From the Active for
Life® National Program Office
Facts, Figures and Ideas
Tactics and Tools
Active for Life Annual Grantee Meeting Follow-up
The Active for Life National Program Office hosted
the Third Annual Grantee Meeting October 20-22 in Chicago.
Highlights included discussion of preliminary data that
is being collected related to the nine grantee sites. In
addition, technical assistance sessions addressed topics
such as the AARP AFL Marketing initiative, Active Choices
and Active Living Every Day training, budgeting and communications.
Check out one of the plenary session’s presentations,
Major League PR on a Minor League Budget.
AFL Marketing & Communications Consultant
to speak at Active Aging Conference
Brigid Sanner, marketing consultant to the AFL National
Program Office, is scheduled to make two presentations at
the Active Aging Conference, hosted by the International
Council on Active Aging. Held annually, this event provides
the latest information, techniques, and tools for attendees
to foresee and better serve the health and wellness needs
of older adults. The 2004 conference will be held November
11-13 in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the Athletic
Business Conference and Trade Show. For more information,
go to http://www.icaa.cc.
AFL staff to present at Gerontological Society of America
Active for Life team members will be presenting at
the November meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.
Entitled “Translation of Research to Practice:
Learning to Adapt Programs for Diverse Populations While
Maintaining Program Fidelity,” the presentations
will provide perspectives on challenges of adaptations and
strategies for improving the translation of evidence-based
programs into practice. Panelists include: a grantee, Stacy
Wegley from the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio; a
program developer for Active Living Every Day, Ruth Ann
Carpenter, from The Cooper Institute; Sara Wilcox, director
of the evaluation team from University of South Carolina;
and Diane Dowdy from the AFL National Program Office located
at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
School of Rural Public Health. Robin Mockenhaupt from The
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will function as moderator
for the session and Nancy Whitelaw, with the National Council
on Aging, will be the discussant, addressing this issue
within the broader context of prevention for older adults.
- November 5-7, 2004. Society for
Public Health Education (SOPHE), Promoting Monumental
Change in Washington D.C. This conference will prepare
the health education workforce to better use its power
and influence in cultivating individual and system changes
that can lead to monumental changes in the public’s
health. For more information see http://www.sophe.org.
- November 6-10, 2004. The American
Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting &
Exposition. Public Health and the Environment,
the theme for this year’s meeting, reflects the
profound impact environmental factors have on the health
of the public. The APHA Annual Meeting will focus on the
role of public health in addressing environmental issues,
sustaining healthy environments and enhancing research,
public awareness, prevention and treatment of disease
caused or exacerbated by environmental factors. For more
information go to http://www.apha.org/meetings/highlights.htm.
- November 11-13, 2004. Active Aging
2004: Catching the Wave will feature the latest market
research on the mature population, educational workshops
and special events. The conference is sponsored by the
International Council on Active Aging in conjunction with
Athletic Business, one of the athletic, recreation and
fitness industry’s largest conference providers.
For more information, go to http://www.icaa.cc/convention/conventionmain.htm.
- November 19 - 23, 2004. 57th Annual
Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.
The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting is "Promoting
the Health of an Aging Population.” The meeting
is organized to foster interdisciplinary interactions
among gerontological health care clinical, administrative,
and research professionals. In addition to the core scientific
sessions, pre-conference workshop and poster sessions
will be presented which will encourage and stimulate diverse
viewpoints in geriatric health, research, and economics.
For more information, visit the GSA Web site at http://www.eshow2000.com/geron/about_the_meeting.cfm.
- February 16-20, 2005. Preventive
Medicine 2005. American College of Preventive Medicine.
To be held in Washington, D.C. DC will serve as a national
forum for physicians and healthcare professionals with
an interest in preventive medicine. http://www.preventivemedicine2005.org
Facts, Figures and Ideas
Older Adult Perspectives
on Physical Activity and Exercise: Voices From Multiple
Although the health benefits of physical activity are documented,
older adults are less physically active than any other age
group. The results of a study recently published in Preventing
Chronic Disease, an on-line CDC journal, sought to examine
barriers and facilitators to physical activity and exercise
among underserved, ethnically diverse older adults. Seventy-one
older adults were recruited through community agencies to
participate in seven ethnic-specific focus groups: American
Indian/Alaska Native, African American, Filipino, Chinese,
Latino, Korean, and Vietnamese. Suggested features of physical
activity programs to enhance participation among ethnically
diverse minority older adults included fostering relationships
among participants; providing culture-specific exercise;
offering programs at residential sites; partnering with
and offering classes prior to or after social service programs;
educating families about the importance of physical activity
for older adults and ways they could help; offering low-
or no-cost classes; and involving older adults in program
development. Walking was the exercise of choice across all
ethnic groups. Health served as both a motivator and a barrier
to physical activity. Other factors influencing physical
activity were weather, transportation, and personal safety.
For more information see http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2004/oct/04_0028.htm.
Tips, Tactics and Tools
Your Heart, Your Life Website
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Your Heart,
Your Life Web site is now live. Join Angela, a virtual
lay health educator, as she teaches Web site visitors how
they can reduce their risk of heart disease with physical
activity. Free downloadable handouts, picture cards, session
outlines, etc. are available for lay and professional health
educators. The Web site, in English or Spanish, targets
Latinos but can be used by a wide audience. Visit http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/salud/pa/index.htm.
Aging Boomers to Alter Nation's Landscape
As America's population continues to mature, states must
prepare for unprecedented challenges while looking for new
ways to meet the evolving needs of their seniors, according
to a new report released by the National Governors Association
(NGA) Center for Best Practices.
The report, Measuring the Years: State Aging Trends and
Indicators, is the latest NGA publication to focus attention
on the far-reaching effects of an aging America. By identifying
critical issues affecting today's seniors, the report presents
information state policymakers can use to better prepare
states for the future.
"As the baby boom generation continues to gray, the
nation is facing a dramatic and unprecedented demographic
shift," said NGA Center for Best Practices Director
John Thomasian. "The trends illustrated in this book
are helping states prepare for this seismic shift."
Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults
National Health Interview Survey data show that only 11
percent of older adults meet strength training recommendations.
The vast majority are missing opportunities to improve their
health through strength training.
A web-based exercise program based on sound scientific research
involving strengthening exercises offers an easy-to-use,
home-based strength training manual and program and requires
inexpensive equipment. The program has been shown to increase
muscle strength, maintain bone integrity, and improve balance,
coordination, and mobility. The program was developed in
collaboration with Tufts University. Go to http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/growing_stronger/index.htm
for more information.
American Council on Exercise Video: Guide to Resistance
Training for Older Adults
This 26-minute video can serve as a stand-alone instructional
aid or work in partnership with the Exercise for Older Adults
textbook. The video illustrates effective resistance-training
programming, from the importance of strength training to
the special considerations that should be taken into account
when designing strength-training programs for older adults.
Exercise for Older Adults is a source of essential information
for providing safe and effective fitness programming. Topics
range from the physiology of aging to techniques and tools
for motivating and communicating with this growing population.
Specific exercises suitable for older adults are also offered.
For more information see http://www.acefitness.org
White House Conference on Aging Website
The White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) recently unveiled
its Web site, http://www.whcoa.gov,
which houses an array of information about the planning
and progress of 2005 White House Conference on Aging. The
WHCOA's Web site will provide information about the Conference,
which is scheduled to take place on October 23-26, 2005
in Washington, D.C. Included on the site will be results
of Policy Committee meetings including the development of
the Conference agenda, topic areas and the delegate selection,
as well as important regional, state and local information
related to the Conference.
In the News
Bones, Beautiful Bones
"Osteoporosis isn't just your grandmother's disease.
We all need to take better care of our bones," says
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.
"The good news is that you are never too old or too
young to improve your bone health. With healthy nutrition,
physical activity every day, and regular medical check-ups
and screenings, Americans of all ages can have strong bones
and live longer, healthier lives.” According to a
new report, Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the
Surgeon General, ten million Americans over the age of 50
have osteoporosis, the most common bone disease, while another
34 million are at risk for developing osteoporosis. And
each year, roughly 1.5 million people suffer a bone fracture
related to osteoporosis.
The Surgeon General's report is a call for Americans to
take action to improve and maintain healthy bones. The report
includes recommendations on what Americans can do to decrease
the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. For more information
Proven Formula for a Longer and Healthier Life
Recent scientific studies confirm that people ages 70 to
90 live longer if they
- Follow a Mediterranean-style diet
rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts,
and olive oil, and regular small amounts of fish and poultry;
- Get regular exercise;
- Consume a moderate amount of alcohol
(Mediterranean-style would be wine with meals—one
to two glasses per day for men and one glass per day for
- Not smoke.
Following these four lifestyle habits
can lower their risk of death in the next 10 years by over
50 percent. Making these lifestyle choices can improve the
health and longevity of adults of all ages.
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, Sept.
Health Care Costs Related
to Physical Activity and Body Mass Index (BMI)
To examine health care costs' relationship to physical activity
and body mass index (BMI), 23,490 active working adults
were grouped into one of three weight groups: normal, overweight
and obese. Lack of physical activity and high BMI were both
associated with higher health care costs. Sedentary employees
paid $285 and $221 more for health care than moderately
active and very active employees respectively. Sedentary,
obese employees paid $499 more than moderately active, obese
employees. It is estimated that if employees in the sedentary
obese group participated in physical activity 1 to 2 times
per week, maximum health care savings would be $790,326
per year. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine;46(5):428-36,
Physical Activity for Special Populations
The September/October issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation
Research and Development (Volume 41, Issue 5) focuses on
the benefits of exercise for aging adults and people with
disabilities, wound healing, rehabilitation effectiveness,
speech recognition systems, low vision programs and other
topics. The articles are free online at: http://www.vard.org/jour/04/41/5/contents.html.
Old age "treated like an illness"
Stereotypes of older people as problematically sick and
vulnerable, heroically young and active, or just comically
grumpy are major barriers that prevent their real needs
from being heard or acted upon, according to a report from
one of the largest British social policy research and development
charities. Furthermore, states the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's
(JRF) report, professional attitudes that treat old age
as if it were "an illness for which there is no cure"
are no less damaging. Based on a four-year research program
overseen by a steering group of older people, the JRF report
draws on the findings from 18 different research projects.
The document carries a central message that older people
must be involved in planning the policies and services that
affect them to make an enduring contribution to improving
the quality of life in old age. In addition, the research
program suggests that older people themselves can often
make the biggest difference to each other's quality of life.
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