Active Voice: Gender Differences in the Marathon Nature or Nurture?
By Sandra Hunter, Ph.D., FACSM Share
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.
Sandra Hunter, Ph.D., FACSM, is Associate Professor in the Exercise Science Program, Department of Physical Therapy at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Her research focus includes understanding the mechanisms for sex and age differences in motor control and neuromuscular fatigue and the added impact of psychological stress. In the April 2011 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE), Hunter and co-authors published a related research paper entitled “Is There a Sex Difference in the Age of Elite Marathon Runners?”
In 1992, a controversial article in Nature projected, based on improvements in running times from previous decades, that women would outrun men in the marathon by 1998. This did not occur because the physiological differences between elite men and women runners still exist. Men, on average, have less body fat, larger hearts and greater hemoglobin concentration than women, facilitating larger maximal oxygen consumption and faster marathon times (for more, see article by Michael Joyner). In a recent article in MSSE, we highlighted the sex differences in the age and performance of elite marathon runners. The findings offer a glimpse into sex differences in physiology and other sociological factors that affect performance. More
Policy Corner: Out of the Ivory Tower
While some scientists might prefer to conduct their research in a quiet laboratory, undisturbed by the clamor of a fractious and baffling society, none are removed from the implications of the many intersections of science and public policy. ACSM members likely are aware that the College is a member of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), whose activities include pursuing a robust public policy agenda.
Helping make order out of the chaos that often pervades the science/policy nexus are a number of websites, including those of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. One hot topic being explored by both organizations is the current debate about climate change among policy makers, media and the public. More
Headlines include recent stories in the media on sports medicine and exercise science topics and do not reflect ACSM statements, views or endorsements. Headlines are meant to inform members on what the public is reading and hearing about the field.
A Little Bit of Exercise Makes a Big Difference
USA Today Share
Lazy Americans, you are not off the hook, but health experts are cutting you some slack.
"It's very clear that a little bit of exercise makes a big difference," says Carol Ewing Garber, author of the American College of Sports Medicine's new guidelines on quantity and quality of exercise for adults. "The recommendation to get 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise is still one of the goals, but the message needs to be heard that doing less is also helpful." More
Your New Exercise Rx from the American College of Sports Medicine: Get Out of That Chair and Move
Los Angeles Times Share
New exercise guidelines released by the American College of Sports Medicine Tuesday may be more detailed than the last, but don't worry -- the overriding message is that pretty much any kind of activity is better than sitting on the sofa.
Thanks to copious new research the guidelines, last updated in 1998, got an upgrade. The 150-minute or more per week rule for cardio is still there, as is information on strength training. Perhaps the biggest change is the relaxing of stringent exercise guidelines, says Carol Ewing Garber, ACSM vice president and associate professor of movement science at Columbia University. The previous approach emphasized reaching goals for cardio and strength training, a la, "You must do this or you won't improve your fitness and health," Garber says. Sure, it would be great for people to reach those goals every week, but that probably won't happen. "Research now supports the fact that you can do less than what's recommended and still get benefits. Your weight may stay the same, but your overall health may improve." More
Ease Office Neck Pain with Two Minutes of Daily Exercise
USA Today Share
If you work in an office, keeping neck and shoulder pain away may only take two minutes a day.
A new study presented at the World Congress of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Denver found that office workers doing two minutes of exercise a day reported lower levels of neck and shoulder pain after 10 weeks.
The study by Danish researchers involved 198 office workers who had frequent neck and shoulder pain but were otherwise healthy. The workers did either a 2-minute or a 12-minute resistance exercise using elastic tubing. The exercise was a lateral raise, in which the upper arm is raised until it is horizontal and the arms are 10 to 15 inches from the body, says Lars Andersen, the lead researcher. More