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Season's Greetings from ACSM

The American College of Sports Medicine wishes you a happy and healthy holiday and new year!

Note: SMB will run two special holiday issues today and Dec. 30, and will return to its usual format on Jan. 6. The ACSM National Center will be closed on Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1 for the holidays.


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Active Voice: Foot Striking Strategy and Knee Loading in Runners – What's the Effect?
By Juha-Pekka Kulmala, M.S.
From Jan. 21: Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Juha-Pekka Kulmala, M.S., is completing his Ph.D. in biomechanics through the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. After working in footwear research projects at the Department of Biology of physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, he became interested in lower extremity mechanics with special focus on stress-related injury mechanisms.

The following commentary reflects Mr. Kulmala's views relating to the research article he and his colleagues authored and that appeared in the December 2013 issue of
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise® (MSSE). This study also has received considerable attention in the public media, including a feature story in the New York Times.

Running is a simple exercise form with great cardiovascular health benefits. However, at some point almost every runner faces a harmful side effect -- overuse injuries, which typically result from repeated loading of the musculoskeletal structures.

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Active Voice: How Accurate Are Wearable Activity Monitors?
By Jung-Min Lee, Ph.D.
From July 15: Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Jung-Min Lee, Ph.D. completed his doctoral training at Iowa State University and currently is an assistant professor in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at the University of Nebraska - Omaha. Dr. Lee's research encompasses physical activity and health promotion, focusing on the development and validation of objective techniques to assess habitual physical activity among diverse audiences and, for the physical activity environment, using Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

This commentary presents Dr. Lee’s views on the topic of an article which he and his colleagues published in the July-August 2014 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal (FIT).


Physical activity has been studied with various monitoring methods. It started with a variety of assessment tools such as activity logs, questionnaires, and direct observation, then progressed to wearable monitors including pedometers, heart rate monitors, and accelerometers. All of these methods have been tested both in the laboratory and free-living conditions. Among these, accelerometry-based activity monitors have been widely adapted as an objective assessment tool to measure individual’s regular physical activity.

Over the last several decades, tracking or monitoring physical activity was utilized primarily for research purposes - to examine the relationship between individuals’ daily physical activity level and health related outcomes. However, with significant advances in accelerometer technology and the public’s increased awareness of physical fitness, numerous companies have developed wearable monitors designed to help individuals track their personal activity patterns.

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Active Voice: Physical Activity and Sleep: It's Complicated!
By Maya Lambiase, Ph.D.
From Jan. 14: Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Dr. Lambiase is a Department of Veterans Affairs Women's Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh VA. Her research focuses on the relationships among physical activity, sleep, and cardiovascular disease risk. She is a professional-in-training member of ACSM.

The following commentary reflects Dr. Lambiase's views relating to the research article which she and her colleagues authored and that appeared in the December 2013 issue of
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise® (MSSE).

Almost everyone has experienced a night or two of bad sleep in their life. Unfortunately, for many people getting too little sleep or waking up during the night, this is a common experience. Like many conditions that worsen with age, sleep is no exception. Older adults often report getting less sleep, taking longer to fall asleep, and waking up more frequently than younger individuals. Sleep problems also are highly prevalent among women across the lifespan.

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Active Voice: Obesity in America — Don't Believe Everything You Read
By Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., FACSM
From March 11: Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM. Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., FACSM, is professor and director of the Children's Physical Activity Research Group and a faculty member in the Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. During his long career at USC, he has held several administrative positions including department chair and vice provost for health sciences. Russ is a past president of ACSM. In 2013, he received ACSM’s Honor Award for his exceptional scientific achievements relating to physical activity interventions for children and adolescents. Dr. Pate has published more than 270 scholarly articles and his research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association and others. Currently, he chairs the Coordinating Committee of the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you are almost certainly aware that the United States is in the midst of an "obesity epidemic." You are probably concerned about this issue, probably believe it is an important public health challenge, and probably believe that our society needs to make some profound changes in order to solve this problem. But have you stopped to ask yourself why you believe whatever you believe about obesity in America? Have you thought about where you accessed the information that prompted you to adopt your beliefs?

A recently released government report and the accompanying news coverage provide an interesting case study in how information about obesity is communicated to the public by the mass media. In the February 26, 2014 issue of JAMA, Cynthia Ogden and colleagues with the National Center for Health Statistics, reported on the latest national survey of obesity rates in the U.S. Following is the statement that was published as the Conclusion and Relevance section of the abstract: "Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. Obesity prevalence remains high and thus it is important to continue surveillance." Interestingly, the following headline was published by The New York Times in its front page coverage of the Ogden report on February 25, 2014: "Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade." Hmmmmm.


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Active Voice: Re-thinking the Universal Assumption of the MET
By Robert G. McMurray, Ph.D., Fellow Emeritus ACSM
From Aug. 19: Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Robert McMurray, Ph.D., FACSM, is the Smith-Gunter Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Exercise and Sport Science and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. His research has focused on issues relating exercise and metabolism to obesity and the development of cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adults. He received the ACSM Citation Award in 2011 in recognition for his contributions to the field.

This commentary presents Dr. McMurray's views on the topic of a research article which he and his colleagues published in the June 2014 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE).


We in the exercise community tend to overlook the importance of resting metabolic rate (RMR), even though it accounts for most of the daily energy expenditure of a typical adult. RMR is relevant to public health efforts intended to thwart the growing obesity and diabetes epidemics, which target groups of older and/or overweight adults for the delivery of physical activity programs. Estimates of RMR are used frequently to infer energy costs of participation in physical activity and to estimate daily energy expenditure as applied to achieving energy balance. This typically occurs via the use of the metric, the “MET,” or metabolic equivalent.

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Sports Medicine Bulletin

Sports Medicine Bulletin is a membership benefit of the American College of Sports Medicine. There is no commercial involvement in the development of content or in the editorial decision-making process for this weekly e-newsletter. The appearance of advertising in Sports Medicine Bulletin does not constitute ACSM endorsement of any product, service or company or of any claims made in such advertising. ACSM does not control where the advertisements appear or any coincidental alignment with content topic.

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