. They found that the material
that composed the sock is the key. Socks that are 100 percent
cotton usually performed the worst, especially when a person
started to sweat. The students also found that higher priced
socks did not test any better than the inexpensive brands.
No Exercise – More
According to a study published in Arthritis Research
& Therapy (September 2005), consistent exercise
over the long term in physically active older adults is
associated with 25 percent less musculoskeletal pain than
reported by more sedentary older adults. The researchers
studied the long term impact of running and other aerobic
exercise on musculoskeletal pain in a group of healthy aging
men and women. The adults were studied over a 14 year period.
For more information see http://arthritis-research.com/content/7/6/R1263.
of Excellence in Older Volunteer Program Management
The MetLife Foundation Older Volunteers Enrich
America Awards will honor volunteer programs for promising
practices in recruiting and engaging older volunteers. Awards
will be given to three volunteer programs whose practices
in recruitment, orientation, training, retention and recognition
of older volunteers set the standard and can be replicated
by other organizations. Award honorees will receive a monetary
award of $2,500 to help further their work. Additional information
about the 2006 MetLife Foundation Older Volunteers Enrich
America Program Awards, including nomination forms, can
be found at http://www.n4a.org/metlifeprogramawards.cfm.
Deadline for nominations is April 7, 2006.
Community Participation in
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH/DHHS
is sponsoring support for research on health promotion,
disease prevention, and health disparities jointly conducted
by communities and researchers. For more information, go
or e-mail at email@example.com.
Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison will award three pilot
grants to investigators using the Wisconsin Longitudinal
Study (WLS) data for scholarly research. Selected recipients
will receive $10,000 to support their research, along with
a residency at CDHA, where they will receive training and
support in use of WLS data. The residency will take place
on August 3-4, 2006. Grant recipients will be invited back
to CDHA to present their work at a later date. Authors will
be encouraged to publish their work in any appropriate outlet.
Application deadline is June 1, 2006. For details see http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/wlsresearch/pilot/.