the Active for Life Program Office
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
May is highlighted by a number of observances
related to the health and wellness of older adults. The Active
for Life (AFL) National Program Office (NPO) suggests
attention on the following:
- Older Americans Month
- May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme
is Working Together for Strong, Healthy, and Supportive
Communities. Take time this May to honor our older
adults and the professionals, family members, and citizens
who care for them. Collaboration can help strengthen the
services provided to older adults, recognize and meet the
changing nature of their needs, and provide more opportunities
to make informed choices about their lives. Resources are
available at http://www.aoa.gov.
- Exercise is Medicine Month
- The American College of Sports Medicine has designated
May as Exercise is Medicine™ Month. A number
of national efforts are planned, including a Congressional
briefing and a media campaign. Exercise is Medicine™
toolkits, along with resources and ideas, are available
- National Physical Fitness
and Sports Month - Join the President’s Council
on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) to challenge Americans
to get moving for health and to get active and fit in May.
Information is available at http://www.fitness.gov.
- National Women’s
Health Week - The Society for Women's Health Research
encourages women to take charge of their health throughout
the year. But for those women who have fallen behind with
regular exams and screenings, National Women’s Health
Week, May 11-17, 2008 is the perfect time to take charge,
take action, and get healthy. Information is available at
National President's Challenge
The PCPFS is launching the National President's Challenge,
a six-week physical activity challenge, to get America moving.
Each of us plays an important role in getting the word out
and encouraging Americans of all ages to get up and move
more. To help spread the message, the President's Council
invites you to visit http://www.presidentschallenge.org
to view and download campaign materials and resources.
Key Indicators Report
Average life expectancy continues to increase, and older
Americans enjoy better health and financial security than
any previous generation. However, rates of gain are inconsistent
between genders and across age brackets, income levels,
and racial and ethnic groups. Some critical disparities
also exist between older Americans and older people in other
industrialized countries. These and other trends are reported
in Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being
a comprehensive look at aging in the U.S. from the Federal
Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
Men’s Health Campaign
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and
the Advertising Council have launched a national public
service campaign designed to raise awareness among middle-aged
men about the importance of preventive medical testing.
The campaign encourages men over 40 to learn which preventive
screening tests they need to get and when they need to get
them. This campaign complements AHRQ’s efforts toward
improving the safety and quality of health care and promoting
patient involvement in their own health care. More information
is available at http://www.ahrq.gov.
Climate Change and Older
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed
a web page on Climate Change and Older Adults that provides
an overview of world climate change and how it may affect
portions of the population. The extent and nature of climate
change impacts on human health vary by region, by relative
vulnerability of population groups, by the extent and duration
of exposure to climate change itself and by society's ability
to adapt to or cope with the change. The document can be
accessed at http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/climatechange/index.htm.
Aerobic exercise could give older adults a boost in brainpower,
according to a recent review of studies. Not surprisingly,
eight of the 11 included studies found that participation
in aerobic exercise programs increased participants’
VO2 max, an indicator of respiratory endurance. Improvements
in cardiorespiratory fitness coincided with improvements
in cognitive function, especially motor function, cognitive
speed and auditory and visual attention, when participants
were compared to a group of non-exercising adults or adults
in a yoga- or strength-based program. The study appeared
in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008,
Issue 2 (http://www.cochrane.org).
More Benefits of Physical Activity
New research suggests that, in aging men, physical activity
can reduce the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia,
lower urinary tract symptoms, and decrease erectile dysfunction.
The study appears in Urology Today (http://www.urotoday.com).
Promotion of Activity Guidelines
In March, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
led a Capitol Hill news conference with Members of Congress
to announce the introduction of the Physical Activity Guidelines
for Americans Act, a Congressional bill to make the regular
development and promotion of U.S. physical activity guidelines
a reality. ACSM is working with Congress to make sure these
national physical activity guidelines will be regularly
updated – at least every five years – and promoted
to the public, the scientific and medical communities, health
and fitness professionals, the media, and others.
Meetings and Conferences
American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
May 28-31, 2008. Indianapolis, IN. http://www.acsm.org.
n4a Annual Meeting.
July 20-23. Nashville, TN. http://www.n4a.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.
CDC National Conference
on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media.
August 12-14. Atlanta, GA. http://www.cdc.gov/healthmarketing/conference2008.htm.
American Public Health
Association Annual Meeting. October 25-29, 2008.
San Diego, CA. http://www.apha.org.
Dec. 4-6, 2008. San Antonio, TX. http://www.icaa.cc.
Local Funding Partnership
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is seeking applicants
for its Local Funding Partnerships program. The initiative
is designed to forge relationships between RWJF and local
grantmakers to fund promising, original projects that can
significantly improve the health of vulnerable people in
their communities. The deadline for application is July
Health and Aging Policy Fellows
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, supported by
The Atlantic Philanthropies and administered by Columbia
University, will provide professionals in health and aging
with the experience and skills necessary to make a positive
contribution to the development and implementation of health
policies that affect older Americans. The program offers
two tracks for individual placement: (1) a residential track
that includes a nine- to12-month placement in Washington,
DC, or at a state agency (such as a legislative assistant
in Congress, a professional staff member in an executive
agency, or in a policy organization), and (2) a non-residential
track that includes a health policy project and brief placement(s)
throughout the year at relevant sites. The deadline for
applications is May 27. (http://www.healthandagingpolicy.org)
Healthy Communities Grant
EPA Region 1 (the States of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and/or Vermont) is accepting
proposals for the Healthy Communities Grant Program. Projects
must benefit communities at risk (environmental justice
areas of potential concern, places with high risk from toxic
air pollution, urban areas) and sensitive populations (e.g.
children, older adults, others at increased risk). One page
proposals are due May 12. (http://www.epa.gov/aging/grants/grant-list/2008_0710_grant_1.htm)
Livable Community Award
AARP and the National Association of Home Builders offer
the second annual Livable Communities Award to builders,
remodelers and developers for projects that incorporate
design elements that accommodate the needs of all residents
with all levels of physical ability from children through
grandparents; improved energy efficiency and enhanced site
design; and better communication with key stakeholders.
The deadline for application is June 6. (http://www.aarp.org/research/press-center/presscurrentnews/livable_communities_awards.html)
Active Aging/Healthy Communities
The EPA seeks applications for Excellence in Building Healthy
Communities for Active Aging. This award recognizes communities
for their outstanding comprehensive approaches to implementing
principles of smart growth, as well as strategies that support
active aging. This award will be presented to communities
with the best and most inclusive overall approach to implementing
smart growth and active aging on a variety of fronts, at
the neighborhood, tribe, city, county, and/or regional level.
The deadline for application is Sept. 12. (http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/)
College Station, Texas 77843-1266