The Council on Environment and Physical Activity (CEPA) is one of the five Founding Councils of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH).

The Council on Environment and Physical Activity supports investigators from multiple disciplines around the world to conduct rigorous research on physical activity and the environment and the use of results to advocate for evidence-based environmental and policy changes to support and promote physical activity internationally.

Hundreds of scientific studies document the relation of built and social environment variables to physical activity in all age groups.  National and international plans for promoting physical activity and reducing obesity stress the necessity of changing environments and policies as part of multi-­‐level intervention strategies (individual, social, organizational, environmental, and policy levels).  Policies drive environmental changes, so the two are linked.  Strategies need to be evidence-­‐based and environmental correlates of physical activity across different countries, cultures, and population subgroups are not well documented.  Thus, an increased emphasis on international environment and physical activity research is needed.

Our international group recognized this need several years ago and developed IPEN (International Physical Activity and Environment Network) to help build capacity for investigators in many countries to conduct this new type of physical activity research.  We have promoted the use of common measures so results are more comparable across countries.   IPEN has assisted investigators in at least 12 countries obtain funded studies based on similar measures and designs. We are in the second year of an NIH-­‐funded project to pool the results from these studies for an international analysis.

Goals

  • Stimulate and support research on physical activity and the environment internationally
  • Build capacity to use the best available methods, and encourage the use of common protocols and measures
  • Increase communication and collaboration among researchers to develop new measures, adapt measures for local contexts, and organize networks focusing on specific population subgroups, geographic regions, and research questions
  • Encourage formation of interdisciplinary teams to conduct research
  • Encourage teams from different countries to conduct joint and pooled studies, with the aim of identifying unique environmental and cultural determinants of physical activity
  • Support investigators and practitioners to become effective advocates for evidence--‐based environmental and policy change.

Purpose

The purpose of CEPA is to support investigators from multiple disciplines around the world to conduct rigorous research on physical activity and the environment and use the results to advocate for evidence-based environmental and policy changes to support and promote physical activity internationally.

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During the 4th International Congress of Physical Activity and Public Health (ICPAPH) in Sydney, CEPA members met and talked about research activities and findings from work groups. Below is a brief summary of what happened in Sydney.

CEPA Symposium
As an official council of ISPAH (International Society of Physical Activity and Health), we were given an opportunity to hold a symposium during the conference. Several key members showcased activities and findings to date, and discussed new directions to further advocate for evidence-based environmental and policy changes to support physical activity internationally. Below are the speakers and their topics:
• Introduction on CEPA and IPEN: Jim Sallis (USA)
• Evidence for advocacy: Findings from 3-country data: Delfien van Dyck (Belgium)
• Findings from South America: Rodrigo Reis (Brazil)
• New projects on children and older adults: Erica Hinckson (New Zealand), Ester Cerin (Hong Kong)
• How best to use research evidence to influence policy: Billie Giles-Corti (Australia)

New Work Groups
We also identified new work groups during the network meetings. The groups below (with leader name) have started discussion, and their member, goals and planned activities are shown in this document.


• Senior: Ester Cerin (Hong Kong), Dori Rosenberg (USA)
• Children: Erica Hinckson (New Zealand)
• Latin America: Adriano Akira Hino (Brazil), Deborah Salvo (Mexico)
• Policy and Economic Impact: Billie Giles-Corti (Australia), Peter McCue (Australia)
• Africa: Rufus Adedoyin (Nigeria)
• Urban Green Space: Jasper Schipperijn (Denmark)
• Transport-Sector Data: Takemi Sugiyama (Australia)
• Early Career Researchers: Ruth Hunter (UK)
If you are interested in any of the groups above, please contact the group leader.

CEPA has a website within the ISPAH homepage. This has a message board function, but it does not allow us to share documents. As the website is managed by Human Kinetics, we found that it takes relatively long time to make any changes. So, if your work group would like to share documents, we suggest using internet services such as DropBox and Google Drive. We also encourage the use of social network to stay connected.

If your work group has a number of issues to discuss, and a teleconference is an efficient way to do so, there is a web-based facility (GoToMeeting) you can use, thanks to IPEN that subscribes this service. Please contact Takemi or Erica for more details.

Leadership

Chair:  Takemi Sugiyama (Australia)

Co-Chair: Jacqueline Kerr (USA), Rodrigo Reis (Brazil)

Communication Officer:  Delfien van Dyck (Belgium)

Working Group Coordinator:  Erica Hinckson (New Zealand)

CEPA will be led by this team until the next ICPAPH in Rio de Janeiro in April 2014.

 

 


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