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

Active for Life® Annual Grantee Meeting

Representatives from the 12 Active for Life® grantee sites, along with the National Program Office and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation staff, the evaluation team from the University of South Carolina, and members of the RE-AIM project, will meet September 7-9 in San Diego, CA for the annual Active for Life® grantee meeting. The participants will focus on issues related to measurements of success, marketing, and sustainability.

Presentation at ACSM

Preliminary pilot results from Active for Life® were presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Nashville, TN in June 2005. Initial results from participants indicate that increases in physical activity in sedentary adults 50 and older is positively associated with increases in quality of life.

Briefing on Capital Hill Highlights Active Aging Week

The Active for Life® National Program Office (NPO) will be involved in a Capitol Hill Briefing of the Congressional Fitness Caucus on September 29th, as part of the NPO’s recognition of Active Aging Week (September 25 – October 1.) Representatives of the NPO will share information with the nation’s lawmakers about the importance of physical activity for older adults. Risa Lavizza-Mourey, M.D., president of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® (RWJF) will join AFL director Marcia Ory, Ph.D. and National Blueprint program director Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D. in the briefing, which is an activity of the AFL Connect initiative, funded by RWJF.

Upcoming Events

American Society on Aging Autumn Series. September 12-15, 2005 in Philadelphia and September 26-29, 2005 in San Francisco. Regional training for professionals who work with older adults, their caregivers, and their families. Intensives focusing on health promotion include the following:

  • Holistic Health for Lifelong Wellness (both coasts)
  • Brain Health Across the Lifespan (East Coast only)
  • Diabetes: At the HEART of the Matter (East Coast only)
  • What's Hot in Health Promotion Today (West Coast only)
  • Diabetes Care in Older Adults (West Coast only)
  • Use It and You May Not Lose It: Breakthroughs for Healthy Aging of the Brain (West Coast only)

For more details and an online registration form, visit
Take A Loved One to the Doctor Day. September 20, 2005. The event provides an opportunity for health care professionals and aging services professionals to work with caregivers and family members of mature adults, and encourage them to be sure their loved ones receive regular health care, including preventive care. For information go to

Walk 21. September 22-23, 2005. Zurich, Switzerland. Registration and information are available at

World Heart Day. September 25, 2005. The theme of this year’s observation is Healthy Weight – Healthy Shape. Messages center on healthy eating and physical activity. For information go to

Active Aging Week. September 26 - October 1, 2005. The national health observance aims to increase awareness of the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition to healthy aging. For information see

Walking for Health Conference. October 13-15, 2005. Urbana-Champaign, IL. The American College of Sports Medicine and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign are sponsoring Walking for Health: Measurement and Research Issues and Challenges. For more information about the program, how to submit an abstract, and conference attendee information visit

World Osteoporosis Day. October 20, 2005. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) will join organizations around the world in celebrating World Osteoporosis Day to help raise awareness about the important role exercise plays in building peak bone mass and in maintaining bone health. In the US, NOF is planning a "Virtual Fitness Day" to encourage all individuals to take personal responsibility and individual action to "Stand Tall Against Osteoporosis" and to build strong bones for life. Encourage your patients, co-workers, friends and family members to participate. For more information go to http://

National Prevention Summit: Innovations in Community Prevention. October 24-25, 2005. Washington, D.C. The Summit will focus on chronic disease prevention and health promotion and will feature innovative prevention programs that are making a difference in communities across the country. For information go to

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. November 5-9, 2005. New Orleans, LA. For more information go to

Active Aging: The Tipping Point. December 1-3, 2005. Orlando, FL. Sponsored by the International Council on Active Aging, this conference targets professionals who work in active adult, retirement and assisted living communities, hospital fitness, rehabilitation, spa, health club, military, medical, YMCA/YWCA, JCC and resort industries. For information go to

White House Conference on Aging. December 11-14, 2005. Washington, D.C. The Conference occurs once a decade to make aging policy recommendations to the President and Congress, and to assist the public and private sectors in promoting dignity, health, independence and economic security of current and future generations of older persons. For more information go to

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, in Coronado, CA. Abstracts are due July 21, 2005. 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

Tips, Tactics and Tools

Inaugural Issue of Falls Free™ e-NewsletterThe National Council on the Aging’s Center for Healthy Aging, in collaboration with the Archstone Foundation, the Home Safety Council, and the Falls Free Advisory Committee, is publishing an e-newsletter, Falls Free™. The publication provides information related to falls, falls prevention, and falls-related research. 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 Falls Free™ e-newsletter. Please provide your full name, organizational affiliation, e-mail address, mailing address, and phone number.

Design Guidelines for Physical Activity Facility’s Available through ICAAThe International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) offers design guidelines to help assure that age-friendly facility design is also friendly for people with disabilities. ICAA provides free resources to eliminate barriers to entry as part of the Age-Friendly Facility Locator program. For more information go to

ABIM Care of the Vulnerable Elderly Practice Improvement ModuleThe American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) released a Care of the Vulnerable Elderly Practice Improvement Module in July 2005. It is the sixth in a series of innovative self-evaluation tools. Practice Improvement Modules (PIMs) are computer-based tools that enable physicians to conduct a confidential self-evaluation of the medical care that they provide. This module will be particularly relevant for general internists, geriatricians and others who manage elderly patients. For more information, go to

RAND Data FileThe RAND HRS Data file is a cleaned and easy-to-use version of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) with derived variables covering a broad range of measures and named consistently across waves. The file was developed by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging with funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and Social Security Administration (SSA). As of 2005, eight HRS waves are available for study. Besides incorporating the 2002 final releases, this version corrects known problems and adds some new variables for insurance, pensions, retirement, poverty and nursing home utilization. The Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics at SSA provided important research direction in the design of this data file.
See the RAND Contributions page for further information, tip sheets, and posters. Materials are also available on the NDEP Web site at

Active Aging Week Campaign MaterialsThe third annual Active Aging Week campaign is September 26–October 1, 2005. The national health observance aims to increase awareness of the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition to healthy aging. During Active Aging Week, older adults will have opportunities to try various forms of physical activity at participating locations. On October 1, these activities will coincide with the International Day of Older Persons, a World Health Organization initiative to promote the importance of healthy and productive aging. For materials and resources go to

In the News

Obesity and Arthritis Rates Increase Among Baby Boomers
According to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health, obesity rates grew substantially for the baby-boomer generation (born 1946-1965) when compared to the "silent generation" (born 1926-1945). Obesity also increased for the baby-boomers at a younger age than the silent generation. Arthritis risk soared along with the obesity rates of the baby-boomers, and arthritis cases attributed to obesity rose from three percent to 18 percent between 1971 and 2002. Many factors can be attributed to this rise, including the way physicians diagnose arthritis over time, but researchers say the rise in obesity cannot be ignored. For more information go to

Ideas to Keep Minds Sharp
The September & October issue of AARP Magazine featured an article on cerebral fitness, with nine ideas that senior center directors and others who work with older adults might find useful to incorporate into existing programs or facilities. Doing familiar things in unfamiliar ways can stimulate nerve cells. For more details, see and the September/October 2005 issue of AARP Magazine.

Promoting Stair Use
According to a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion (July/Aug 2005, 19(6): 422–429), a recent study evaluated the impact of two interventions aimed at promoting stair use. The first intervention involved a "health" sign that linked stair use to health and fitness. It was placed at the junction between the staircase and the elevator. The second intervention involved an additional e-mail sent a week later, pointing out the health benefits of regular stair use. Stair use increased from 69 percent at baseline to 77 percent in the week after the first intervention. After the second intervention stair use increased to 85 percent. However, one month after the sign was removed, stair use decreased to 67 percent. These results suggest that simple and inexpensive interventions such as a health sign in combination with an e-mail message can encourage people to use the stairs. However, it appears that sustained effort is needed to consolidate these effects.

Funding Opportunities

AmeriCorps programs provide grants to initiate, improve, or expand the ability of organizations and communities to provide services to address local unmet needs in education, the environment, independent senior living, public safety (including disaster preparedness and response), or other human needs. Members engage in a range of activities such as recruiting and supporting community volunteers, providing translation services in community clinics, conducting safety patrols for local police departments, participating in environmental projects, conducting outreach and referral services for the homeless, tutoring and mentoring young people, helping homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes, and responding to natural disasters. An estimated $20,000,000 is available. For more information go to

RYKÄ Women's Fitness Grant. RYKÄ, together with the Women's Sports Foundation, is pleased to provide $50,000 in RYKÄ Women's Fitness Grants to organizations and programs that enhance women's lives through health and fitness. For more information, please visit§ion=578#30. The deadline to apply for the grant is September 12, 2005.

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: