Hard Rock Energized with Active Living: Highlights from ALR2012

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July 5, 2012
By Amanda Wilson
Hard Rock Energized with Active Living: Highlights from ALR2012

A diverse mix of genres convened in San Diego on March 12-14, 2012 for our ninth annual conference.  Researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and advocates from a medley of backgrounds and disciplines took part.  Those who attended would say that the show left you wanting an encore and provided motivation to continue our efforts to increase physical activity and reverse the obesity epidemic.  In case you missed the active living performance of the year, you can catch the highlights here.

Activity for All
The theme of this year’s conference was Disparities in Environments and Policies that Support Active Living, which recognizes the importance of engaging experts to address the inequities seen in many communities throughout the nation where childhood obesity and inactivity are the highest.

This theme was intertwined throughout the conference and driven home by an inspiring and engaging keynote address by Shavon Arline-Bradley, Director of Health Programs for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  She even incorporated physical activity into her discussion with an illustration that engaged the audience and helped us understand what it feels like to be a "minority" and "majority" and to experience the isolation that underserved communities sometimes feel.

Research in Action
Congratulations to Clark County Public Health, winners of the fifth annual Translating Research to Policy Award.  The team was recognized for their use of a Health Impact Assessment to evaluate and suggest improvements to a proposed county Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  As a result of the findings of the HIA, the adopted plan includes language addressing the importance of active transportation in improving community health, goals that promote active transportation, and project prioritization criteria that emphasize health equity.  In addressing these priorities, the plan locates over half of the bicycle and pedestrian projects in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods or near low-income schools.  Keep up the good work!

Walking the Talk
One of the signature features of our conference is the physical activity that we incorporate into the program.  A presenter favorite is the ‘active applause’ (i.e. standing ovation) that all speakers receive.  Other active components include standing tables, 15-minute activity breaks, an extended 1.5 hour afternoon physical activity break and a live band and dance event.  A special shout-out to Monica Lounsbery, Noe Crespo, Pia Sen and Jim Sallis for sharing your singing, dancing and jamming talents with us.

We encourage all of you to take these ‘active’ ideas and incorporate them into your own meetings.

Someone else said it best, so I will use an anonymous quote from our conference evaluation to illustrate the variety and quality of the information that was presented:

ALR was one of the most useful, interactive, thought-provoking conferences I've attended. As someone in this field I usually go to large conferences where this topic is just one small presentation. The breadth of topics covered was amazing, the content was cutting edge and the people were top in the field!

It is this positive feedback that makes all of the hard work preparing the conference worthwhile to me and our entire staff.

Workshop and oral presentations from this year’s conference are available to download on the 2012 Conference page of our website.

You can view more photos from the 2012 Conference on our Facebook page.

Tour Schedule
The show will go on! The 10th Annual Conference will be held at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa on February 26-28, 2013. The anticipated launch date for the 2013 Call for Abstracts is July 23rd and the deadline is scheduled for August 31st. More details will be posted soon.

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