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Active for Life - Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older!
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December 2005

Previous Newsletters

From the Active for Life Program Office
Upcoming Events
Tips, Tactics and Tools
In the News
Funding Opportunities

The 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 information, contact Brigid McHugh Sanner at or call 214-244-4186. This program is funded by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation®.

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From the Active for Life® National Program Office

Happy 2006
Professionals who direct lifestyle programs may find they can jump-start their effectiveness at the beginning of the year simply by dovetailing their approach to clients’ and patients’ New Year’s resolutions. While only about 40% of resolution makers maintain their resolutions after six months, almost 20% of those who make resolutions to diet or mend relationships do continue to realize success after two years. According to the American Psychology Association’s Monitor on Psychology (Vol. 35, No. 1), readiness to change, use of behavioral strategies, and successfully weathering temporary setbacks are keys to accomplishment.

For more information see

AFL Receives Honorable Mention in Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence
The Active for Life® National Program Office is an honorable mention recipient of the 2005 Archstone Foundation Award of Excellence. The award was created in conjunction with the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association to recognize the best practice models in Gerontology and Geriatrics. For more details see

The Active for Life® NPO Moving In January
The NPO will be moving to a new location on the Texas A&M University campus in late January.

The new postal address will be:
School of Rural Public Health
Active for Life National Program Office
1266 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-1266

Phone and e-mail addresses will remain the same.

Kudos to OASIS Founder Marylen Mann
In the mid-1970s, when educator Marylen Mann started espousing the idea that older people can still learn and contribute to society, her ideas were far from foregone conclusions. But she persisted in her ideas, and in 1982 Mann and the late Margie Wolcott May formed OASIS, an organization dedicated to providing challenging, meaningful pursuits for people age 50 and older. OASIS is one of nine AFL grantee organizations. Mann was recently honored as a recipient of the prestigious 2006 AARP Impact Award. AARP recognized her as one of ten people who did something extraordinary to improve the world in which we live.

Tapping Existing Relationships and Contacts Can Lead to a Stronger Program
Active for Life® grantee FirstHealth of the Carolinas is re-engaging key contacts, community leaders and facilitators to get their ideas and input on ways to expand AFL outreach to new participants. It’s a great idea to keep in touch with collaborators and continue to engage them in your program’s efforts. Often the type of help and input they give has long-term value.

Upcoming Events

National Leadership Summit on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health. January 9-11, 2006. Washington, D.C. The Office of Minority Health of HHS and its co-sponsors will hold the National Leadership Summit on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health. For more information, visit

International Conference 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

Active Living Research Conference. February 16-18, 2006. Coronado, CA. For details, go to

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

TV-Turnoff Week. April 24-30, 2006. For information and resources see

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

Older American’s Month. May 2006. The Administration on Aging sponsors this annual celebration. See the AoA Web site for updates at

National Bike Month. May 2006. The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 15-19 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 19. For more information see

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

Tips, Tactics and Tools

Policy Brief on Walking
The California Health Interview Survey is about to release a policy brief on adult physical activity which points out some of the strong associations between walking and perceived safety. See for more information.

Poor Balance Associated with Frequent Falls
There is increasing interest in exercise programs to improve balance in older adults. The Standing Strong Program, developed in response to the National Blueprint to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 50 and Older, combines strengthening and balance training exercises. It is based on Sensorimotor Training which enhances the physiologic systems involved in the control of balance. After three months of performing the exercises three times a week, participants improved both their strength and balance by approximately 20%.

For more information, contact Michael E. Rogers, PhD, at or Phil Page, PT, at

Hispanic Population of the United States
The U.S. Census Bureau Report, Hispanic Population of the United States: March 2003 and 2004, provides an update on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the nation's Hispanics, with national summary data from the Current Population Survey. Characteristics including sex, age, citizenship, nativity, educational attainment, occupation, income and poverty status are highlighted in the report. For information go to

Health, United States, 2005
Health, United States, 2005 is an annual report on trends in health statistics. The report consists of two main sections - a chart book containing text and figures that illustrates major trends in the health of Americans and a trend tables section that contains 156 detailed data tables. The two main components are supplemented by an executive summary, a highlights section, an extensive appendix and reference section, and an index. The trend and chart book tables and chart book figures are available at

Five-City Panel Study on Walking
To test the effectiveness of its walking campaign, AARP, in collaboration with ICR/International Communications Research, designed both a population-level and an individual-level evaluation across five southern U. S. cities with similar socio-economic characteristics, including Richmond, VA one of the two Active for Life® demonstration sites. The four additional sites served to test the effectiveness of different elements of a walking program: media only (Raleigh), media with step-counters (Columbia), media with peer support (Little Rock), and media with both step-counters and peer support (Montgomery). The reports focus on the population-level research and highlight changes over time in knowledge, attitudes, awareness, and behavior concerning walking and other physical activity among respondents in the five surveyed cities. For details see

The Value of Branding
Learning from the “Big Dogs” - not-for-profit associations and government agencies don’t live in the $300 billion marketing world of consumer goods but there are concepts that might be learned from consumer goods branding.

Check out Frances Kelly III and Barry Silverstein’s new book, “The Breakaway Brand”, to see how Nike got to be such a stand-out in a crowded marketplace, and how JetBlue and Apple have risen above the fray through effective branding. The book is published by McGraw-Hill.

In the News

Low-level Exercise Delays Heart Failure
While exercise generally protects the normal heart from cardiovascular disease, will exercise potentially improve the prognosis of patents with heart disease, or will it place further demand on an already over-stressed myocardium? The paper, Low-intensity Exercise Training Delays the Onset of Decompensated Heart Failure in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Heart Failure Rat, appears in the November edition of the American Physiological Society’s American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. For details see

Worksite Health Programs Are Good Business Investment
According to an article in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, employers who invest in worksite health promotion plans can see a return of $3 to $6 for each dollar invested in the program over a two to five year period. For more information, go to

Exercise of Brains and Bodies May Improve Memory
Research released recently at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's Annual Meeting found that older Americans may improve their memory by making simple lifestyle changes including memory exercises, physical fitness, healthy eating and stress reduction. The study was conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study was the first to test the impact of combining memory exercises and stress reduction with a healthy diet and exercise to improve memory.

Proceedings of the Aging Americans: Impacts on Ecology and the Environment
The EPA presents the transcripts and findings of the Proceedings of Aging Americans: Impacts on Ecology and Environmental Quality Workshop (8/10-12/04.) The report includes research on the exposure of humans and ecosystems to various pollutants, the extent of the exposure, and the health and ecological effects from such exposure. For a copy, go to

Funding Opportunities

Healthy Eating Research
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the launch of Healthy Eating Research, an $11 million national program to support research to identify, analyze and evaluate environmental and policy strategies that can promote healthy eating and prevent obesity among children. The program is directed by Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D., professor of epidemiology and community health in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health. The program's first Call for Proposals focuses on school food policies and environments and is available at A news release announcing the program is available at For more information, please visit

Community-Responsive Interventions to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in American Indians and Alaska Natives
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute invites applications for cooperative agreements to conduct five-year studies in American Indian/Alaskan Native communities to test the effectiveness of behavioral interventions to promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles and/or improve behaviors related to cardiovascular risk, such as weight reduction, regular physical activity, and smoking cessation.
Deadline for applications is March 10, 2006.

For information go to


Meet Our PartnersNPO Contact Info
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Phone: 979-458-4202
Fax: 979-458-4264

Active for Life National Program Office | SRPH Building | 1266 TAMU | College Station, TX 77843-1266
Phone: 979-458-4202 | Fax: 979-458-4264 | Email: