Healthy Communities- November 29, 2013

Work@Health Survey
If your business employs 30 to 100 people, please take a little time to answer this confidential survey. Your answers will be used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to design employer training on workplace health and wellness. This survey, which will take about 20 minutes, is part of the CDC-funded Work@Health™ Program, run by ASHLIN Management Group, Inc. No one is trying to sell you anything. The survey should be completed by the person at your company who is most knowledgeable about workplace health and wellness.  If you are not that person, please forward this survey to the appropriate person(s).   

Work@Health™ is an employer-based training designed to improve organizational health, with strategies to reduce chronic disease and injuries, while improving productivity. Your survey responses, combined with answers from colleagues across the country, will help shape the training format and content of this new workplace wellness initiative.
Please complete the survey by Dec. 13. Here is the link:


ChangeLab Solutions and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership have released an interactive tool, Safe Routes to School District Policy Workbook, that allows school boards and advocates to custom-build an active transportation policy for their district.  “This tool walks the user through a series of policy options to help build a customized Safe Routes to School policy for school districts, which they can then download for the school board to adopt.”

Reports and Articles
fallrunning The Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise
NYT: November 27, 2013
This week marks the start of the annual eat-too-much and move-too-little holiday season, with its attendant declining health and surging regrets. But a well-timed new study suggests that a daily bout of exercise should erase or lessen many of the injurious effects, even if you otherwise lounge all day on the couch and load up on pie.

Dr. Adewale Troutman: Disparities in our lives reflect in our health
The president of the American Public Health Association, Dr. Adewale Troutman has devoted his 40 years of work to health equity within active communities, leading him to found the first Center for Health Equity.
This summer, the Coalition for a Liveable Future released an updated Regional Equity Atlas — an online interactive set of maps that use data and analysis to illustrate which metro neighborhoods do (and do not) have the resources to build a healthy community.
The maps show the correlation between low-income and minority neighborhoods and inadequate health resources, along with a variety of specific issues in each.

Use of calorie information at fast-food and chain restaurants among US Adults, 2009
Journal of Public Health
BackgroundThe aim of this study was to examine reading and use of calorie information at fast-food/chain restaurants.
In 2009–10, 35.7% of US adults were obese.1 Although there are multiple causes of obesity, one potential contributor is regularly consuming foods prepared away from home, such as those eaten at fast-food or chain restaurants. Foods from these venues are often high in calories,2 thus, not surprisingly, there is an association between fast-food consumption and excessive energy intake3 and obesity.46 Further, many customers underestimate the number of calories in restaurant items and meals.

3 Easy Steps to Shout “Safe Routes to School” in March!
A recent meta-analysis of 300 studies looked at which types of policies and interventions give school-age children the most amount of physical activity. Active commuting to school was ranked No. 3, behind mandatory PE (No. 1) and classroom physical activity breaks (No. 2) but ahead of six other strategies. Active commuting to school was shown to provide on average at least 16 additional minutes of activity per day (Bassett D et al. Estimated Energy Expenditures for School-Based Policies and Active Living, Am J Prev Med 2013;44(2):108-113).

For those LPH partners who are already involved with schools in your communities, and for those who would like to have more tools to offer schools, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is spearheading a user-friendly outreach campaign to promote Safe Routes to Schools next spring. They are developing resources such as a PowerPoint presentation that can be locally adapted for spreading the word about getting kids active to and from school.

A quick story from Streetsblog about mode shift right here in Oregon:  Oregon DOT Asked State Residents to Drive Less, and They Did
In a small but symbolically important step for a state transportation agency, the Oregon DOT held a “Drive Less Challenge” from late October through November 1. Events like this one are held regularly in cities around the country, but it’s the first time a statewide department of transportation has hosted one, according to ODOT.
Oregon challenged its residents to drive less — and they came through. Image: Drive Less Connect

The people of Oregon did not disappoint. Motorists reported driving 913,664 fewer miles during the 12-day challenge. That total far exceeded the DOT’s goal of half a million miles. The program resulted in a reduction of about 659,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and $225,000 worth of gas. Not too shabby!
The largest share of avoided car trips — 22,000 — were made by bike, followed by 13,000 carpooling trips, and 10,000 trips taken by bus.

Oregon plans to host the event annually.
“We think the broad involvement really shows how practical transportation options can be in saving families money, improving community health and preserving our high quality of life here in Oregon,” said ODOT Director Matt Garrett, in a statement.

This program fits within the state of Oregon’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by the year 2050, compared to 1990 levels.


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