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 Health Science Center School
of Rural Public Health. To include information, contact
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
AFL Featured at Meetings
AFL National Program Office staff members Marcia
Ory, Ph.D. and Diane Dowdy, Ph.D., and Tracy Slate from OASIS
San Antonio recently made a presentation on Active for
Life® to attendees at the Texas Health Institute
Obesity Prevention Conference. AFL was one of two evidence-based
model programs highlighted at the conference. In addition,
Dr. Ory presented AFL to the Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee
Excellence in Building Healthy
Communities for Active Aging
The EPA, in partnership with AFL and several other agencies,
has developed an initiative to promote both smart growth and
active aging strategies. As the lead organization, the EPA
is accepting applications from municipalities, counties, and
tribes for an award which recognizes outstanding community
planning and strategies that support active aging. Awards
for Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active
Aging will be presented to communities that demonstrate the
best and most inclusive overall approach to implementing smart
growth and active aging at the neighborhood, tribe, municipality,
county, and/or regional levels. Applicants must be public-sector
entities in the United States and coordinate with their local
Area Agency on Aging. Information is available at http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/.
The deadline is Oct. 17 and winners will be announced at the
7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy
and Livable Communities Conference in Washington, DC, February
2008. The Learning Network for Active Aging, an Active
for Life initiative, (http://www.LNActiveAging.org)
is one of the central partners in this effort and will serve
as a resource for this initiative.
Enhancing Active Aging
The Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging
Steering Committee developed a ten-step process for helping
communities promote active aging. The document will be posted
on the AFL Learning Network shortly (http://www.LNActiveAging.org).
It highlights steps for effective
and safe physical activity programs for older adults:
Set a specific
goal for increasing older adult participation in physical
activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
tasks as opportunities for physical activity.
Offer a variety
of group-based physical activity programs and self-directed
opportunities that are suitable for older adults.
activity programs that feature one or more components
of physical activity (cardiovascular, strength, flexibility,
Conduct a census
of active aging programs in the community/city.
Ensure that programs
are safe and effective, and are tailored to meet the needs
of individual participants.
in proper technique and provide adequate supervision.
support strategies to increase motivation and promote
Address risk management
and injury prevention.
Older Americans Month 2007
Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future
is the theme for Older Americans Month, observed in May.
Older Americans Month 2007 materials are now available on
on Aging Web site. They include a copy of the logo,
posters, and a sample proclamation, as well as an article
that can be localized.
Guidelines for Healthy Meetings
The role of food choices and physical activity in the prevention
of many chronic and debilitating diseases is becoming more
apparent. Employers, community groups and faith communities
can make it easier for people to make healthy food choices
by providing healthy food at meetings and other events they
sponsor. Be Active New York State, at http://www.nysphysicalactivity.org,
offers an online resource that provides practical and creative
tips for providing healthy food and physical activity opportunities
during meetings. The information can be accessed at http://www.nysphysicalactivity.org/news/docs/150.pdf.
Blueprint for Livable Communities
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a),
Partners for Livable Communities and Metlife Foundation
has released “A Blueprint for Action: Developing
a Livable Community for All Ages.” The Blueprint
contains action steps for communities to take -- in the
areas of housing, planning, transportation, health and supportive
services, culture and lifelong learning, public safety,
and civic engagement -- to prepare for the pending increase
in the aging population. To view the Blueprint, go to: http://www.n4a.org/pdf/07-116-n4a-blueprint4actionwcovers.pdf.
Active Living Research Papers
A special issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion
(March/April 2007 Vol. 21, No. 4) highlights papers presented
at the 3rd Annual Active Living Research Conference that
took place in February 2006. For free access to the 2007
supplement, go to
Built Environment and Physical
A report from the Synthesis Project, a Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation initiative, The Built Environment and Physical
Activity: What is the Relationship? is available online
The report examines what is known about how the physical
or built environment affects activity and outlines the potential
policy implications of these findings.
New Census Bureau Data Available
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the newest national
and state characteristics population estimates. Links to
Excel and PDF tables can be found in the Census Bureau press
release, "Minority Population Tops 100 Million",
available at http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/010048.html.
Two RAND Reports Reprinted
The RAND Corporation recently re-released Exercise Programs
for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
available at http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/RP1257/;
and Falls Prevention Interventions in the Medicare Population
available at http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/RP1230/.
American Foundation for the
Blind Launches Web Site for Seniors
It's no secret that current rates of vision loss from diseases
like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic
retinopathy are expected to double as the nation's 78 million
baby boomers reach retirement age. To help address this
growing public health concern, the American Foundation for
the Blind (AFB) has launched the AFB Senior Site (http://www.afb.org/seniorsitehome.html),
designed for seniors losing their vision, their families,
and the professionals who serve them. The site is rich with
information including photos, videos, articles, and resource
links to enhance the independence of older people beginning
to experience vision loss.
Knowledge Transfer Guide
From Research to Practice: A Knowledge Transfer Planning
Guide, from the Canadian Health Services Foundation’s
Insight and Action Series, offers useful information for
professionals involved in the translation of research to
practice. The authors recommend practitioners ask themselves:
1) What is the message? 2) Who is the audience? 3) Who is
the messenger? 4) What is the transfer method? and 5) What
is the expected outcome. Five worksheets offer a step-by-step
approach to answering those questions. Information is available
National Prevention and Health
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office
of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's Coordinating Center
for Health Promotion, are requesting abstracts of evidence-based
community prevention and health promotion programs for presentation
at the 2007 National Prevention and Health Promotion Summit:
Creating a Culture of Wellness (the Summit), Nov. 27-29
in Washington, DC. The Summit theme Culture of Wellness
embodies health promotion and the prevention of chronic
disease and disability by relying upon public health science,
policy and practice. Abstracts are due June 11. For more
information see http://www.cdc.gov:80/cochp/conference/abstracts.htm.
Every Little Bit Can Help
New research indicates that even small amounts of physical
activity, approximately 75 minutes a week, can help improve
the fitness levels for postmenopausal women who are sedentary
and overweight or obese, according to a study in the May
16 issue of JAMA (http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/287/19/2593).
Low levels of cardio respiratory fitness are associated
with high risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and
improvements in fitness are associated with a reduction
in these risks. Physical activity habits are the primary
determinant of fitness in adults and changes in physical
activity result in changes in fitness, according to background
information in the article.
Vigorous Lifestyle Keeps
Weight in Check
People who maintain a vigorously active lifestyle as they
age gain less weight than people who exercise at more moderate
levels, according to a first-of-its-kind study that tracked
a large group of runners who kept the same exercise regimen
as they grew older. The study also found that maintaining
exercise with age is particularly effective in preventing
extreme weight gain, which is associated with high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other diseases.
The research is the latest report from the National Runners'
Health Study, a 20-year research initiative that includes
more than 120,000 runners. It appears in the May 3 issue
of the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Another paper published in the November 2006 issue of the
journal Obesity (http://www.obesityresearch.org)
found that runners who increased their running mileage gained
less weight than those who remained sedentary, and runners
that quit running became fatter.
More Active Men at Greater
Risk of Falling
Engaging in high-risk activities such as cleaning gutters,
pruning trees, or shoveling snow appear to have more to
do with the risk of elderly men suffering from falls than
leisure-time activities. Reporting in the March 15 issue
of the American
Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that
active men are significantly more likely to fall than their
more sedentary peers. While there was no association reported
between leisure time activity and fall risk, the men who
reported spending the most time on household activities
were at increased risk of falling compared to those who
did the least around the house.
Physical activity fends off
Depression affects approximately 121 million people worldwide,
and is a leading cause of disability, according to the World
Health Organization. A group of 1,169 adults who participated
in the Maastricht Aging Study reported their mood, body
mass index and levels of smoking, alcohol use and physical
exercise. The people who exercised 30 minutes or more per
day at the start of the study or engaged in physical activity
throughout the six month study were less likely to report
depression. The study appeared in the May issue of the American
Journal of Public Health available at http://www.ajph.org.
Physical activity improves
quality of life during menopause
A study that looked at the affect of exercise on relieving
menopause symptoms (such as hot flashes, night sweats, irritability,
anxiety or emotional instability) found that women who walked
or took yoga classes reported a better quality of life and
reduced negative effects of menopause compared to the no-exercise
group. Whether menopausal symptoms improved or worsened
appeared to be determined by increases or decreases in cardio
respiratory fitness. Women who experienced decreases in
menopausal symptoms also experienced improvements in all
positive mental health and quality of life outcomes. The
study appeared in the April issue of the Annals of Behavioral
Medicine available at http://www.leaonline.com/doi/abs/10.
AoA Strategic Action Plan
2007 - 2012
The Administration on Aging (AoA) has released its Strategic
Action Plan for 2007-2012. This Plan continues AoA's focus
to bolster the role of the Aging Services Network in long-term
care, and gives particular attention to implementing the
new provisions in the Older Americans Act that reflect the
key principles of Choices for Independence. A full copy
of the Plan can be accessed at http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/.
Older Americans Month.
May 2007. Materials are available from the Administration
on Aging at http://www.aoa.gov/PRESS/oam/May_2007/Materials_Downloads.html.
National Bike Month.
May 2007. Materials are available from the League of American
National Men’s Health
Week. June 11–17. Materials are available
from the Men’s Health Network at http://www.menshealthweek.org.
Meetings and Conferences
American College of Sports
Medicine 54th Annual Meeting. May 30-June 2. New Orleans,
LA. For information, go to http://www.acsm.org.
National Health Literacy
Institutes. June 10-13. Freeport, ME. http://www.HealthLiteracyInstitute.net.
Diversity and Aging in
the 21st Century. June 19- 21. Los Angeles, CA.
on Physical Activity and Obesity Screening in Children.
June 24-27. Toronto, Canada. http://www.obesityconference.ca.
National Wellness Conference:
Creating and Sustaining Wellness Cultures. July 14-19.
Stevens Point, WI. http://www.nationalwellness.org.
Generations United International
Conference. July 24-27. Washington, DC. http://www.gu.org.
National Association of
Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) 32nd Annual Conference and
Tradeshow. July 29 - August 1. San Francisco,
2007 Minority Women's Health
Summit. August 23-26. Washington, DC. http://www.4woman.gov/mwhs.
The Cooper Institute Conference:
Diversity in Physical Activity and Health. October
18-20. Dallas, TX. http://www.cooperinst.org/events/scientific/index.cfm.
American Public Health
Association Annual Meeting. November 3-7. Washington,
of America Annual Meeting. November 16-20. San
Francisco, CA. http://www.geron.org/.
National Prevention and
Health Promotion Summit. November 27-29. Washington,
DC. For information, go to http://www.cdc.gov/cochp/conference/index.htm.
ICAA Conference: Active
Aging 2007. Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Orlando, FL. For
information go to http://www.icaa.cc:80/convention.htm.
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.
Innovation in Prevention Awards
A component of the HealthierUS initiative, the
Innovation in Prevention Awards will identify and celebrate
outstanding organizations that have implemented innovative
and creative chronic disease prevention and health promotion
programs. These awards will provide an opportunity to increase
public awareness of creative approaches to develop and expand
innovative health programs and duplication of successful
strategies. Awardees will be the guest of the Secretary
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the
Innovation in Prevention Awardee Luncheon during the 2007
National Prevention and Health Promotion Summit November
27-29 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Deadline for submission is June 29. More information is
available at http://www.prevent.org/content/view/57/8/.
Advancing Public Health Practice and Policy Solutions
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will fund projects that
will discover, implement, evaluate, or disseminate practical
and replicable solutions related to the following topics:
public health laws, regulations or policies; public health
advocacy or communications; and engaging hard-to-reach and/or
high-risk populations. For information, go to http://www.rwjf.org/applications/solicited/cfp.jsp?ID=19849&c=EMC-FA141.
Deadline for application is June 6.
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 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