Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Call to activity by Jack L.!

12-28-10: Just rec'd this from a friend...a call to activity by Jack LaLanne! Check it out on his website now!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Paintball a great workout!

12-24-10: Looking for a different type of workout, one that is outdoors in nature, with a group of friends, fosters team building, and is a TON OF FUN?!?! Then try paintballing!

A group of us played in the hills of Loma Linda (off Richardson St.) on Friday, Dec. 24, in the AM, and it was a total blast! We were crawling all over the hills, running thru the ravines and canyon...a total cardio workout and adrenaline rush!

Check out this video clip to get a taste of the workout area that we played in and let me know if you want to join us for future paintball workouts.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Exergaming in federal blog!

Be Active Your Way Blog | Exergaming and Physical Activity Check out this excellent blog by Sanna--very well balanced! Great to see exergaming in this particular forum/blog. Great way to get the message out there!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Job opening: CHIEF PA Director

12-2-10: Would you really like to make a difference in helping this nation get more physically active--and get paid for it, too? Then check out this job posting and see if you qualify.

Monday, November 29, 2010

USA Today article on Exergaming!

11-29-10: A good article on how exergames and active video games are being utilized more in schools. A good discussion on how it can be incorporated into the school day, the debate about exergames in PE, and best of all, quotes from exergaming colleagues from our Exergames Unlocked grant--Barbara Chamberlin, Bryan Haddock, and Emily Murphy!

I was especially glad to read a quote from a non-exergaming evangelist say exactly what we've been saying all along when exergaming is criticized:

"Charlene Burgeson, executive director of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, a group of physical education professionals, says, "We need to meet kids where they are, and if active video games get them moving, then all the better.""

Yeah, Go Ms. Burgeson!!! I'm going to try and track down her e-mail and thank her for this quote. Love it!

Also love the other case studies on how exergaming has helped with tardiness and testing.

You can read the rest of the USA Today article here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Walk & earn prizes!

11-22-10: Just in time for the holidays! A gift that will help kids earn more gifts and prizes, and get them moving at the same time! Similar to Webkinz where you buy a product that gives you access to an online world to earn more cool stuff! Check it out here:

GeoPalz website

Friday, November 19, 2010

Exercise and Alzheimer

11-19-10: Check this on exercise and high-risk alzheimer...more reasons for seniors to keep exercising! What is interesting is the testing they did to measure cognitive function.

What if the exercise was COMBINED with a cognitive function, as in some of our exergaming equipment like the Makoto? Could there be an even bigger impact on protection???

An excellent idea for a study, working with the neuro or geriatric guys....we have all the equipment and resources at LLU so let's get a grant to study this effect!!! I have yet to see it presented at any of the conferences.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Makoto's newest Makoto!

11-9-10: Got a cool treat tonight! No, not Denver's first snowfall of the year (tho that was pretty cool), but got to spend some time with Makoto's Marian and David Shaw and to check out their newest version of the Makoto, shipping out this month. Also got to see the new wall, ready by 2011.

It features a new "brain", a Window's 7 PC and screen. This allows it endless flexibility for programming now, compared to the original version. This also is better set up to allow groups of kids to play various games, making it a great choice for working with groups of kids.

Not only that, there were upgraded design features: flush lights, more lights, and larger towers. It looks really sharp in black!

See an exclusive sneak peak of co-founders Marian and Dave demo it their newest product! Thx to Marian and Dave for picking me up and allowing me to see this newest Makoto. Would love to upgrade our Makoto in the Zone so we can do some research with it. Lot's of possibility! Way to go, Marian and Dave!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Makoto's newest Makoto!

11-9-10: Got a cool treat tonight! No, not Denver's first snowfall of the year (tho that was pretty cool), but got to spend some time with Makoto's Marian and David Shaw and to check out their newest version of the Makoto, shipping out this month. Also got to see the new wall, ready by 2011.

It features a new "brain", a Window's 7 PC and screen. This allows it endless flexibility for programming now, compared to the original version. This also is better set up to allow groups of kids to play various games, making it a great choice for working with groups of kids.

Not only that, there were upgraded design features: flush lights, more lights, and larger towers. It looks really sharp in black!

See an exclusive sneak peak of co-founders Marian and Dave demo it their newest product! Thx to Marian and Dave for picking me up and allowing me to see this newest Makoto. Would love to upgrade our Makoto in the Zone so we can do some research with it. Lot's of possibility! Way to go, Marian and Dave!

The newest tool for Physical Activity: Kinect!!

11-9-10: The Kinect is here! Last Thur., picked up my Kinect at Gamestop, along with some of the games like Kinect Sports and Dance Central. Also picked up Your Shape as well, to check that out.

Couldn't try it right away because I had to update the OS of my Xbox and after trying it with the USB and a CD of the update, I finally had to lug it upstairs near my Airport/router so I could hook it up to download the update from Xbox Live (didn't want to spend the extra $100 just to get the wifi adapter since I don't plan to do a lot of online gaming at the moment). Fortunately, that worked and soon, my Xbox was ready for Kinect to connect to it.

Got to try it out a bit Friday afternoon, but Sat. night was the "big" test with a bunch of kids at a friend's house. You an see some of the pictures of this session here. Here's the link to theYoutube clip of them trying out the Kinect.

Here are my first impressions:

1. It's big! When I first opened the box, I was struck with how large it was--not bad--just, wow! The connecting cable & power cord are connected, and initially I wondered if it would reach both the Kinect camera and the outlet at the same time, but the design hasn't proved to be a problem, so far.

2. Immersive - It's really NICE not to have to hold anything, and the 3D feature is a whole lot better than the Eye Toy's 2D. You also can't cheat it--if you do a little overhead motion/hit in v-ball, you do a dink shot. If you do a full-on spike motion and time it right, you can do a power spike, which leads me to...

3. Better in the virtual world! I can do things in Kinect that I can't do in real life, like crush my spike in v-ball. It felt awesome and just made me jump higher and swing harder to see how hard I could spike that ball.

4. It's a blast! I've only played a couple of games on it so far (v-ball and soccer), but so far, my initial impressions is that it's a blast! It's the first time (for a home console) that I feel like I'm really IN the game. The only other exergame that is similar to that is the Trazer...and that costs quite a bit more than the Kinect (even if you have to get the Xbox bundled with it).

Is it perfect? Not quite...

1. Updating Xbox: If you have an older Xbox, you have to make sure you have the latest OS. I mentioned my experience for updating that I went through above. When I downloaded the update from Xbox's website, I put it on a flash drive as they instructed, but when I tried to insert my flash drive in the back of the Xbox, it DID NOT FIT because the port is recessed in! I ended up having to use a little "hub" as an extension that would fit into it. Once I did that, I never got the "update" screen the instructions said I should see. So I tried plan B--putting the update on a CD. That too, didn't get my the update screen. You can read above how I ended up hooking it directly to my router. Fortunately, I still had my ethernet cable that came with the Xbox so I lugged it upstairs near my router and then lugged our pre-flat screen CRT 20-inch TV into the hallway to connect it to the Xbox so I could do the update. Once I had that all set up, the update went smoothly and automatically, even without having an account with Xbox live. Too bad they don't just give you a CD with Kinect that would do the update automatically without all this fuss.

2. Navigational challenges. Playing is lifelike; navigating takes a bit more practice (or tech perfection). If you watch my video clip on youtube or FB, you'll see the kids sometimes hunting around for the little white "hand" that you use to make selections, etc. Even then, when you found it, it would sometimes not move the way you wanted to. You have to make sure you keep your body in one place and just move your hand--sometimes, the kids would "walk" there body over which messed up the camera for some reason. This was really the only frustrating part of the whole experience, especially for younger kids. Too bad you didn't have the option of using the xbox controller to make selections or control the white hand with the joystick.

Challenges aside, if and when a lot of Kinect games come out quickly, Wii and Move should be worried because it truly is the most immersive of all the platforms as far as the "human joystick" concept.

I can't wait for more games--wonder if they'll make a "ninja" type of game or other martial arts games--I could really get into that since I really can't do those things in real life! (Shhhhh, don't tell my daughter's friends who all think I really AM a ninja!)

Also, from a games for health perspective, I really hope that we can get developers to make entertaining and immersive games for health that we lifestyle medicine practitioners can recommend to our patients. Not only that, but can also track their exercise, nutrition, and other health behaviors we're trying to change.

And while we're at it, I hope that the xbox can someday connect with electronic medical records (EMRs), especially Microsoft has a whole division on health and lifestyle, and their own personal medical vault or cloud. I would love to be able to recommend a FUN game that helps my patients stay active, and in the background, that game would connect with their EMR or even to me, notifying me when that patient didn't meet their weekly exercise goals (eg. 150 mins/wk of moderate intensity) so that I could intervene right away and help them get back on track instead of waiting to hear about it a month down the road at their monthly follow-up. Given that healthcare is focusing more and more on lifestyle medicine, we will need tools that not only help our patients keep compliant with the prescribed behavior changes, but also EASILY keep track and report to healthcare professionals when a patient is BEGINNING to lapse from their behavior.

Have this cycle between healthcare practitioner, patient, and EMR would greatly increase the practitioner's effectiveness and efficiency, tracking for their EMR, and compliance on the patient's part. All of this should lead to reduce cost, reduced utilization, and improved outcomes (biometrics)....a win-win-win for the patient, healthcare provider, and healthcare system in general.

Finally, I looking forward to trying Kinect with my dad (post-stroke) to see how he does it with it. We got him a PS2 and Eye Toy way back when he first had his stroke, and that worked out very well. So as soon as I get back home from this conference, I will get him playing on it and do a follow-up report on that specific aspect.

I'm hoping to set it up as a demo here at the American Public Health Assoc. annual meeting in Denver, where I lugged my Xbox in my carry-on and checked in the kinect. We'll see if I can find a place to set it up and demo it! Unfortunately, I can't seem to get the RCA jacks in my hotel room TV to work, so I haven't been able to play more of the games after hours--so much for lugging my Xbox here to Denver! LOL!

That's my initial report on the Kinect. Stay tuned for part 2! Overall, a huge 2 thumbs up to Microsoft for the Kinect. This is a huge homerun for bringing exergaming into the homes of the end users.

BTW, I have no financial connections with Microsoft or Xbox, but hey, if they want to send me more Kinect games or Kinects to outfit our XRtainment Zone, I'll be happy to disclose that in future blogs and presentations! ;-)

Speaking of which, Dr. Bryan Haddock just got some Kinects as well and will be doing some kcal expenditure studies on it, so stay tuned for that, too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fueling for exercise

10-15-10: A common question I get is how to eat for exercise, especially when they are doing an event like a half or full marathon. Here's an excellent article that covers what and how to eat before, during and after an exercise event.

Sports Nutrition for Endurance Exercise

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

USA Today article on Exergaming!

10-12-10: This article just came out after the recent Obesity conf. down in San Diego. Check it out here.

Some colleagues of mine were featured in this article, like Drs. Barbara Chamberlin, Emily Murphy, and Bryan Haddock.

Dr. James Sallis was also featured, and here's something interesting he said about exergaming and PE:

"But Sallis isn't convinced that these activities should be included in PE classes. "Whenever possible, we want to get the kids outdoors, where they can run around more freely. We actually need to teach kids activities such as basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball. We need to teach them teamwork."These are the kinds of skills kids need for a lifetime of physical activity, he says. "Doing some kind of exergame may be better than no PE or bad PE, but I don't think it's as good as good PE."

I respect Dr. Sallis's work with the built environment and all, but I disagree with his comments on PE. Teaching kids team sports does NOT teach the kind of skills they need for a lifetime of PA! Learning how to do a lay-up when I was in elem. school (which included a lot of standing around, waiting for my turn to do a lay-up) did NOT teach me life skills for PA. I never played JV or varsity b-ball in highschool or college, and I don't play b-ball now. But we sure spent a whole lot of time learning about these and other sports.

That's why we have the growing movement that PE4Life has started, with the late Phil Lawler. They saw that "traditional" PE was not teaching skills that could be use for PA in life after PE, so they started a movement of change in PE and thankfully, it's spreading.

Teamwork is important, and there are lots of other, more inclusive ways of teaching teamwork besides team sports. Team sports only appeal to those who are are good at it; if you're not good at that particular sport, beware! You are relegated to the bench or worse off, not picked for a team unless you're "force" onto a team. If anything, team sports turned the majority of kids OFF of being part of a team, because of these dynamics, and only appeals to the jocks and jockettes who were good.

Exergames in PE is more inclusive (even handicapped and disabled kids can perform and compete with able-bodied kids), can instill teamwork (we've done teams with the makoto, 3-kick, and they have teams with iDance, etc.), and more importantly, they can be done for LIFE!!! (Seniors are doing exergames when they've stopped playing team sports a long time ago--if they even played them as adults!).

The only point that Dr. Sallis might have over exergames is the "outdoors" point...but I'm sure PE is held indoors when we have smog alerts or it's over 100 degs...or below freezing outside, so even traditional PE can't be done outdoors all the time.

As someone said in the article, a key point to exergames is that it can meet kids where they are at, so for many patients that I see, exergames CAN take the place of traditional sports. Many of these kids won't do team sports for many reasons, but they'll play exergames, especially if we have a similar system of teams and leagues for exergames like we do for b-ball, swimming, etc.

Physiologically, the heart doesn't care if you're running down first base line, or if you're running fast on a Xavix mat. All it knows is that this person is moving their feet fast and needs more oxygen and glucose to power their leg muscles!

Once overweight and obese kids get in shape and lose the excess weight playing exergames, maybe they'll try some of the more traditional activities, sports, or even some other ones that are outside and very physically active--like paintball!!! (that's a form of a non-digital exergame). I don't believe that kids and adults who start off on exergames as their main form of PA will stay on that only. I believe that they will venture out and try other forms of PA....but that is something for future research to prove or disprove!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Brain exercises accelerate Alzheimers?

10-8-10: If you read the title and the news, you might conclude that doing brain (cognitive) exercises is bad for Alzheimers. But read the study closely and you'll see why the researchers said that brain exercises is still good for the brain!

In a nut shell, brain exercises lengthy the duration of a healthy, pre-alzheimer brain, but once alzheimer sets in, it shortens the "bad stage" of progression of the disease.

In other words, a person will suffer the least amount of time if they do brain exercises.

So no matter what, keep your brain active! Doing brain exercises with physical exercise is the best, synergistic combination you can do!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New article reviwing active video game studies

9-8-10: Just rec'd a PDF of this review article entitled, "Active video games to promote physical activity in children and youth", by Elaine Biddis and Jennifer Irwin. It came out in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescence Medicine, 2010; 164(7):664-672.

The objective of this study was to "...systematically review levels of metabolic expenditure and changes in activity pattenrs associated wtih active video game (AVG) play in children and to provide directions for future research efforts." This covered published studies spanning Jan. 1, 1998 to Jan. 1, 2010.

If you'd like a copy of this study via PDF, send me an e-mail at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New exergaming rating system announced!

9-7-10: On Monday, The Exergame Network rolled out a press release announcing the newly developed and most comprehensive exergaming rating system to date. Created by a group of exergaming experts from around the world, this system looks at the whole "experience" and not just one or two factors.

This will help consumers, parents, fitness trainer, healthcare practitioners, and others who either are recommending exergames to their patients/clients or trying to make a choice for themselves.

You can see the whole rating system HERE.

Check it out and give me your feedback!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Exercise can trump obesity gene!

9-3-10: Another study showing how healthy behaviors such as exercise CAN change our genetic makeup! Check out this study here.

Exergaming Rating System; Denting Peds Obesity?

9-3-10: The Opposing View posted an interesting article on the need for a rating system for exergaming (aka Active gaming) to help consumers know what they are getting as far as exercise is concerned.

Also asked if exergaming could put a dent in the peds obesity epidemic.

Be sure to read the "comment" section for the answers to these 2 questions!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Social Support for PA by ACE

9-1-10: As we enter a new month, now's a good time to give your exercise program a boost. Some may want to see how they can find new social networks for exercising. Well ACE has an excellent article that I highly recommend with a lot of tips. Click HERE to read this article!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Do "toning" shoes really work?

8-4-10: A new, independent (i.e. not paid for by any shoe company)study was just conducted to test all the claims that these types of toning shoes make. These shoes are NOT cheap, so it's good to see what the real scoop is! Read the report in the latest ACE E-newsletter here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Call for QUALITY PE!

7-29-10: Here's a call from the new exec dir of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition for the need for quality PE time!

Fighting Childhood Obesity

Posted: 28 Jul 2010 05:22 AM PDT

As the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition I am profoundly aware of the importance of making physical activity and nutrition accessible and affordable for all Americans, especially children. This is a multifaceted problem, and I’ll address several dimensions of this issue in this discussion.

Availability of facilities that provide healthy, affordable food in our communities is a necessity. If we do not have facilities within our neighborhoods where we can obtain fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices, then kids are going to continue to buy the Twinkies. We’ve got to incent our retail establishments to be able to come into communities. I think we’ve seen success where we’ve put forth the effort in this area.

The school environment has a strong influence on whether physical activity and nutrition are accessible to children. Kids spend a good part of their days, weeks, and years in school. We’ve got to continue pushing for policy change as it relates to physical education and school meals.

In many cases we are going in the wrong direction. Physical education is being cut out of schools, and it is so very important. Many states are passing policies mandating physical activity. This time could be recess, before or after school programs, or physical education. The unintended consequence we are hearing from school officials is “we are doing our 15 minutes of recess and then kids are walking between classes, so we are just going to cut PE because nobody said we have to do PE.” Physical education is a curricular area. It is an educational area that should be taught by a certified physical education teacher. It is not recess.

When advocates like myself come in and say we need more physical education, what we are really saying is we need more quality PE.

We know it can be done. Often we hear that test scores are the priority and we only have so many minutes in each school day, but we have examples of schools that have made it a priority where kids are getting 30 minutes of physical education every day and their test scores are increasing. For more information regarding this, reference the Centers for Disease Control and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education report on academics and physical education. There is an increasing body of research that shows definitively that kids who are physically active perform better academically. It can decrease their delinquency and behavioral issues, as well as help them concentrate so they tend to perform better on tests.

Has your organization worked to improve access to the health of America’s children through physical activity and nutrition? How? To learn how you can get involved, visit and become a President’s Challenge Advocate today.

Note: The President’s Council’s name was recently changed by Executive Order from President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) in recognition of the fact that good nutrition must go hand in hand with fitness and sports participation in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PCPs Lifestyle Impacts Patient's Lifestyle Choices

7-22-10 This just came out from the AMA Journal of Ethics, Virtual Mentor, talking about the importance of whether a PCP preaches healthy lifestyles, and if they do, how effective they are with their patients.

It found that PCPs who "practice what they preach" are much more effective in getting their patients to do likewise. Those who don't, and are also overweight, have very low credibility when it comes to lifestyle interventions.

To read more, go to:

Sitting just as deadly as not exercising enough?

7-22-10: More research supporting that being physically inactive during most of your day can be just as deadly as not getting your minimum recommended amount of exercise per day. Read the latest research here:

This supports the NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) theory that it is good to get low intensity physical activity throughout the day.

Friday, July 9, 2010

ABCs of Fitness in school day!

7-9-10: A study looked at the ABC's of fitness...but not the alphabet, but the effects of "Activity Bursts in the Classroom"! It's a preliminary study, but I think shows great promise based on the results. David Katz, of Yale, is the lead researcher in this study.

It's a preliminary study, and they discuss the limitations, but I think it's a great start and one that future research can be built upon, especially with utilizing exergaming.

Here's the source and link to this article:

You may want to see this recent article from Preventing Chronic Disease, the online e-journal:
Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is a peer-reviewed journal established to disseminate knowledge and promote discussion among researchers and practitioners in the field of chronic disease prevention and health promotion. All issues are available electronically, free of charge to subscribers.
You can find PCD on the Web at:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

TED talk on food and obesity

7-6-10: I know this blog is mainly about physical activity, but this is an excellent TED 2010 talk by James Oliver on food in our country and obesity. A must-watch 21-min. video clip! Check it out...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting on the ball!

7-1-10: Wonder how you can get more exercise even though you're chained to a desk every day at work? Well check out this video clip, sent by one of our patients and maybe it'll motivate you to get on the ball at work! (I plan to get a ball to use here at work as well.)

Here's the e-mail link from Kelley:

Kelley here… I have attached a link that features the company that I work for. It is a feature that was done on our Redwood City/Sacramento offices and we at our Newport beach office have followed suit. I was the 2nd person in our region to “get on the ball”. Just thought I’d share!

Thx to Kelley for sharing and letting me post here in my PA blog!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The latest physical activity games for health!

5-26-10: The 6th Annual Games for Health conference, held in Boston, MA, featured some of the latest gaming technology to come out that will help increase your physical activity. Check out highlights on this video clip!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May is Exercise is Medicine month!

4-27-10: May is Exercise is Medicine month, and we need your help to promote it and get people more active during the month of May. Check out this website and help spread the good news about exercise!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

ACSM Summit, Austin, TX

4-7-10: First day here in Austin, TX, at the ACSM Summit. Went to the pre-conf. on Exercise Adherence: thinking outside the box (perfect for exergaming!), met Kathy Smith, the first keynote speaker, and visited Lance Armstrong's bicycle shop, Mellow Johnny's. Ended the day with a yummy Thai dinner with Dr. Beverly Hall and Ed Kasanders (Motion Fitness).

Check out the pictures at this Facebook link:

First presentation tomorrow at 4:30 PM, so better hit the sack!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Newest exercise product released!

4-1-10: Check out this cool new exercise equipment, the iPedal! I know the creator, so maybe I can get one early for my b-day next month. ;-)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hairy exercise machines....

3-3-10: I saw this article on our current newsletter for our PA Special Interest Group (SPIG) for the APHA. Since we're a dog family, I just had to post it in here! Another great reason to have dogs as family members. They can literally help save your life!

Summer taking 8-mo old Yorkie Terrier Davy, our newest family member, out for one of his daily 2-mile walks.
My wife Keri and Summer just back from one of Roxy's 3-mile run in the hills of Loma Linda. We got Roxy for a local shelter last March. She's turning 2 this month!
Here's a shot of Roxy and her best girlfriend, Nabi, who is also 2 years old. Nabi is the family dog of some close friends, John and Nanci Choi. We swing by their house and pick Nabi up from their backyard on the way to the hills.

Here's another shot of Roxy and I after our AM mtn. bike ride/run. Roxy gets a nice fast, hard, run in the AM when I mtn. bike, and a more leisurely run with Keri in the afternoon.

Libby Richards, MSN, RN, CHES

Walking is considered a simple and cost-effective strategy to increase physical activity levels. Interestingly, it is estimated that 40 percent of U.S. households own a dog (Cutt, Knuiman, & Giles-Corti, 2008). Therefore, dog walking may provide a promising option to increasing physical activity at a population level.

A modest number of studies have shown a positive relationship between dog ownership and physical activity behaviors (Coleman, et al., 2008; Serpell, 1991; Yabroff, Troiano, & Berrigan, 2008). Acquiring a dog has been shown to increase the number and duration of recreational walks when compared to people who don't own dogs (Serpell, 1991). Data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey found that while dog owners were less likely to walk for transportation, they were more likely to walk for leisure and that dog owners walked an average of 19 more minutes per week than non-owners (Yabroff, et al., 2008). Furthermore, Coleman and colleagues (2008) found that dog owners who walked their dog(s) were significantly more likely to meet national recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity than non-dog owners and dog owners who did not walk their dog(s).

International studies also show promising results for the effects of dog walking on physical activity. Brown and Rhodes (2006) examined associations between dog ownership and leisure-time walking in Canadian adults and found that dog owners spent more time in mild and moderate physical activity and walked an average of 300 min/week compared to those who did not own dogs who walked an average of 168 min/week. In a 12-month Australian study, Cutt and colleagues (2008) concluded that new dog owners significantly increased their neighborhood recreational walking by 48 min/week compared to a 12 min/week increase for non-owners. To date, most studies are cross-sectional but do show promising results. Interventional studies are under way and include using dogs from the local shelters to encourage community members to get out and be active (University of Missouri-Columbia, 2009).


American Council on Exercise. (2010).

Brown, S. & Rhodes, R. (2006). Relationships among dog ownership and leisure-time walking in Western Canadian adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30, 131-136.

Coleman, K., Rosenberg, D., Conway, T., Sallis, J., Saelens, B., Frank, L., & Cain, K. (2008). Physical activity, weight status, and neighborhood characteristics of dog walkers. Preventive Medicine, 47, 309–312.

Cutt, H., Knuiman, M., & Giles-Corti, B. (2008). Does getting a dog increase recreational walking? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 5, 17.

Serpell, J. (1991). Beneficial effects of pet ownership on some aspects of human health and behaviour. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 84, 717-720.

University of Missouri-Columbia (2009, September 29). A Pet in your life keeps the doctor away. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 5, 2009, from­/releases/2009/09/090928172532.htm

Yabroff, K., Troiano, R., & Berrigan, D. (2008). Walking the dog: Is pet ownership associated with physical activity in California? Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5, 216-228.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

US Surgeon General also promotes PA

2-11-10: Here's another federal VIP, our US Surgeon General, giving her vision for a healthy and fit America. Thx to Pam Sampson (Dept of Public Health, County of San Bernardino) for this post.

Information regarding the Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010. For the full 21 pager visit…

The Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, M.D., urges that “child care programs should identify and implement approaches that reflect expert recommendations on physical activity, screen time limitations, good nutrition, and healthy sleep practices,” all of which were key actions at the Healthy Kids, Healthy Future conference in September 2009. Action steps to support the Surgeon General’s goal of standardizing state regulations on physical activity, nutrition and screen time, are being addressed by the HKHF Steering Committee. Through changes in policy, dissemination and implementation of best practices, and continued development of the evidence base in research, the child care environment will become a healthier place for kids to grow and develop.

1st Lady promotes physical activity!

2-10-10: 1st Lady Michelle Obama unveils a new initiative as part of her campaign to fight pediatric obesity: "Let's Move". Check it out and join for updates!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blast back to B Active!

1-21-10: Blast to the past! Here's our B Active videos and forum...enjoy!

7-26-09: Hot off the iMac! Here's a sneak preview of the video clip introducing the new Be Active Resource Directory for Desert Sierra Region including San Bernardino, Riverside and Inyo Counties. This vid will be played on Thur. at the PA Forum.

7-30-09: DSHN held it's annual physical activity forum today. There were a lot of great speakers and the audience did a LOT of physical activity--this was the least sedentary conf. most of us have attended!

Great job by Pam, Erin, and Brianna, who organized this conf. and working through all the last minute glitches and snafus!

Check out some pixs from this AM. Video clips to follow soon--the activity looks much better in video!

Here's a video clip of the forum yesterday. Couldn't stop the music during the Zumba music, so bear with was edited on Flip's editing software. ;-)

For the "Be Active Resource Directory", go to SB County website and go to the "Things You Can Use" section. Enjoy!

Power of Camaraderie

Excellent article from the "Be Active Your Way" blog I subscribe to!

The Compelling Power of Camaraderie

Posted: 20 Jan 2010 10:42 AM PST

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provided the nation with an airtight scientific case for why a person should make exercise a top priority. The case is unchallenged and polls show that the health benefits of exercise are generally acknowledged by an overwhelming majority of Americans. Nevertheless, research suggests that most Americans are not active enough to actually reap the benefits.

We are left, therefore, with one simple, maddening, urgent question:

“How do we compel more Americans to exercise regularly?”

We know there are real barriers to physical activity (injury/illness, unsafe environment, etc.), but other commonly cited barriers, such as “lack of time,” seem too often to simply be the consequence of low prioritization; conscious or subconscious choices to put-off exercise until a theoretical later date.

At IHRSA, one way we’ve attempted to address the question is with our I Lost it at the Club! program, an eight-week motivational weight loss program designed to help individuals keep their New Year’s resolutions and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle year-round. Currently in its 6th year, I Lost it at the Club! is set up as a competition among the participating health clubs. Last year, a total of 4,857 participants lost over 22,100 lbs.

Undoubtedly, much of the program’s success is due to the great passion and spirit of the participating clubs and their communities, but we think a critical component of the program is that it ties people to something bigger than themselves. It fosters camaraderie, holds people accountable to others, and celebrates accomplishments. Moreover, it recognizes that physical activity, like obesity, is contagious, and that social environments play a major role in our levels of physical activity.

The compelling power of camaraderie is certainly not a novel concept, but perhaps it has nevertheless been undervalued or underemphasized in the promotion of physical activity. It seems like the business community is beginning to incorporate the idea into workplace wellness programs, and social gatherings like running clubs have certainly flourished, but we’d like to see it spread deeper into society, embraced by families, friends, religious groups, book clubs, Facebook friends, etc.

We want us all to challenge those around us – the people we care about – to be more physically active.

We know there are several wonderful organizations with programs designed to bring people together for physical activity. We would love to hear from as many of you as possible. What are you doing and how has it worked?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Day Noon hike!

1-1-2010: Almost 40 people showed up for the noon hike, a first-time event for my annual New Year's Day hikes. A lot more kids and dogs showed up at this one. The temp got into the mid-70's s it was very nice for a hike. Enjoy the pixs!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Sunrise Hike

1-1-2010: Happy New Year! Over 40 people showed up at 5:30 AM at the base of Blue Mountain in Grand Terrace (including the Sheriff--called in by a neighbor reporting "suspicious activity"--but by the time I was done talking with him, he wished he was off duty so he could join us!) for my annual sunrise hike.

The full moon lit our hike up so we didn't need to use flashlights, and the temp was just perfect--no wind, too.

After 2 miles of hiking in the dark, we arrived at the top where we shared some words and did a toast with sparkling cider as the sun rose over the San Jacinto mountains.

Now getting ready for the noon hike! Here are pixs from this AM's hike: