the Active for Life Program Office
Tactics and Tools
Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced
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the Active for Life® National Program Office
States Summit for State Legislators
Active for Life® was highlighted as a model
program at the Healthy States Summit for State Legislatures
meeting sponsored by the Council of State Governments. The
meeting took place in San Francisco on July 18-19. Marcia
Ory, Ph.D., MPH, director of Active for Life®,
participated in the symposium on healthy aging and summarized
AFL findings and implications for future practice and policy
Healthy Places Act
The Healthy Places Act of 2006 (S.2506/H.R.5088) brings
together all levels of government to address environmental
health issues by:
supporting health impact assessment programs to proactively
examine the potential health effects of major policy or
Creating a grant
program to assist states and local communities to address
environmental health hazards, particularly those that
contribute to health disparities, and
on the relationship between the built environment and
health, as recommended by two Institute of Medicine reports.
Go to http://thomas.loc.gov/
to view the bill and status.
Update on Older Americans
The Older Americans Act authorizes the Administration on
Aging within the Department of Health and Human Services,
which coordinates federal programs and activities to meet
the needs of older Americans. Since 1965, the Older Americans
Act has funded transportation, nutrition (such as the Meals
on Wheels home delivery meal program), and referral to home
care, health, and other social services.
On June 21, the U.S. House of Representatives
unanimously approved the Senior Independence Act, which
reauthorizes and improves services offered under the Older
Americans Act. A complete summary of the bill can be found
The Senate Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions Committee approved its version (S. 3570) of
the Older Americans Act reauthorization on June 29. Unlike
the House bill, the Senate legislation would not require
that 30 percent of Title V Senior Community Service Employment
participants must be placed in non-subsidized jobs outside
of the community services sector within five years.
Further action is expected to take
place in a joint committee.
Active Living Research Abstracts
Active Living Research invites abstracts to be considered
for presentation at the 2007 Annual Conference on February
22-24, 2007 in Coronado, CA. Abstracts are welcome on all
topics related to active living policies and environments.
The theme of the 2007 Conference is Active Living in Diverse
and Disadvantaged Communities, and abstracts related to
the theme are particularly encouraged. For details see http://www.activelivingresearch.org/index.php/Call_for_Abstracts_2007/389.
National Association of Area
Agencies of Aging (N4A) Annual Conference, August
6-10, 2006, Chicago, IL. For information go to http://www.n4a.org/2006conf/chicago2006.cfm.
Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference,
September 5-8, 2006, Madison, WI. Sponsored by the National
Center for Bicycling & Walking, the theme is Making
Connections. For information, go to http://www.bikewalk.org/conference/index.html.
2006 National Health Promotion
Conference, September 12-14, 2006, Atlanta, GA.
Presented by CDC's Coordinating Center for Health Promotion,
the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health
Promotion, the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental
Disabilities, and the Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention.
ICAA Regional Meeting in
New York City, September 29, 2006, New York, NY.
This event features active aging industry speakers addressing
trends and ways to build and maintain an age-friendly staff.
To register for this event call 866-335-9777.
Active Aging Week,
the last week of September 2006 (October 1 International
Day of Older Persons). For free professional resources and
more information on how to host an event, click on the following
National Home and Community
Based Services Waiver Conference (in conjunction
with the Minnesota Aging and Disabilities Odyssey), October
1-4, 2006, Minneapolis, MN. For information go to http://www.nasua.org/waiverconference/.
Parks, Recreation, and Public
Health: Collaborative Frameworks for Promoting Physical
Activity, Cooper Institute Series, October 26-28,
2006, Dallas, TX. For information go to http://www.cooperinst.org/conf2006intro.html.
4th Annual ICAA Conference:
Active Aging 2006, November 15-17, 2006, Mandalay
Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. Information is available
Tactics and Tools
Stay Active & Independent
for Life (SAIL)
This is a new resource just released by the Injury and Violence
Prevention Program at the Washington State Department of
Health. The intent of this booklet is to help older adults
prevent falls and fall-related injuries. This publication
provides valuable information and tools on issues related
to falls prevention including setting up an exercise plan
that works; the value of balance and strength exercises;
exercising after illness or injury; managing medications
to reduce fall risk; foot care, footwear, canes and walkers;
and home safety. A falls risk self-assessment is also provided
in the back. This is a great resource for older adults,
as well as for senior service providers and health care
professionals. SAIL is available online at http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/emstrauma/injury/.
Printed pamphlets will be available to order after July
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Outdoor activity should be paired with use of sunscreen.
Many adults may be unsure of the appropriate use of sunscreens.
These tips from the Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource
can be valuable to share with patients and activity program
participants who engage in outdoor activities:
The average adult
requires 1 ounce of sunscreen (about two tablespoons)
for full body coverage.
15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every
one to two hours while outdoors.
Use a sunscreen
that protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet
B (UVB) sun rays. Both can damage the skin.
Select a product
with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. An
SPF of 15 deflects about 93 percent of the UVB rays and
allows a person to remain in the sun 15 times longer than
they normally would before getting burned.
or waterproof qualities are important if a person will
be swimming or perspiring heavily. Water-resistant sunscreen
protects for 40 minutes; waterproof sunscreen for up to
If skin is dry,
choose a cream or lotion sunscreen to increase moisture.
For oily skin, choose an oil-free sunscreen. For sensitive
skin look for a sunscreen that contains only zinc oxide
or titanium dioxide. These ingredients provide a physical
barrier against UV rays rather than chemically absorbing
them, which may be gentler on your skin. Those with rosacea
or eczema should avoid alcohol-based sunscreens.
New Steps to HealthierUS
The Steps to a HealthierUS Cooperative Agreement Program
has announced the launch of a new Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/steps.
This new site is a great place to access the latest information
about the Steps program, including community successes,
partnership activities, and related resources.
Changing Demographic Profile
of the U.S.
The Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress
has released a new report, The Changing Demographic
Profile of the United States. The report notes:
In the next few
years, the U.S. population, currently estimated at 299
million persons, is expected to reach twice its 1950 level
of 152 million. More than just doubling in size, the population
has become qualitatively different from what it was in
The United States
is getting older. Aside from the total size, one of the
most important demographic characteristics of a population
for public policy is its age and gender structure.
The United States
is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, reflecting
the major influence that immigration has had on both the
size and the age structure of the U.S. population. The
report considers the changing profile of the five major
racial groups in the United States.
The study is available at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32701.pdf.
New CDC Report on Health
The CDC has released Recommendations for Future Efforts
in Community Health Promotion Report of the National Expert
Panel on Community Health Promotion. The report outlines
eight recommendations related to:
Promotion of community-based
Focus on wellness
that acknowledges the roles of mental health, spirituality,
and complementary and alternative medicine across the
Promotion of training
and capacity building that supports the public and private
workforce in the area of public health.
Promotion of electronic
mechanisms to facilitate virtual community health promotion.
and funding for community health promotion to focus on
improving living conditions across the lifespan.
impact of federal resources dedicated to community health
improving CDC programs with integrated, long-term, flexible
Any Exercise is Good Exercise
Any kind of exercise will help extend your life, notes findings
from research published in the July 12 issue of the Journal
of the American Medical Association. Commenting on
the study, researcher Todd M. Manini, from the National
Institute on Aging said, “There are plenty of reports
out there saying that self-reported exercise like running
or jogging is beneficial. We wanted to see if just usual
daily activity had a protective value." His team's
six-year study of 302 people between 70 and 82 years of
age found that any sort of energy expenditure through physical
activity was associated with a lower risk of death. The
researchers found that death rates went down as daily energy
expenditure went up. Those in the highest third of daily
energy expenditure had a 69 percent lower risk of dying
than those in the lowest third.
Lifestyle Changes Improve
People may be able to improve their cognitive function and
brain efficiency by making simple lifestyle changes such
as incorporating memory exercises, healthy eating, physical
fitness, and stress reduction into their daily lives, according
to a research study published in the June issue of the American
Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Researcher Gary Small,
M.D., professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences
at UCLA commented, “The UCLA study is the first to
show the impact of memory exercises and stress reduction
used together with a healthy diet and physical exercise
to improve brain and cognitive function.” Researchers
found that after just 14 days following healthy lifestyle
strategies, study participants’ brain metabolism decreased
in working memory regions, suggesting an increased efficiency
– the brain didn’t have to work as hard to accomplish
Healthy Behaviors Linked
to Lower Stroke Risk in Women
Women who are non-smokers, exercise regularly, have a healthy
diet, including moderate alcohol consumption, and otherwise
live a healthy lifestyle may have a reduced risk of stroke,
according to a report in the July 10 issue of Archives
of Internal Medicine.
Several individual risk factors,
including smoking, exercise and body mass index (BMI), have
been linked to stroke. However, in contrast to studies assessing
risk for heart disease and diabetes, researchers have not
previously examined how the combination of these behaviors
may contribute to stroke. Tobias Kurth, M.D., Sc.D., Brigham
and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public
Health, Boston, and colleagues studied the association between
healthy lifestyles and stroke risk in 37,636 women age 45
years or older. In this large prospective cohort of apparently
healthy women, a healthy lifestyle was associated with a
substantial and statistically significant reduction in the
risk of total and ischemic stroke with no apparent benefit
in the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke, the authors conclude.
“Our findings show the importance of healthy behaviors
in the prevention of total and ischemic stroke.”
Regular Exercise Reduces
Risk of Health Decline
Maintaining ideal body weight is important in preventing
decline in overall health and physical functioning. But
regular exercise can reduce the risk of health decline even
among those who cannot achieve ideal weight. As reported
in the recently released Obesity and Overweight Program
regular exercise significantly reduces the risk of health
decline and development of a new physical difficulty, even
among obese individuals. For example, the risk of developing
a new physical difficulty was 17 percent lower for those
who performed vigorous activities less than once per month
to as much as 43 percent lower for those who performed vigorous
activities three or more times per week.
Menopause and Inactivity
Can Accelerate Loss of Muscle and Strength
Menopause and inactivity play a role in the loss of muscle
mass and strength as women age according to research done
at the University of Missouri-Columbia under the direction
of Marybeth Brown, professor of physical therapy. “If
estrogen-deficient women are failing to recover muscle mass
from the bed rest associated with the flu or a hospitalization,
the implications for old age are quite significant,”
said Brown. She added that women can increase muscle mass
through resistance exercise, which will help them to maintain
independence for a longer period of time. Results from the
study suggest that sedentary living combined with bouts
of bed rest may put estrogen deficient women at a very high
risk for losing independence. Aviation, Space, and Environmental
Medicine, July 2006.
Weight Training Plus Aerobic
Activity for Cardiac Rehab
After a major cardiac event such as a heart attack, patients
receive conflicting advice. Some are told not to drive more
than 30 minutes, not to “get exhausted” for
a month, or not to lift more than 25 pounds for a period
of time. These guidelines can be confusing, and promote
fear and inactivity. When physicians prescribe exercise,
it is usually walking or another form of aerobic activity.
Jenny Adams, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at the Baylor
Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, and
her colleagues argue that weight training should be considered,
as well as aerobic activity, for cardiac patients. They
present four main points: 1) Activities of daily living
require more strength than most people realize; 2) Resistance
training improves patients’ quality of life; 3) Resistance
training has been shown to be effective in reducing risk
factors for cardiovascular disease; and 4) Under the supervision
of experienced personnel, resistance training is safe. Their
recommendations are published in the Baylor University
Medical Center Proceedings, July 2006.
The Volunteer Impact Fund,
which is managed by the National Assembly, has issued a
call for concept papers, the best of which may lead to grants
ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. The intent of the Fund,
which is supported by The UPS Foundation, Capital One Financial,
Home Depot, AT&T Foundation and others, is to invest
in cutting edge initiatives that result in increased capacity--in
communities and non-profit organizations--to engage more
volunteers. The call for concepts, including focus areas
and guidelines, can be found at http://www.volunteerimpactfund.org/volunteer/index.html?CFID=349288&CFTOKEN=97411419.
Deadline: August 1.
support to implement evidence-based programs that have proven
to be effective in reducing the risk of disease and disability
among older people. Under this exciting new initiative,
AoA will provide competitive grants to states to establish
evidence-based programs in at least three geographic areas.
These programs will be delivered at the local level through
aging services provider organizations, such as senior centers,
nutrition programs, and faith-based organizations, in coordination
with area agencies on aging and other partners. AoA will
support partnership efforts in 10 to 12 states at up to
$300,000 each year over three years. HHS is providing support
to the Center for Healthy Aging at the National Council
on Aging to provide technical assistance to the state grantees
and local projects. Through a grant of up to $5 million
to the Center for Healthy Aging at the National Council
on Aging, the Atlantic Philanthropies also will provide
additional financial support and technical assistance in
up to five states that show significant potential in developing
systems to reach large numbers of older adults. State Units
on Aging and State Health Departments are eligible to submit
grant applications by August 31. A copy of the Program Announcement
can be found at http://www.aoa.gov/doingbus/fundopp/fundopp.html.
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.
National Gardening Association
24th Annual Youth Garden Grant Program
The National Gardening Association and Home Depot announced
the 24th Annual Youth Garden Grant Program. Schools, youth
groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities,
and intergenerational groups are eligible. Applicants must
plan to garden in 2007 with at least fifteen children between
the ages of three and 18. Applicants should demonstrate
a child-centered plan that emphasizes children/youth learning
and working in an outdoor garden. Each winning program will
receive educational materials from NGA and a gift card (amount
to be determined) from Home Depot. Information is available
Deadline for applications is November 1, 2006.
Balance Bar Invites Applications
for Community Grants
Balance Bar Community Grants provide support to organizations
to pursue physical activities that enrich their members'
lives. The applicant and the majority of beneficiaries of
grant monies must be 18 years or older. Grants are available
to non-profit organizations such as runners’ clubs,
trails conferences, parks and recreation departments, athletics
programs and leagues, or other groups that enhance physical
health while enriching the lives of those in the community.
Organizations can apply for a grant amount ranging from
$1,000 to $25,000. Information is available at http://www.balance.com/grants/GrantTemplate.html?type=2&entryid=2&m=modules/rules.
Deadline for applications is August 30, 2006.
Improving the Quality of
Life of Older Americans
The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF) is committed to
supporting programs that improve the quality of life for
older Americans, and has invested more than $115 million
to help build a network of innovative and skilled individuals
and institutions addressing aging and retirement issues.
Deadline for receipt of requests is August 1, 2006. For
more information, go to the RRF http://www.rrf.org///forapplicants/programguide.html.
College Station, Texas 77843-1266