Jeanine Gangeness to present Feb. 26 Honors Council Lecture

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Dr. Jeanine Gangeness, assistant professor of nursing at Bemidji State University, will present an Honors Council Lecture entitled “Rural Women and Obesity: How Built Environments Influence Physical Activity” on Tuesday, February 26. The lecture, which is free to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer 112 on the BSU campus.

Rural women tend to be physically inactive and are at higher risk for obesity when compared to urban-dwelling counterparts. Gangeness will be lecturing on a case study developed to describe and explain the perceptions of rural women regarding rural built environments such as sidewalks or trails conducive to physical activity, and what influences availability, accessibility, acceptability and maintenance of these environments.

For the case study, data was collected during a 13-month period from March 2006 to April 2007 in two rural communities with populations of less than 1,000. Sources in each community included two women’s focus groups, a city council, individual interviews, three years of archival data and quantitative sidewalk maintenance assessments conducted during winter and summer.

A central theme that emerged was adaptation. Rural women constantly adapted to conditions of built environments, seasonal concerns such as darkness and climate, wild animals, traffic control issues, safety and other people in the environment and personal needs. While economic resources were limited for both rural communities, local champions, collaborative efforts between public schools, the city, and local groups and organizations, and adaptation enabled these communities to have some development and ongoing maintenance solutions.

Implications include the need to assess built environments where people live to determine physical activity options. Local, state and federal policies should increase the economic resources available for rural communities for physical activity infrastructure such as sidewalks and trails, since it is known that physical inactivity causes an increase in both morbidity and mortality.

Gangeness is the chair, and assistant professor in the Department of Nursing. She finished her doctorate at the University of North Dakota, College of Nursing during fall semester of 2007. Dr. Gangeness has published in the areas of tobacco policy, case study design and online nursing education.

For more information on the lecture, contact the Honors Program office at (218) 755-3984.

2008 Honors Lecture Series
Feb. 26: “Rural Women and Obesity: How Built Environments Influence Physical Activity;” Jeanine Gangeness; Hagg-Sauer 112
Mar. 19: “What Knowledge Is of the Most Worth?” Dr. Charles Alberti; Education Arts 115
April 2: “The Jeanette Smith Case: Defending Battered Women at Trial; ” Janet Prater; Hagg-Sauer 112
April 15: “Where Do Poems Come From?” Susan Hauser & Maureen Gibbon; Hagg-Sauer 112
April 24: “The Mental Maps and Mindscapes of the American Midwest;” Mike Garrett; Hagg-Sauer 112
all lectures begin at 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 26
– 7:00 p.m. – Bemidji State University Honors Lecture: Dr. Jeanine Gangeness, “Rural Women and Obesity: How Built Environments Influence Physical Activity.” Location: Hagg-Sauer 112, BSU. Admission: free.