The School of Rural Public Health at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center                          Funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Return to AFL home page Contact Us Site Map Search the AFL website
Active for Life - Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older!
Search AFL
Learning Network
Tools & Tips
Helpful Links
Funding Opportunities
Upcoming Events
Reports and Papers
Communication &
 Marketing Updates

Marketing Facts
Site Map
Past E-Newsletters

From the Active for Life® National Program Office
July 2004

Previous Newsletters

Staying ActiveMarketing Facts, Figures and Ideas
In the News
Tips, Tactics and Tools
Grants and Available Resources

Marcia Ory Named LaTrobe Fellow

AFL Director Marcia Ory, Ph.D. was recently awarded a distinguished fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Studies at Australia’s LaTrobe University/Melbourne University. During a recent visit to LaTrobe, Dr. Ory gave an address on “Challenging Aging Stereotypes.” She also spoke to Australian government workers about policies and programs to encourage more activity in later life. In addition, she spent time in a rural community to assess what rural health service providers in Australia can do to promote active living.

Collaborative Relationship Considerations

Most professionals who work in the not-for-profit field encounter and/or cultivate opportunities to partner with other organizations. These relationships can be with both profit and not-for-profit entities. The following questions should be considered before making a commitment to another organization.

1. What are your organization’s expectations of the partnership?

2. Will the proposed activity or relationship support your organization’s mission?

3. Will the proposed activity, and/or proposed relationship, promote a strategic objective of your organization?

4. Are the programs, products and/or services of the proposed partner in line with your organization’s mission and image?

5. Are your independence, objectivity, and credibility fully protected?

6. Why does the proposed partner want to work with you? What do they expect from the relationship and are you able to meet their needs and expectations?

7. Is the proposed partner one with which you would be proud to be publicly associated?

8. What roles will the proposed partner play in the relationship and what roles will you play (design, marketing, execution, evaluation, publicity, etc.)?

9. How will decisions be made and how will disputes be settled?

10. What is the time span for the relationship?

Partnerships and collaborative relationships are an excellent, proven means to expand, influence and deliver programs to broader audiences and when carefully planned, they can benefit all partners and yield positive results.


Tangible Rewards May Spur Health Behavior Changes

Trying to persuade patients to lose weight, stop smoking or improve their lifestyles in some other way? Don't just appeal to their common sense. Appeal to their wallets. That's the decidedly pragmatic philosophy behind several initiatives now being sponsored by insurance companies, employers and at least one physician. The programs all share the assumption that patients can be motivated to break entrenched unhealthy habits if offered tangible rewards including cash, discounts and rebates. See for more details.

Sticking to It - Make Activity Part of Daily Routine

Professionals who work with mid-life and older adults know a major challenge people face is maintaining the motivation to stick with a physical activity program. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently polled adults on their number one way to stay motivated. Making exercise a part of their daily routine was the top choice – selected by 42 percent of respondents. Other responses: 31 percent said they stay motivated by reminding themselves how good they feel after exercise, 13 percent said a desire to get in shape for summer or a special event, 7 percent said asking friends to exercise with them, and 7 percent said working with a personal trainer. People are motivated by many different things. When working with mature adults, it is useful to identify their motivations, and work with those issues. For more information, see

Health Care Professionals Are Channel to Reach Seniors

More than 42 percent of adults age 45 to 64 visit a health care professional one to three times annually and 25.7 percent make four to nine health care visits each year. For those who are 65 and older, more than 92 percent will visit a health care professional at least one time each year. Research tells us that health care professionals, especially physicians, play a significant role in motivating older adults to be more physically active. Community health professionals and communications professionals should explore opportunities to work with health clinics, practice groups and physicians’ offices to deliver information and resources related to how mature adults might increase their activity.

Health care visits to doctor's offices, emergency departments and home visits within the past 12 months.
Based on the National Center for Health Statistics, 2002.

Number of health care visits
No visits
1-3 Visits
4-9 Visits
10 or more visits
All persons
18 - 44 Years
45 - 64 years
65 years and older

Chronic Conditions Have Major Impact on Older Workers

Chronic Conditions Affect Millions of WorkersSome 58 million adults (34 percent) age 18 to 65 have at least one chronic condition and 19 million adults (11 percent) have two or more chronic conditions. As the baby boom generation ages, both the growth in the number of older workers and the number of workers with chronic conditions will likely increase. It is estimated that by the year 2020, half of the U.S. population will have at least one chronic condition and one-quarter will be living with multiple chronic conditions. In addition, 35 percent of workers report that they have provided care for a family member 65 years of age or older in the past year. Family members who need care may be any age, although older adults are more likely to be affected with chronic conditions. Regardless of the age of the person who needs care, caregivers' concerns and needs in the workplace may be similar. Labor productivity is affected when people leave the workforce, reduce work hours, or take a temporary leave of absence to care for chronically ill family members. For information on chronic illness in the workplace see the Center on an Aging Society Issue Brief


Study Supports Weight Loss Plus Exercise for Knee Pain

Recently, a research team set out to determine the effectiveness of a combination of long-term exercise and a healthy, calorie-restricted diet for overweight patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) in comparison to exercise only, calorie-restricted diet only, and healthy lifestyle control groups. At the trial's end, participants in the diet-plus-exercise group showed the most significant improvement in physical function and it was the only group that was significantly different from the control group. According to the standard clinical survey, patients who combined modest weight loss with moderate exercise had an average gain of 24 percent in their ability to perform daily activities, accompanied by reduction in morning stiffness. For more information see

Everyday Choices Program Launched

The American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association announced a joint initiative to empower Americans to help lower their risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke by following a single set of recommendations.

This is the first time the three organizations have joined together to provide unified health recommendations for the public and joint screening advice for physicians.

"Poor diet, excess body weight, physical inactivity and smoking are modifiable risk factors that contribute to the premature death of close to 1.5 million Americans from cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke each year," said Augustus O. Grant, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, president of the American Heart Association. "We named our campaign 'Everyday Choices For A Healthier Life' because many people may not know there are choices they can make every day to protect themselves from all of these diseases." For information see the Everyday Choices Web site

It Is Essential to Replace Lost Fluids When Exercising

The body’s demand for water is high. Approximately 60 percent of the entire human body is water and approximately 70 percent of our muscles are water. People lose fluids by sweat and urine at different rates due to body mass, metabolic rate, core temperature and the air temperature and humidity. Regular tap water is great for meeting hydration needs says the American Council on Exercise. The basic recommendation is to use plain water for any exercise activity lasting up to 60 minutes. An exercise activity exceeding 60 minutes should include water and a carbohydrate source. Research has shown that after 60-90 minutes of continuous aerobic activity, most of the body’s store of glucose is depleted. Sports drinks should be the beverage of choice for activities exceeding one hour in order to provide both a carbohydrate source for energy and adequate hydration. For more information on hydration see

Good Medicine

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, those chemicals in the brain that induce feelings of euphoria. A good giggle can also suppress the production of cortisol, a hormone released when you’re under stress and one that can influence blood pressure causing your body to retain salt. Laughter is nonfattening, contagious, and engaging in it frequently will contribute to a nicer world.

Source: Be Happy, Be Healthy, United Health Foundation,


Jazzercise & ICAA gear up for Active Aging Week

Jazzercise, Inc. and the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) are gearing up for the second annual Active Aging Week, September 27-October 3, 2004. Team up with Jazzercise instructors to offer free Jazzercise Lite fitness classes, a light version of the original Jazzercise program. Check out the official Active Aging Week website,, for support to those who want to participate in the weeklong program, matching interested facilities with Jazzercise instructors and providing educational materials for use with older adults.

Information on Technologies for Health Professionals in Long-Term Care Settings

Technology for Long Term Care is the result of a research project initiative by HHS to address barriers to bringing new technologies into residential care settings. Polisher Research Institute and IDEAS, Inc. constructed this Web site,, under contract with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS. The Web site was created to provide ready access to information on technologies that can help provide higher quality care for the elderly and the disabled. It will be especially useful for professionals in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, board and care facilities, adult day care facilities, and continuing care retirement communities. Extensive input was received from long-term care service providers, researchers, and state and federal officials to maximize its use and benefits.


Additional Steps to a HealthierUS Funding to be Made Available

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will fund additional Steps Communities in FY 2004 through the Steps to a HealthierUS Cooperative Agreement program. Awards will be provided to large city/urban communities, state-coordinated small city/rural communities, and tribal consortiums. Stay tuned to the HealthierUS Web site for updates and more specific information. This initiative is to create healthier communities by improving the lives of Americans across the lifespan. Eligible applicants include large city/urban communities, state-coordinated small city/rural communities, and tribal consortiums. The program will support community-wide projects that enable persons to adopt healthy lifestyles that contribute directly to the prevention, delay, and management of diabetes, asthma, and obesity including projects focused on physical activity, nutrition and chronic disease self-management. The program provides partnership opportunities for a wide variety of agencies and organizations to work together at the community level to promote health and prevent chronic disease.

RWJF to Fund Second Cycle of Active Living Research

Active Living Research (formerly Active Living Policy and Environmental Studies), a $12.5 million program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was created to stimulate and support research that identifies environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity. (Findings are expected to inform environmental and policy changes that will promote active living among Americans.) The program seeks proposals that describe research designed to improve understanding of the environmental and policy correlates of physical activity in one or more of the following population subgroups: children and adolescents; low-income and ethnic minority groups; older adults; people with physical challenges; and residents of rural areas. Proposals must address one of the following topics: environmental characteristics and physical activity in under-studied populations or the impact of changes in community environments or policies on physical activity. Visit the above link for more information or applications.

RYKA Women's Fitness Grant

The Women's Sports Foundation and athletic footwear company RYKA have joined together to provide grants to organizations and programs that enhance women's lives through health and fitness. The RYKA Women's Fitness Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to fitness programs that combine fitness activities and health education to empower and enhance the self-esteem of women aged 25 and older, including those recovering from health and/or emotional challenges. Proposals must demonstrate that the grantee will conduct education programs, produce educational materials, provide fitness participation opportunities, or provide other services that increase women's participation in fitness activities. Programs must primarily serve women aged 25 and over. The program will award one $10,000 grant and eight $5,000 grants. Information is available at

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®.

Not a subscriber? To sign up for this free monthly electronic newsletter, send an e-mail to with this message in the body of the e-mail: subscribe AFL E-Newsletter Update your first name your last name.

If you would prefer to NOT receive the AFL E-Newsletter Update, send an e-mail to with this message in the body of the e-mail: unsubscribe AFL E-Newsletter Update with your first and last name.


Meet Our PartnersNPO Contact Info

SRPH Building
1266 TAMU
College Station, Texas

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: