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
Briefing Attracts Almost 60 Hill Staffers and National Organizations
On September 29, the Active for Life® National
Program Office worked with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and the Congressional
Fitness Caucus to sponsor a briefing exploring the benefits
of promoting physical activity for older Americans. A total
of 58 people attended the briefing - 52 were congressional
staff (39 from the House of Representatives and 13 from
the Senate). Representatives from six national aging and
physical activity organizations also attended. The briefing
was a feature project of Active for Life in recognition
of Active Aging Week, September 26-October 1, 2005.
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey,
MD, MBA, president and CEO, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
She emphasized the RWJF’s commitment to health promotion
and disease prevention. “As we explore ways to tackle
the preventable causes of death – such as obesity
– we are asking questions about what can be changed
in the institutional and physical landscape in local communities
that can promote a healthy lifestyle.”
PhD, professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Chodzko-Zajko presented highlights of products,
partnerships, and priorities from the National Blueprint,
which is being implemented by a group of more than 50
organizations that have joined together to develop marketing,
home and community-based, and medical strategies to increase
physical activity among age 50 plus adults.
Marcia Ory, PhD,
MPH, director, Active for Life National Program
Office, The Texas A&M University System Health Science
Dr. Ory highlighted the success of the Active for
Life Program which is working with community partners
to bring efficacious intervention programs to existing
community settings that serve middle-aged and older adults.
director of Social Services at the Ella Austin Community
Center in San Antonio, Texas and a participant of the
Active for Life program
Mrs. Pantoja talked about her personal experience as an
Active for Life participant, giving emphasis
to the benefits she experienced.
For more information, go to the Active
for Life Web site.
Local Initiative Funding
Partners Annual Meeting
Diane Dowdy, Ph.D., deputy director of the Active for
Life National Program Office, presented a session on
the “Lessons Learned from RWJF Program Offices.”
She discussed practical htmlects of introducing behavioral
interventions in a variety of community-based settings to
promote physical activity among sedentary mid-life and older
Celebration of Active for
Life Program in Southwest Ohio
The Southwest Ohio
Active for Life program is celebrating the ongoing
success of their program with a special presentation to
current and past AFL participants. The featured speaker
will be Steven Newman, who in 1983 began a walk around the
world, which he completed in 1987. Mr. Newman will share
his story, which is an inspiration to anyone who is working
to lead a healthy and active life. Marcia Ory, Ph.D., Active
for Life National Program director will also address
Active for Life
Success Stories Highlighted on Web
Success stories that
feature individual AFL participants are available on the
for Life Web site. These
engaging vignettes highlight how becoming physically active
has changed the lives of these and many other AFL participants.
If you would like to submit a success story, contact Lisa
Lessons Learned: Promoting
Physical Activity at the Community Level
Lessons Learned is
a grants results special report that examines 25 projects
funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to promote
walking, biking and other activities. Lessons Learned explores
a diverse collection of programs selected by the RWJF program
staff for review in an effort to identify best practices
and areas for improvement. The report can be viewed at:
National Prevention Summit: Innovations in Community
Prevention. October 24-25, 2005. Washington, D.C.
The Summit will focus on chronic disease prevention and
health promotion and will feature innovative prevention
programs that are making a difference in communities across
the country. For information, go to http://www.seeuthere.com/rsvp/invitation/invitation.html?id=/m2c666-175266868461.
American Public Health Association
Annual Meeting. December 10 - 14, 2005. Philadelphia, PA.
For more information, go to http://www.apha.org/meetings/.
Active Aging: The Tipping
Point. December 1-3, 2005. Orlando, FL.
Sponsored by the International Council on Active Aging,
this conference targets professionals who work in active
adult, retirement and assisted living communities, hospital
fitness, rehabilitation, spa, health club, military, medical,
YMCA/YWCA, JCC and resort industries. For information go
White House Conference on
Aging. December 11-14, 2005. Washington, D.C.
The Conference occurs once a decade to make aging policy
recommendations to the President and Congress, and to assist
the public and private sectors in promoting dignity, health,
independence and economic security of current and future
generations of older persons. For more information go to
on Aging, Disability and Independence. February 2-4, 2006.
St. Petersburg, FL.
This conference will bring together researchers, practitioners,
business leaders and people involved in aging policy. For
information, go to http://icadi.phhp.ufl.edu/generalinfo/.
Active Living Research Conference.
February 16-18, 2006, in Coronado, CA.
Abstracts were due July 21, 2005. For details, go to http://www.activelivingresearch.org.
Joint Conference of the National
Council on the Aging and the American Society on Aging.
March 16-19, 2006. Anaheim, CA. The conference
will feature more than 800 sessions covering a diverse range
of topics in aging. For information, go to http://www.agingconference.org/agingconference/jc06/index.cfm.
International Congress on
Physical Activity and Public Health. April 17-20, 2006.
Atlanta, GA. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s Physical Activity and Health Branch,
in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial
Chronic Disease Program Directors, is sponsoring this congress
to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the release of
the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and
Health. To learn more, go to http://www.ncpad.org/events/index.php?id=189.
CDC's Division of Diabetes
Translation Annual Diabetes Conference. May 16-19, 2006.
Denver, CO. This conference, sponsored by CDC's
Division of Diabetes Translation and CDC's Division of Nutrition
and Physical Activity, will address diabetes and obesity.
The Conference Planning Committee encourages submission
of abstracts that address specific issues, approaches or
strategies that contribute to diabetes prevention and control
and the primary prevention of obesity or obesity treatment
described below. For more information, see http://www.psava.com/doc2006/main.html.
Tactics and Tools
Age-Friendly Personal Trainer Checklist
Since there are so many different degrees and certifications
that personal trainers may possess, it can be difficult
for older adults to choose a personal trainer for their
individual needs. A trainer's experience, education, personality,
and business practices are all considerations in the selection
process. The ICAA Personal Trainer Checklist can be used
to evaluate a trainer's credentials. http://www.icaa.cc/Press2005/personaltrainerchecklist.htm
Active Living Resource Center
Introduces Get Started Studio
The Active Living Resource Center has introduced
the new Get Started Studio, an interactive process
designed to get local organizations involved with Center
staff to begin plans to make their neighborhoods or communities
walkable and bicycle friendly. Guidance will be offered
on solving local problems with regard to creating or improving
pedestrian and bicycle access and transportation. The Center
is particularly interested in working with communities that
are striving to create active living opportunities for underprivileged
youth. See http://www.activelivingresources.org/
for more information.
Helps Overcome Their Barriers to Healthy Habits
One of the best predictors of whether a person
will successfully adopt and maintain a healthy behavior
such as physical activity is the ratio of perceived benefits
to barriers for that behavior. Most people in the early
stages of behavior change identify many perceived barriers
to attaining healthy habits, but few benefits. One of the
tools used successfully in the Active Living Every Day and
Healthy Eating Every Day programs is The Great IDEA. This
simple problem-solving technique helps people create workable
solutions to their barriers to healthful habits. For more
information, see http://www.nationalwellness.org/members/index.php?id=2100&id_tier=3980.
National Center for Health
Statistics 2004 National Health Interview Survey
The National Center for Health Statistics has released
the 2004 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data file.
Data can be downloaded in ASCII format, along with SAS,
SPSS, and Stata programming statements. Documentation is
available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhis/nhis_2004_data_release.htm.
AARP Aging Advances
This Web site is an informational site featuring
global best practice products, programs and services that
enhance the lives of the 50 and older population. The selected
innovations, divided into the four categories of community
programs, government initiatives, health and long-term care
innovations, and universal design, are part of an ongoing
research project by AARP's Global Aging Program. See http://www.aarp.org/international/agingadvances/.
More than 40 million Americans
are Members of Health Clubs
According to SGMA International, 41.3 million people
were members of health/fitness clubs in the United States
in 2004 - up from 32.8 million in 2000.
A few of the interesting factoids
found within SGMA’s The Health Club Trend Report
Another 25.5 million
non-members used health clubs in 2004. They either paid
a daily fee or gained access to a club via a hotel, hospital,
on-site work facility, etc.;
25% of all health
club members are aged 55+;
51% of all health
club members are women;
60% of all health
club members have earned four-year degrees from a college
To order The Health Club Trend
Report, go to www.SGMA.com.
New Initiative on Livable
Communities for Older Adults
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
(n4a) has announced its new initiative, The Maturing
of America: Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population,
which will help cities and counties better meet the needs
of an aging population. In the first phase of the project,
n4a and partner organizations will produce a survey for
10,000 local governments to determine whether cities and
towns promote sound nutrition and physical activity, offer
opportunities for civic engagement, and many other factors
that influence healthy aging. The project is funded by MetLife
Foundation. For details, see http://www.n4a.org/pressrelease53.cfm
ACPM Position Statement on
Physical Activity Counseling
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM)
maintains that primary care providers should counsel patients
about physical activity during routine patient visits. The
organization suggests that interventions of only two to
four minutes can be effective. ACPM also recommends that
health care providers should receive training in behavioral
counseling techniques that emphasize collaboration between
the patient and provider.
Parks & Recreation Departments
Identified as Critical to Addressing Obesity
The International City/County Managers Association
conducted a survey of city managers asking: "what public
agency would be most critical to address the obesity crisis?"
Parks and recreation was the highest ranked public agency
cited by city/county managers at 88% with city planning
and public health at 71% and 50% respectively.
White House Conference on
Aging Delegates Named
The 2005 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA)
has announced the names of the At-Large delegates who will
participate in the WHCoA from December 11-14 in Washington,
DC. To see who is attending from your area click on http://www.whcoa.gov/
TV Viewing is on the Increase
If you hear that people don’t have time to
be physically active, consider this: Nielsen Media Research
reported in late September, that the average American home
watched more television the past TV season versus any previous
season. During the 2004-05 TV season (which started September
20, 2004 and just ended September 18, 2005), the average
household in the U.S. tuned into television an average of
8 hours and 11 minutes per day. This is 2.7% higher than
the previous season, 12.5% higher than 10 years ago, and
the highest levels ever reported since television viewing
was first measured by Nielsen Media Research in the 1950’s.
During the Sept 2004-Sept 2005 season, the average person
watched television 4 hours and 32 minutes each day, the
highest level in 15 years. For more information go to http://www.nielsenmedia.com.
Active Lifestyle Keeps the
An active lifestyle and a healthy, fish-rich diet
may help tackle the memory loss associated with old age,
neuroscientists from the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity
College Dublin reported. The researchers note that people
who remain physically fit, avoid high stress levels and
enjoy a rich and varied social life are better equipped
to stay alert as they age. For the full story, go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9241643/.
Everyday Activities Can Lower
Health practitioners have begun recommending physical
activity as a way to treat high blood pressure, which can
lead to heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke
and blindness. Participants in a research study were asked
to accumulate 150 calories of physical activities, such
as washing the car, yard work and house cleaning, during
a 12-hour period. They wore accelerometers, which measure
activity and intensity, and automated ambulatory blood pressure
monitors. They were monitored during both the 24-hour period
when the activity occurred and during a 24-hour period that
did not include the activities. Regardless of intensity,
4 hours of accumulated daily lifestyle physical activity
lowered participants' blood pressure. Investigators said
the findings indicate that lifestyle physical activities
can be as effective as or more effective than other lifestyle
modifications, such as special diets and exercise, in reducing
high blood pressure. SOURCE: Medicine & Science
in Sports & Exercise, 37:1264-1275 (2005)
Exercise Helps Control Pain
as People Age
People who exercise regularly experience 25% less
muscle and joint pain in their old age than people who are
less active. Research published in Arthritis Research
& Therapy (2005, 7:R1263-R1270) reveals that people
who regularly participate in brisk aerobic exercise, such
as running, experience less pain than non-runners even though
they are more likely to suffer from pain from injuries.
Researchers from Stanford University compared the level
of pain in a group of runners and a group of community-based
individuals who acted as controls. After adjusting for confounding
factors such as gender, age, weight and health status the
results show that pain increased in both groups over time.
But members of the Runners' Association experienced 25%
less musculoskeletal pain than controls. This reduction
persisted throughout the study period, until the subjects
reached an age of 62 to 76 years. More research is needed
to understand mechanisms that might underlie the effect
of exercise on musculoskeletal pain in old age. For details
Genes Can Keep Elderly People
from Benefiting Equally from Exercise
According to research findings published in Journal
of the American Medical Association (Aug. 10, 2005),
of nearly 3,000 seniors studied, those who exercised stayed
healthier than their inactive peers. But those born with
a certain gene benefited the most from physical activity.
Federal health statistics have shown that about 34% of the
U.S. population age 70 and older report difficulty walking
a quarter of a mile. These individuals are at greater risk
of moving into a nursing home or dying over a two-year period,
compared with their counterparts who do not report trouble
walking the distance. Go to http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/uof-eag081005.php
for more information.
Here are some statistics from Hallmark Research
to consider if you are planning intergenerational initiatives
involving older adults and children.
There are 5.5 million
grandparents with grandchildren under age 18 living with
Eight percent of
all children in the U.S. live with a grandparent (3.8
million live in their grandparents home and 1.7 million
live in their parent’s home).
Most of the grandparents
with grandchildren living with them (4.2 million) maintain
their own household.
2.3 million grandparents
are caregivers, responsible for most of the basic needs
(food, shelter, and clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren
they live with. These grandparents represent about 43%
of all grandparents who live with their grandchildren.
Of these caregivers, 1.5 million are grandmothers and
860,000 are grandfathers.
by the AARP reveals that more than 80 % of the nation’s
grandparents had visited or spoken with their grandchildren
by phone in the past month.
Chicago Center of Excellence
in Health Promotion Economics Pilot Grant Program
The Chicago Center of Excellence in Health Promotion
Economics has $200,000 available to fund novel or developing
projects in health promotion economics, with funding per
project ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 in direct costs.
Funds are available to investigators at the University of
Chicago and The University of Illinois at Chicago, from
any disciplinary background, wishing to perform research
in health promotion economics. The Request for Applications
for the Pilot Grant Program can be found on the Center for
Health and the Social Sciences Web site (http://chess.bsd.uchicago.edu/)
under CCEHPE. Applications are due November 4, 2005 by 5:00
Midwest Roybal Center for
Health Promotion Pilot Grant Competition
The Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion,
funded by the National Institute on Aging, is holding a
Pilot Grant Competition for all college or university academics,
doctoral candidates, researchers, or practitioners in the
field of aging and service providers studying health promotion
in aging populations. The application deadline is December
3, 2005. Letters of intent are due November 1, 2005. For
more information go to http://www.uic.edu/depts/ovcr/hrpc/centers/rha_content.html,
or contact Ann Barnds, the center's coordinator, at email@example.com
Aetna Foundation Regional
Community Health Grants Program
The Aetna Foundation is inviting proposals for
its Regional Community Health Grants Program. The program
provides funding focused on reducing disparities in health
care among racial and ethnic populations in eligible geographic
areas. Only programs serving eligible geographic areas are
eligible to apply. Applicants must be non-profit organizations
with evidence of IRS 501(c)(3) designation or de facto tax-exempt
status. Proposals are accepted only through the Aetna Foundation's
online system. See the foundation's Web site for complete
program guidelines, eligible geographic areas, regional
deadlines, and application procedures. For information,
go to http://www.aetna.com/foundation/communitygrants/2004_rfp.htm.
College Station, Texas