News Release

Journal supplement examines innovative strategies for healthy aging

Physical, social, and emotional engagement can help sustain independence in the golden years

Peer-Reviewed Publication


WASHINGTON— The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) proudly announces the publication of a Health Education & Behavior (HE&B) supplement devoted to the latest research and practice to promote healthy aging. The October 2014 supplement, "Fostering Engagement and Independence: Opportunities and Challenges for an Aging Society," contains a dozen peer-reviewed articles on innovative behavioral and psycho-social approaches to improve the health of the nation's fastest growing cohort - older adults.

Together the articles describe promising advances in research directed at the health and well-being of community-dwelling older adults. The articles address strategies for promoting mobility and physical activity, highlights of a workforce certificate program, community-based efforts and models, uses of technology, and analyses to better understand health disparities in minority populations.

"It is our hope that the articles encourage readers to take on innovative roles and pursue opportunities to influence the health, functioning and well-being of the growing population of older adults," says co-guest editor Lynda Anderson, PhD, Healthy Aging Program Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Several papers describe the importance of social engagement among older adults as well as the valuable role of community collaboratives and intergenerational efforts such as aging services networks, community colleges, Experience Corps® and elementary schools. These collaboratives allow the expansion of program delivery in partnership with the public health system. The Villages movement, a grassroots strategy by which organizations provide services to help older adults remain in their homes, also is spreading across communities as means to enhance social engagement, independence, and well-being of older adults.

Another article in the supplement provides new insights into the importance and value of civic service by older adults. Thomas R. Prohaska, PhD, co-guest editor and dean of the College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University notes, "Although the benefits of volunteering in older adults in terms of improvements in physical and mental health have been previously documented, there is now research that shows benefits of volunteerism in enhancing seniors' social and civic activity."

The co-guest editors summarize that further research on healthy aging is needed, especially studies that simultaneously address multiple factors, such as chronic disease self-management and uses of technology.


All articles in the HE&B supplemental issue are provided through open access at

Information on related podcasts and webinars are available at

This supplement was supported by funding to SOPHE from Cooperative Agreement #U38HM000454 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy Aging Program to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; and a grant from The Retirement Research Foundation.

About Health Education & Behavior (HE&B)

Health Education & Behavior explores social and behavioral change as they affect health status and quality of life. It also examines the processes of planning, implementing, managing, and assessing health education and social-behavioral interventions. The journal provides empirical research, case studies, program evaluations, literature reviews, and discussions of theories of health behavior and health status, as well as strategies to improve social and behavioral health. For more information, visit

About Society for Public Health Education

The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) is a non-profit professional organization founded in 1950 to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of society. SOPHE's 4,000 international and chapter members work in various public and private organizations to advance health education theory and research, develop disease prevention and health promotion programs, and promote public policies conducive to health. For more information, see .

About CDC's Healthy Aging Program

The Healthy Aging Program serves as the focal point at CDC for efforts to promote the health and quality of life of older Americans. Located within CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the Program focuses on adults age 50 or older. Its goals are to enhance the ability of states and communities to identify and implement effective strategies and programs to promote and protect the health of older adults; expand integration of public health and aging services and enhance outreach for health promotion and disease prevention among older adults; and promote health and preserve health-related quality of life for older adults through the health care system and other avenues. For more info, see

About The Retirement Research Foundation

The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF) is devoted exclusively to improving the quality of life for our nation's older adults, especially those who are vulnerable due to advanced age, economic disadvantage, or disparity related to race and ethnicity. Since its endowment by the late John D. MacArthur in 1978, The Retirement Research Foundation has awarded more than $200 million in grants. RRF fulfills its mission through grantmaking programs which support innovative advocacy, direct service, professional education and training, and research projects that benefit older Americans. For more info, see

About Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is the national nonprofit organization representing public health agencies in the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, and over 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, formulate and influence sound public health policy and ensure excellence in state-based public health practice. ASTHO's primary function is to track, evaluate, and advise members on the impact and formation of public or private health policy which may affect them and to provide them with guidance and technical assistance on improving the nation's health. For more info, see

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