SF State News {University Communications}

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Zieff honored with prestigious membership

December 17 , 2009 -- Professor of Kinesiology Susan Zieff was awarded a rare honor by being selected for membership to the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (AAKPE).

Photo of Professor Susan Zieff.

The AAKPE, founded in 1926, is considered the most prestigious organization in the field of kinesiology research and practice in the world. Zieff is one of only three Americans honored with AAKPE membership this year.
Through research focusing on public access to and practice of physical activity, Zieff studies the effectiveness of public programs designed to encourage more exercise in urban environments, including San Francisco's Sunday Streets. This program, which closes city streets to traffic for a few hours on weekends, encourages residents to ride bicycles, jog, walk and participate in various physical activities.
"We found that once the risk to traffic accidents was eliminated, people who hadn’t previously regarded exercise as a priority wanted to participate," said Zieff. "We also discovered that parents who exercise with their children have a better chance of making and achieving physical activity goals."
The program is expected to expand to more San Francisco neighborhoods. "Programs like these are beneficial in so many ways," said Zieff. "In addition to promoting positive behavioral changes, they encourage people to venture outside of their own neighborhoods, take back their streets and build stronger communities."
Zief's research has had far-reaching results, including use by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has initiated a program to identify national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease.
"I have no doubt that Professor Zieff's findings will be of value to the Centers for Disease Control as it puts essential elements of its initiative to practice," said Roberta Park, a past president of the AAKPE who nominated Zieff for the AAKPE honor. "Professor Zieff's research is part of the valuable work of one of the best kinesiology departments in the state and it significantly contributes to such public health goals as finding ways to prevent diseases like diabetes."
Zieff's research was conducted in collaboration with the Shape Up SF Coalition of the San Francisco Department of Public Health and with the support of the Public Research Institute and colleagues from SF State's College of Health and Human Services, including Professor Patrick Tierney and Assistant Professor Jackson Wilson of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism department and Associate Professor Mi-Sook Kim and Assistant Professor Claudia Guedes of the Kinesiology Department.

-- Denize Springer


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