From the Active for
Life® National Program Office
Facts, Figures and Ideas
Tactics and Tools
Active for Life NPO joins You Can! Steps to Healthier
The Active for Life National
Program Office has become a partner in You Can! Steps
to Healthier Aging, a national outreach campaign designed
to increase the number of older adults who are active and
healthy by encouraging them to eat better and move more.
The U.S. Administration on Aging’s (AoA) campaign
is the aging component of the Department of Health and Human
Services’ (HHS) Steps to a HealthierUS Initiative.
It is taking direct aim at the rising epidemic of chronic
disease and obesity among Americans of all ages, including
older adults. The You Can! Web site at http://www.aoa.gov/youcan
offers valuable information about You Can! resources
around the country.
Active Living Every Day Tested
with Adults with Arthritis
To study the effectiveness of the
Active Living Every Day course among people with
arthritis, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently
awarded a $150,000 one-year grant to the Thurston Arthritis
Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Arthritis sufferers usually benefit from increased physical
activity, but they are often intimidated by traditional
fitness programs. Dr. Jennie Hootman of the CDC believes
that Active Living Every Day’s emphasis on
gradual lifestyle change, brief activity interspersed throughout
the day, and applicability to all fitness levels will appeal
to people with arthritis. Active Living Every Day
is one of the two Active for Life interventions being
tested with mid-life and older adults.
AFL Director Speaks at Cooper
Marcia Ory, Ph.D., director of the
Active for Life National Program Office will be on
a panel of speakers addressing “Special Audience Issues
in Diffusion and Dissemination of Physical Activity”
at the Cooper Institute Conference in Dallas, Texas October
21-23. Three Active for Life posters submitted by the evaluation
team have also been accepted.
Meetings of Interest
- October 19-22, 2004. Active
for Life Third Annual Grantee Meeting. Active for
Life will hold its annual grantee meeting at the Hyatt
Regency Chicago in Chicago, IL this year. Visit the AFL
Web site for further information at http://www.activeforlife.info.
- October 21-23, 2004. Diffusion
and Dissemination: Increasing Physical Activity in World
Populations. Cooper Institute Conference Center. For
more information see http://www.cooperinst.org/sciconf.html.
- October 26-28, 2004. Steps
to a Healthier US Workforce: Integrating Promotion and
Protection. The National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH) within the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and co-sponsors will convene at
a three-day symposium to launch a new initiative, "Steps
to a Healthier US Workforce," aimed at integrating
individual worker health and healthy lifestyle promotion
with the mission of protecting and improving working conditions
and the work environment. The symposium will be held at
the Cafritz Center on the campus of George Washington
University in Washington, DC. For more information see
- 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://
- 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.
Facts, Figures and Ideas
Prevention Communication Research
The U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services' (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Health
Promotion (ODPHP) has launched a new online database providing
access to Federally sponsored audience research reports
on key prevention topics. The Prevention Communication Research
Database (PCRD) at http://www.health.gov/communication
is the first searchable collection of audience research
conducted or sponsored by HHS agencies. Program planners
and health communication specialists at the federal, state,
and local levels can use this database to find recent HHS-funded
audience research studies, shape audience research design
and/or proposals, improve understanding of intended audiences,
and maximize resources by decreasing or eliminating the
need to conduct similar research studies
Consumer Product Marketing
According to AARP, Americans age 50
and older account for half of all consumer spending in the
United States, but are targeted by just 10 percent of marketing
dollars. The dynamic is particularly potent in television,
where programming is geared toward 18-34 year olds because
advertisers will pay more to reach those viewers. (From
“As boomers are seniors, ageism is a hot topic,”
by David Crary, Associated Press writer. August 31, 2004)
Physical Activity in the Workplace
According to an August 19, 2004 BenefitNews.com
QuickPoll, more than one-third of respondents would describe
the physical health of their workforce as somewhat unhealthy
(31%) or unhealthy (6%). Another QuickPoll on September
7, 2004 indicated that 76% of respondents do not provide
workplace fitness programs. See http://www.benefitnews.com.
Tactics and Tools
Su Corazón, su Vida /
Your Heart Your Life
A new program from the National Heart
Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) called Physical Activity:
Your Heart Your Life: A Lay Health Educator's Program
has just gone live on the NHLBI Web site http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/salud/pa/learning.htm.
The program is an outgrowth of the popular Su Corazón,
su Vida, a comprehensive community-based heart-health promotion
initiative from the NHLBI. Su Corazón, su
Vida targets Latinos and is designed to promote lifestyle
changes to reduce the chances of developing heart disease.
The program allows people to interact with Angela, a “virtual”
lay health educator - to learn how making some simple lifestyle
changes can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Angela teaches by using interactive quizzes, offering visitors
a downloadable set of stretching exercises, and even suggesting
a sample walking program. A Spanish language version of
the program is available at http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/salud/pa/indexsp.htm.
For lay health educators, a virtual trainer of trainers,
named Doña Fela, will help educators learn how to
personally and confidently approach members of the Latino
community with the same information contained in the online
program for the public. The program is at http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/salud/pa/teaching.htm.
Walking Events Popular in Autumn
With the cooler weather many organizations
sponsor community-based walking events. Participation in
these events can be a realistic goal for many older adults,
since the walk routes are often set for one to three miles.
Events include American Heart Walk (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2281),
America’s Walk for Diabetes (http://walk.diabetes.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AWD_homepage),
and the Komen Race for the Cure (http://www.komen.org/Events/find_race.html?nodeID=356).
CDC Database of Qualitative Research
The Inventory of Qualitative Research
Web site provides information about qualitative studies
conducted in the nutrition and physical activity areas.
The search information can help organizations contact others
who are conducting similar studies, exchange ideas about
research findings and potential intervention strategies,
and share research instruments and tools.
American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Tips to Improve Workouts
Finding or making time to exercise is the first step
toward improving health, but it’s not the only step.
Workouts can be challenging and mistakes in the gym are
common. At times, these mistakes can cause mild strains
or more significant injuries. ACE shares ten tips to help
individuals stay safe during their workouts. For the complete
article see http://www.acefitness.org/media/media_display.cfm?NewsID=195
1. A short workout is better than
2. Include strength training programs.
3. Use good form.
4. Gradual progression is important.
5. Add variety to workouts.
6. Adjust machines to body size.
7. Focus on the workout.
8. Cool down after exercise.
9. Practice fitness center etiquette.
10. Set realistic goals.
Generations United for Environmental
Awareness and Action
Generations United has released a
preliminary report with strategies for bringing children,
youth, and older adults together to explore, study, and
work to improve the natural environment. Generations United
for Environmental Awareness and Action is based on an extensive
study conducted with people who lead innovative intergenerational
Visit the Generations United Web site
for more information.
Researchers Examine Men’s Health,
Explaining Statistics, Making Recommendations
In its latest publication, “Promoting
Men’s Health: Addressing Barriers to Healthy Lifestyle
and Preventative Health Care,” the International Longevity
Center (ILC-USA) has identified gender as a significant
factor influencing public health.
“It is unfortunate that many
men feel that it is unmanly to maintain a regular relationship
with their doctor,” said Robert N. Butler, M.D., ILC
president and CEO. “Our culture has taught men that
they should stifle their pains, deny their symptoms and
wait as long as possible before visiting a doctor.”
Go to http://www.ilcusa.org/_lib/pdf/menshealthrelease.pdf
for the complete release.
E-mail Consultations Could Improve
Greater use of e-mail for consultations
between doctors and patients could be beneficial, according
to researchers in the United Kingdom. Investigators from
the Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh
looked at the extent of e-mail consultations occurring and
measured the opinions of physicians and patients on the
effectiveness of these consultations. The researchers found
a considerable number of advantages to increasing the use
of e-mail, including time savings for both patient and doctor.
In addition, e-mail reduced the need for face-to-face consultations,
particularly when managing long-term problems such as weight
loss or diabetes. Other benefits included improved access
to care for those with physical disabilities or living in
remote areas, better opportunities for information sharing,
and the chance of more speedy communications. Many of these
advantages could potentially lead to financial savings through
the more efficient use of a doctor's time. For more information
see the British Medical Journal 2004; 329: 435-438.
How Active Are Adults with Arthritis?
In telephone interviews with community-dwelling
adults, data showed that 23 percent reported having doctor-diagnosed
arthritis. Among these participants, more than 60 percent
did not meet the recommended frequency or duration of physical
activity. Nearly 24 percent were not physically active at
all. For more information on this Research Update
from the Arthritis Foundation see http://www.arthritis.org/research/researchupdate/04march_april/active.html
Short Bursts of Exercise Reduce
Blood Fats after Meals
In people who do not exercise regularly,
30 minutes of moderate exercise accumulated in intermittent,
ten-minute bouts of activity lower fat and triglyceride
levels in the bloodstream after eating, a new study concludes.
Interestingly, 30 minutes of continuous exercise does not
have the same beneficial effect. Eighteen inactive adults
with normal lipid profiles ate a high-fat meal after jogging
on a treadmill in continuous and intermittent bouts. The
research team from the University of Missouri and Southwest
Missouri State University (SMSU) in Springfield believe
intermittent exercise may lower blood fats due to a slight
potential increase in metabolism after each short exercise
"People who cannot exercise for
long durations due to low fitness levels or busy lifestyles
don't have to sit still and wait for a heart attack,"
says study author Thomas S. Altena, Ed.D., of SMSU. "If
we can encourage people to be active and accumulate at least
30 minutes of exercise in ten-minute bouts each day, it
will have a positive effect on health overall, and more
specifically, on the amount of fat in the bloodstream."
For more information see SOURCE: Medicine & Science
in Sports & Exercise 2004;36:1364-1371.
Exercise Offers Significant Protection
Against Age-related Declining Effects
Regular exercise can offer significant
protection against common age-related problems, such as
trouble climbing stairs or walking without pain, even among
the obese, according to a study of almost 8,000 adults age
51-61. Researchers interviewed participants about their
activity level and their onset of physical disabilities
and found that those who exercised regularly, whether through
an organized exercise program or vigorous housework, were
much less likely to suffer increased immobility as they
aged. While being overweight or obese increased study participants
risk for physical decline, regular exercise provided protection
against that decline for adults, even if they were obese.
The study authors said maintaining a healthy weight is the
best protection against physical deterioration, but people
of all weights can help avoid age-related problems through
regular exercise. From “Body Mass Index, Physical
Activity, and the Risk of Decline in Overall Health and
Physical Functioning in Late Middle Age,” Journal
of Public Health, the journal of the American Public
Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced
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