Sports Medicine Bulletin
Jul. 17, 2012

Active Voice: Children Spend Most of their Time in Sedentary Behavior
By Jonathan A. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Jonathan A. Mitchell, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He is funded on a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. His research focus includes sedentary behavior epidemiology. He is particularly interested in studying the amounts of time youth spend in sedentary behavior and if high levels of sedentary behavior are independently associated with health outcomes. In the June issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE), he and his co-investigators presented findings of a prospective study of sedentary behavior patterns and socioeconomic correlates in children ages 12-16.

Being physically active is beneficial to children’s health and development, and children are recommended to spend at least one hour per day in moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA). However, consider a hypothetical child who meets this guideline and sleeps for nine hours per day. This child has 14 waking hours remaining in his/her day that could be spent in either light-intensity physical activity or sedentary behavior. Few research studies have quantified the time children spend in sedentary behavior during their waking hours and this served as motivation for our recent study, published in MSSE, which describes levels of sedentary behavior in a cohort of children at ages 12, 14 and 16. The children wore activity monitors at each age for one week, except when they were asleep or when they were participating in water activities (bathing or swimming). We found that the children at age 12 spent approximately 54% of their monitored time in sedentary behavior, and this increased to approximately 65% of their monitored time at age 16. We also found that the children experienced fewer breaks in their sedentary behavior from age 12 to 16. To accommodate the increase in sedentary behavior, we found that time spent in light-intensity physical activity decreased from age 12 to 16 (with little to no change in MVPA). More

Q&A with Olympic Torchbearer Steve Blair

Prominent scientist carries the flame, explains ‘The Kiss’

Steven Blair, P.E.D., FACSM, long has illuminated the connections between physical activity and health. On July 11th, he literally took up the torch for the cause, serving as an official torchbearer for the London Olympics as James Pivarnik, Ph.D., FACSM, had done for the 2008 games. SMB caught up with Dr. Blair after his service as a Torchbearer.

SMB: What did you find surprising or unexpected about the experience?

BLAIR: I was really impressed with the number of people and the enthusiasm they exhibited. There must have been thousands of people on the street over the ~5 km course that was the route of the group of which I was a part. The crowd consisted of infants in arms to very elderly people in wheelchairs. There were many school groups, from elementary to high school students. Many of the kids had Olympic Torches they had made.

SMB: How does carrying the torch relate to your lifelong study of physical inactivity?

BLAIR: I think I was given the opportunity to participate in the Torch Relay because of my research on physical activity and health. I am grateful that work in this area was recognized.More

Policy Corner: UNICEF Begins to Tackle NCDs in Children and Adolescents

The historic Side Event on Physical Activity and Non-Communicable Diseases, which ACSM convened last fall before the UN High-level Meeting on NCDs, brought into sharp focus the significance of physical inactivity as a global health risk.

Advocates continue to draw attention to the connection between active lifestyles and health. According to a recent post on the Dialogue4Health blog sponsored by the Public Health Institute, UNICEF—the UN agency devoted to children’s health and welfare—will add information on non-communicable diseases in the upcoming revision of its “Facts for Life” handbook. More

ACSM Joins the Olympics Buzz—What's Your Role?

The London Olympics are just around the corner, and ACSM is gearing up to play its part. The Olympic Games take place July 27-August 12, and the Paralympic Games run Aug. 29-Sept. 9. We anticipate a surge of media inquiries and lots of interest from the general public in topics relating to athlete health, sports performance, fitness and conditioning.

These games have been dubbed the Social Media Games or "socialympics” and are anticipated to be the most liked, tweeted, and tagged sporting event in history. ACSM’s Olympics communication program will embrace the momentum of the social media movement—and there are multiple ways you can have a role:


Call for MSSE Editor-in-Chief Applications, Nominations

The ACSM Publications Committee invites applications and nominations for editor-in-chief of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE), ACSM’s flagship monthly journal. The editor will serve a four-year term from January 2014 to December 2017, with the option of serving a second term.

Current Editor-in-Chief Andrew J. Young, Ph.D., FACSM, will complete his second term in December 2013. The incoming editor, expected to be confirmed by January 2013, will work with Dr. Young and ACSM staff members for one year to prepare for and transition into the role. One of his or her first tasks will be to recruit associate editors-in-chief and associate editors. The new editorial team then will begin reviewing papers in July 2013.

In addition to being an official ACSM journal, MSSE is among the most cited in the sport sciences literature. It is ranked No. 3 out of 84 journals in the sport sciences category of the Journal Citation Reports® for 2011 issued in June by Thomson Reuters. MSSE’s impact factor is 4.431, up from 4.106 the previous year.

Candidates are required to complete a short questionnaire and submit a CV by September 28, 2012. For more information or to request a questionnaire, contact Managing Editor Kenneth O. Wilson at More

Importance of Exercise In Health plans upheld by Supreme Court decision
Medical News Today
According to scientists and medical experts, even though the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) anticipated much speculation while putting plans into effect, it still does not change one important thing they are sure of. Leaders of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) strongly believe physical activity and exercise to be the most powerful tool in helping aid the sick people in the U.S.There is widespread support in Congress for a plan to help prevent disease instead of helping people pay for treatment after they get sick, including promotion healthy lifestyles and physical activity.

Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., ACSM president and an associate dean at Virginia Tech, quoted a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcement that physical inactivity will have caused about 7 million premature deaths in the country just in this decade.More

Bouncing back from fitness injuries
Today's Diet and Nutrition
You think you’re pretty fit. You exercise regularly, eat right, and make sure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to perform at its best. But that doesn’t make you immune to injury. Trained athletes suffer fitness injuries all the time. You could be susceptible, too, and perhaps you’ve already suffered back pain or a sprained ankle during the course of your exercise program.

So what do you do to bounce back? Doctors and physical therapists agree that you need to give yourself time to heal. But that doesn’t mean giving up exercise in the meantime. It does mean taking care of yourself, however, and sometimes the best thing you can do for an injury is evaluate how it happened in the first place.More