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Active for Life - Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Adults Age 50 and Older!
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July 2009

Previous Newsletters

From the Active for Life Program Office
Tips, Tactics and Tools
In the News
Upcoming Events

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 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

OASIS Active Generations
An innovative intergenerational program, Active Generations, developed by The OASIS Institute, will be expanded to eight cities during the next two years with a $313,000 grant from the WellPoint Foundation, Inc. Active Generations promotes physical activity and healthy eating for low-income children and their families. The program reaches children in after-school settings using teams of volunteers age 50 and older who offer weekly sessions on healthier lifestyles. The program, which was successfully piloted in Pittsburgh and San Antonio, will be expanded to OASIS centers in St. Louis, Albany, Los Angeles, San Diego County, Syracuse, Indianapolis, and Denver.

2009 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards
The Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Award, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Aging Initiative, is designed to increase awareness about synergies that can be achieved when communities combine and implement the principles of smart growth with the concepts of active aging. The deadline for application for the 2009 awards is July 17. The 2008 Achievement Award Winner, recognized for excellence in building healthy communities for active aging, is the Bureaus of Portland (OR) Parks & Recreation and Transportation. Commitment Award winners for 2008, recognized for planning and taking steps to integrate smart growth and active aging are the City of Chtmler, WY; the City of Iowa City, IA; and the City of Satellite Beach, FL. For more information about the 2008 and 2007 winners, please visit the Active for Life Leaning Network at

National Physical Activity Plan
University of South Carolina’s Prevention Research Center, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is taking the lead in developing and implementing the National Physical Activity Plan, expected to be released in late 2009. A conference seeking input was held in Washington, DC. Conference details are available at

Course for Researchers and Public Health Practitioners
The Physical Activity and Public Health Course sponsored by the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will take place Sept. 15-23 in Hilton Head Island, SC. For information, please visit

Tips, Tactics and Tools

NIA Exercise Guide Now Available
Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging, a consumer-focused publication, is now available online and in print ( Active for Life Director Marcia G. Ory, Ph.D., MPH was a member of the National Institute of Aging (NIA) Exercise Guide Panel that developed the document.

CDC's Healthy Communities Program Web Site Goes Live
The CDC Healthy Communities Program Web Site ( offers information that can be helpful to community health programs including:

Action Institutes: Trains community action teams on how to make policy, systems, and environmental changes to prevent and control chronic diseases and reduce the prevalence of chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.

Tools for Community Action: Describes some excellent community and public health resources for promoting healthy communities, including A Community Health Resources Database and the Community Health Assessment and Group Evaluation Tool.

Strategies for Community Wellbeing
Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing ( aims to move future practitioners from the margins of prevention to its core by defining the elements of quality prevention efforts, identifying best practices, and illustrating the application of prevention principles in a multitude of settings.

Resources for People with Disabilities
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) offers of information and resources that can enable people with disabilities and chronic conditions to become physically active. Some NCPAD materials include:

• Eating Well For Diabetes
• Exercise Guidelines for People with Disabilities
• Fall Injury Prevention and Exercise
• First Steps to Active Health: Balance and Flexibility Exercises for Older Adults
• Walk Your Way to Fitness Video
• What is a Pedometer and How Can I Benefit from Using One?

In the News

Weight Loss and Exercise Program
Tufts University’s Strong Women-Healthy Hearts program has helped women lose weight and trim their waistlines. Researchers reporting in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health ( note that whether the short-term weight loss will translate into healthier hearts in the long run is not yet known. But the findings point to the potential of community programs that target older, sedentary women.

Lifestyle Interventions Can Improve Cancer Survivors Function
Among older, long-term survivors of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer, a diet and exercise intervention reduced the rate of self-reported functional decline compared with no intervention. Research results are published in the May 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Society (

Maintaining Cognition
Adults who do not smoke, exercise moderately at least once a week, are socially active, and have at least a high school education are more likely to maintain cognitive skills through their 70s and 80s than those who do not. Results of this research are published in the June 9 issue of Neurology (

Increase in Life Expectancy
From 2000 to 2006, the most recent years for which data are available, life expectancy at age 65 years increased by 0.9 year for the overall U.S. population, one year for white men, .7 year for white women, one year for black men, and 1.1 years for black women. The data is reported in the 2009 National Vital Statistics Report, available at

Exercise Can Improve Quality of Life
Exercise appears to improve quality of life in postmenopausal women regardless of whether they lose weight, according to researchers reporting in the February 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine ( Researchers also found that women who exercised for longer periods of time had the greatest improvements in mental and physical htmlects of quality of life.

Volunteer Work Produces Health Benefits
A Johns Hopkins study reveals that older black women who spend time with young children in the classroom are not only more active than similar women who don't volunteer, but seem to stay active. Building on results of a 2006 Hopkins study showing that 15 hours of volunteer work a week at a grade school nearly doubled a sedentary older person's overall activity level, the new study demonstrates that the increased activity remains high for at least three years. The study appeared online Jan. 29 in the Journal of Gerontology (

Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity and Extreme Obesity
Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicate that 61 percent of non-Hispanic black women aged 60 and older were obese compared with 32 percent of non-Hispanic white women and 37 percent of Mexican-American women in the same age group. The prevalence of obesity did not differ significantly by race/ethnic group among men. For more information, please visit

Aging Related Statistics
Average life expectancy continues to increase. However, rates of gain are inconsistent between the genders and across age brackets, income levels, and racial and ethnic groups. Some disparities also exist between older Americans and older people in other industrialized countries. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being (

Upcoming Events


National Independence Day. July 4, 2009

August is Cataract Awareness Month. Sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Sponsored by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Meetings and Conferences

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4A) Annual Meeting. July 19-22. Minneapolis, MN.

International Conference of Generations United. July 27-31. Washington, DC.

CDC Conference on Obesity Prevention and Control. July 27-29. Washington, DC.

National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media. Aug. 11-13. Atlanta, GA.

American Society on Aging’s West Coast Regional Conference. Sept. 8-11. Oakland, CA.

Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging. Sept. 15-16. Chapel Hill, NC.

The Physical Activity and Public Health Course. Sept. 15-23. Hilton Head, SC.

Home and Community-Based Services Conference. Sept. 20-23. Denver, CO.

American Society on Aging's East Coast Regional Conference. Sept. 21-24. Philadelphia, PA.

Gerontological Society of America. Nov. 18-22. Atlanta, GA.

2010 Aging in America Conference. March 15-19. Chicago, IL.

Funding Opportunities

Active Living Research and Healthy Eating Research
Active Living Research and Healthy Eating Research
are national programs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that support research to identify promising policy and environmental strategies for increasing physical activity, promoting healthy eating, and preventing obesity. The deadline for application is July 17. For more information, please visit

Ladder to Leadership
An initiative of the RWJF and the Center for Creative Leadership, funding will enhance the leadership capacity of community-based nonprofit health organizations serving vulnerable populations. Ladder to Leadership focuses on developing critical leadership competencies for early- to mid-career professionals through a 16-month leadership development curriculum. Up to 30 fellows will be selected to participate in the program in each of nine targeted communities across the U.S. For more information, please visit



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SRPH Building
1266 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-1266

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: