Issue 16, January 2013

Issue 16, January 2013

Active Living Research News

ALR Annual Conference

Celebrate With Us

Register for our 2013 annual conference, February 26-28 in San Diego, CA. This year marks the 10th anniversary of our conference, and the theme, Achieving Change Across Sectors: Integrating Research, Policy and Practice, recognizes the importance of engaging people from multiple disciplines to increase physical activity for everyone and reverse the obesity epidemic. Come join us in sunny San Diego to celebrate ten years of building the evidence to help create healthier, more active communities.

Grantee Highlights

Career Aspirations Closer to Reality

Congratulations to Erin Hager, who recently received an NIH K12 Career Development Award through the University of Maryland’s Organized Research Effort in Women's Health Scholar Program. This award will enable Erin to take formal coursework in GIS mapping, an interest inspired by her experience as an RWJF New Connections-ALR grantee. Erin also received a CDC grant to examine school wellness policy implementation in Maryland. Erin says “My career is headed in the direction that I hoped for—focusing on policy and the built environment. My desire to move forward in this direction was fueled by my work with ALR and RWJF.”

Grantee Publications

The Power of PE

Requiring students to have daily physical education (PE) in school can help them be active for 23 minutes per day, which is more than a third of the total recommended daily physical activity for youth. This finding was published in a study by David Bassett, which was the first study to estimate the amount of physical activity that several distinct policy changes could actually support. Bassett and colleagues analyzed 85 past studies to estimate how many minutes of daily physical activity youth could accumulate if various policy changes were implemented. Check out the press release here.

What Makes People Afraid to Walk?

A study conducted in Chicago by Kelly R. Evenson explored whether people’s perceptions of safety or the number of police-recorded incidents of crime in their neighborhood affected how active they were. Researchers asked participants how safe they believed their neighborhood was, and examined police data for incidents of incivilities (drugs, prostitution, vandalism) and criminal offenses (robbery, sexual assault, weapons). The study found that residents who perceived a safer, less-violent neighborhood were more likely to walk for either leisure or transport. Meanwhile, residents who lived in neighborhoods with lower incidents of crime were more likely to walk for transport but not necessarily for leisure.  

A New Way to Count People, Bikes, and Cars

Aaron Hipp’s project was one of the first to use publicly available webcam and crowdsourcing technology to collect information on physical activity in bike lanes, parks, greenways, trails and other man-made public areas. Using these tools, Hipp and his team were able to count people, bikes and cars in rainy, foggy or crowded conditions—situations in which other methods would normally fail. The pictures, which were centered on an intersection in Washington, D.C., allowed the researchers to examine how the installation of a bike lane impacted biking behavior. Findings showed that cycling increased four-fold following construction of the bike lane. “This research can inform multiple fields, including public health professionals fighting the obesity epidemic, urban planners designing our public spaces to facilitate movement, and computer vision professionals seeking to improve machine learning for public safety,” Hipp says.

Funding Opportunities

NIH Grants for Time-Sensitive Obesity Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a funding opportunity (RO1) to support time-sensitive research to evaluate a new policy or program expected to influence obesity related behaviors (e.g., dietary intake, physical activity, or sedentary behavior) and/or weight outcomes in an effort to prevent or reduce obesity. Application deadlines: Multiple.

Resources & Other Announcements

APHA 141st Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts Now Open

The American Public Health Association's (APHA) Call for Abstracts for its 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition, Nov. 2-6, 2013 in Boston is now open. The theme is Think Global, Act Local with a focus on best practices around the world. The deadlines for submission of abstracts range from Feb. 4-8, depending on the Section, Special Primary Interest Group, Caucus or Forum to which you submit your abstract. We encourage you to join and support the Physical Activity Section.

SRTS National Conference

Check out the 4th annual Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) conference, August 13-15, 2013, in Sacramento, Calif. The Call for Session Proposals closes on February 15. The online submission process should be used to submit any proposals for breakouts, workshops, tours, mind mixer sessions, or networking activities. The conference will draw a national audience from diverse sectors that all have a commitment to improving conditions for children to walk and bike to school and creating safer, healthier and more livable communities.

AAPHERD Southwest District Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAPHERD) Southwest District will be held June 26-29 in Las Vegas, Nev. The meeting theme, It Takes a Village to Move a Child in School, will bring together physical and health educators, school administrators, public health professionals, local and state policy makers, physicians, parents and more to discuss ideas on how we can overcome barriers to children’s physical activity during the school day.

Newsletter Date: 
Wednesday, January 23, 2013