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
Brigid McHugh Sanner at email@example.com
or call 214-244-4186. This program is funded by
a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation®.
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
Learning Network Activities
The Active for Life® (AFL) Learning
Network for Active Aging, in collaboration with the National
Blueprint, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Aging Initiative, and other partner organizations is creating
an internet-based resource to foster healthy communities for
active aging. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is funding
the initiative, and technical assistance is provided by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy
Aging Research Network. For more information contact Cathy
Liles at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Learning Network, the
EPA, and partner organizations are also developing a pilot
program, Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging, to
provide educational resources for communities that want to
enhance smart growth and active aging activities. For information
see the EPA Aging Initiative Web site, http://www.epa.gov/aging.
Generations to Prevent Childhood
In the last 40 years the obesity rates have more than tripled
among children ages two to five, and more than quadrupled
among those ages six to eleven. Generations Working Together
to Prevent Childhood Obesity is being implemented by
four AFL grantees engaged in projects aimed at prevention
or reduction of childhood obesity. The grantees are using
an intergenerational approach to address policy and environmental
issues. Projects include:
- The OASIS Institute’s Active
Generations: Implementation of the evidence-based Coordinated
Approach to Child Health program in after-school programs
and conducting walkability assessments in neighborhoods
- FirstHealth of the Carolinas FirstGarden:
Establishing a community garden, working with children,
local master gardeners and Active for Life participants.
- The City of Berkeley’s San
Pablo Park Steps to Health: Working with vendors to
establish healthy fast-food options for parents when picking
up children & including Dance Dance Revolution in recreation
- Hamilton County General Health
District’s School Health Advisory Council:
Addressing healthy eating and physical activity policies,
environmental supports and offering the girls!Can curriculum
in an area school.
Congratulations to JCA &
The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) awarded funding to
15 states as part of a national initiative to encourage people
to take control of their health in order to live longer, healthier
lives. Maryland and Ohio are among the recipients of the funding.
As part of the AoA initiative, AFL
grantee Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington
(JCA) received a grant through the Maryland Department on
Aging to enable JCA to introduce the Chronic Disease Self-Management
Program, originally developed by the Stanford University Medical
Center, into Montgomery County. JCA will work with area partnering
agencies on this initiative. In addition, the funding will
enable JCA to continue four of its Active for Life
classes that serve low-income populations.
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio
(COA) received similar funding through the State of Ohio to
continue a program that has helped many older adults become
active and reduce health problems. The Ohio funding will enable
the Hamilton County General Health District to train staff
at area YMCAs and other community organizations so they can
offer Active for Life classes in their locations.
The Health District will also continue to facilitate the program
across southwest Ohio. In southwest Ohio Active for Life
is offered through a collaboration of the Council on Aging
and the Hamilton County General Health District.
Passage of the Older Americans
The AFL National Program Office is encouraged by the passage
of the Older Americans Act (OAA) Amendments for 2006. The
reauthorization of the OAA will play a vital role in helping
older Americans remain active and engaged in their communities
– the overwhelming preference of most people. For information
Helps Elders Share Customs
“Nutrition programs that help elders make
healthful food decisions while maintaining their cultural
integrity also can influence how older adults, as the guardians
of tradition, pass down these customs to succeeding generations,”
notes an article in Healthworld, a monthly e-mail newsletter
from the American Society on Aging’s Live Well, Live
Long project. For approaches to working with elders on healthy
nutrition see http://www.asaging.org/cdc/HealthWord.cfm.
New Physical Activity Guidelines
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary
Mike Leavitt announced that the HHS will develop comprehensive
guidelines to help Americans fit physical activity into
their lives. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
will be issued in late 2008, and will summarize the latest
knowledge about activity and health, with information targeting
specific population subgroups, such as older adults and
Body & Soul
The church plays an important role in the lives of many
African-Americans, and that’s why University of Michigan
(U-M) researchers are targeting churches to help bring a
message of healthier lifestyle choices to congregations.
The program, called Body & Soul, is an evidence-based
health and wellness program tailored for African-American
churches. The program encourages people to eat more fruits
and vegetables and to be more physically active. The U-M
Comprehensive Cancer Center piloted the program in 2005,
and it was recently launched nationwide in partnership with
the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute,
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University
of North Carolina, and U-M. For more information call 734-647-5780.
Rural Assistance Wellness
and Prevention Guide
The Rural Assistance Center’s Wellness and Prevention
Information Guide is now available online at http://www.raconline.org/info_guides/wellness/.
The guide includes tools, resources, funding information,
and links to useful resources.
Resources on Health and the
The National Association of City and County Health Officials
has assembled fact sheets, guides, PowerPoint presentations,
Web casts, policy reports and other resources to help health
practitioners, elected officials, and community planners
make the connection between public health, community design
and the built environment. For information see http://www.naccho.org/topics/hpdp/land_use_planning/LUP_Toolbox.cfm
Step Up! Step Out!
Step Up! Step Out! is a physical activity intervention conducted
by the University of South Carolina Prevention Research
Center in partnership with Sumter County Active Lifestyles
and the Sumter County Recreation and Parks Department. Weekly
behavioral tips, an exercise log, testimonials, safety tips
and other information can be used to help individuals become
more physically active. Some of the information is tailored
to the project community in South Carolina; however most
of the tools and information can be used anywhere. For details
The second edition of the Thunderhead Alliance Guide
to Complete Streets Campaigns is an important tool
for community leaders interested in securing a complete
streets policy for their state or community. Complete streets
policies require all roads to offer safe access for all
users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders
of all ages and abilities can safely move along and across
a complete street. The guide provides an analysis of current
complete streets policies and a step-by-step campaign development
process. The guide is useful to elected and appointed officials,
community leaders, and concerned citizens. For information,
go to http://www.thunderheadalliance.org.
Local Policy Database
The Prevention Institute, with funding from The California
Endowment, is providing the Environmental Nutrition and
Activity (ENACT) Local Policy Database online. The searchable
database is designed to provide community advocates, health
professionals, policymakers, and those working in related
fields with concrete examples of local-level policies that
have been adopted and/or implemented to improve nutrition
and physical activity environments. http://www.preventioninstitute.org/sa/policies.
Safe Routes to School
The League of American Bicyclists has produced a four-minute,
non-technical, promotional video to promote the new Safe
Routes to School program. The piece was developed with a
grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For information
go to http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/saferoutes/video.php.
Racial disparities in Healthcare
This four-page issue brief reviews the types of disparities
that minority populations face when dealing with the healthcare
system in the U.S., some programs underway to reduce these
disparities, and proposals for future action. Also included
is a list of expert sources with telephone numbers and helpful
Web sites. To download, go to http://www.allhealth.org/publications/pub_38.pdf.
Structured Exercise Program
May Enhance Seniors' Physical Functioning
A structured exercise program may boost the physical
well-being of sedentary seniors who are at risk of losing
independent functioning, according to a study published
in the November Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
The study also showed that structured exercise holds promise
for lowering older people’s chances of major walking
disability and older adults can safely begin a program of
moderate exercise. The findings are reported in a special
section of the journal, http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/nov2006/nia-17.htm.
Walking Can Keep Pounds Away
Walking can keep the pounds away, according to new research
presented at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society,
an organization of weight-loss researchers and care providers.
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh found that overweight
middle-aged people who walked briskly for 30 to 60 minutes
a day lost seven pounds in a year and a half, while similar
adults who didn't exercise consistently gained seven pounds
in that time. In another study, University of North Carolina
researchers did an analysis of data on adults ages 18 to
30 over a 15-year period and found those who walked four
or more hours a week were the least likely to gain weight
as they aged. “This adds to a growing body of evidence
on the importance of exercise for weight control,”
says John Jakicic, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh's
Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center.
Group-Based Programs Have
Better Long Term Adherence
Reports on the efficacy of physical activity intervention
trials usually only include discussion on primary outcomes.
However, assessing factors such as participant retention,
adherence, and compliance can assist in the accurate interpretation
of the overall impact of a program in terms of reach and
appeal. A study published in the October issue of the Journal
of Science and Medicine in Sport found that both home-
and group-based physical activity programs were successful
among older adults in the short term, but group-based programs
had a better adherence and compliance in the long term.
The study looked at programs that included nine strength
and two balance exercises.
Environment and Walking
A random sample of 351 adults completed a questionnaire
containing measures of perceived neighborhood environment,
the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), and walking behavior.
Results showed that retail land-mix use and neighborhood
aesthetics were associated with walking through the TPB
constructs of affective and instrumental attitudes. Results
also showed that recreation land-mix use moderated the intention-behavior
relationship. These findings underscore the importance of
neighborhood characteristics in the decision to walk. For
more information see the American Journal of Health
Promotion In-Briefs Nov/Dec 2006 at http://www.healthpromotionjournal.com.
Exercise and Cold Prevention
Exercising moderately may lower the risk of getting a cold.
In the first study to examine the relationship between long-term
exercise and upper respiratory tract infections, 115 postmenopausal
women who were overweight or obese and sedentary were assigned
to either a moderate exercise program (45 minutes per day,
5 days per week) or to a once-a-week 45-minute stretching
session. Over 12 months, 30.2 percent of exercisers reported
at least one cold compared to 48.4 percent of those who
stretched. In the final three months of the study, the risk
of colds in stretchers was more than three-fold higher than
that of exercisers. “This adds another good reason
to put exercise on your to-do list, especially now that
cold season is here," said senior author Cornelia M.
Ulrich, PhD. The study was published in the November issue
of the American Journal of Medicine.
Physical Activity and Aging
A framework for the creation of an agenda on physical activity
and aging is outlined in the October issue of the Journal
of Gerontology. In the article, Physical Activity,
Public Health, and Aging: Critical Issues and Research Priorities,
authors have organized the agenda around four key questions:
What are the types
and levels of physical activity among diverse older populations?
What are the health
benefits of physical activity and the consequences of
sedentary behavior in older adults?
What factors influence
participation in regular physical activity among older
Can we develop
successful interventions and policies to promote physical
activity in older populations, and if so, what are the
criteria on which to evaluate their success?
Choices for Independence
National Leadership Summit. Dec. 5-6, 2006. Washington,
D.C. At the Summit, AoA, the Aging Network, and
other Federal, State, Tribal, and local leaders will engage
in a peer-to-peer exchange of best practices, strategies,
and tools for helping older people remain healthy and
independent. For information see http://www.aoa.gov/Choices/Summit/summithome.htm.
Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults. Feb. 14-15,
2007. Seattle, WA. The Prevention Research Centers
Healthy Aging Research Network is hosting this research-to-practice
conference. For information, visit http://www.son.washington.edu/cne/secure/display4.html?SKU=07107-C.
NCOA-ASA Joint Conference.
March 7-10, 2007. Chicago, IL. This conference
will feature over 900 sessions covering a diverse range
of topics in aging. For details, go to http://www.agingconference.org/asav2/conf/jc/jc07/.
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.
Civic Ventures Purpose Prize
Civic Ventures has announced the opening of nominations
for the 2007 Purpose Prize, a major initiative that invests
in Americans over 60 who are leading a new age of social
innovation. In its second year, the prize includes five
$100,000 investments and ten $10,000 investments in entrepreneurs
in the second half of life who are combining their passion,
creativity and experience to address issues of social significance.
The nomination period will close on February 1, 2007. For
information, go to http://www.purposeprize.org.
AmeriCorps National Education
Funding is available for projects that address one or a
combination of initiatives that address community needs,
including harnessing the experiences of baby boomers. For
information see http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=10587.
Deadline: February 15, 2007.
Stepping On Grant
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced
the availability of funding through the Dissemination
Research on Fall Prevention: “Stepping On” in
a U.S. Community Setting Grant. The deadline for applications
is February 23, 2007
College Station, Texas 77843-1266