Sports Medicine Bulletin
Jul. 15, 2014

Active Voice: How Accurate Are Wearable Activity Monitors?
By Jung-Min Lee, Ph.D.
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.More

New Resources Coming: US Report Card on Physical Activity for Children, Youth

At a Congressional Briefing in April, the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP), in collaboration with ACSM, released the groundbreaking 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. The National Physical Activity Plan focuses on tactics and strategies for addressing physical activity. The report card is the first in an historic series of report cards that will provide an unprecedented benchmark using a common methodology on this critical public health issue.

The report card's findings served as a wake-up call and prompted coverage by the news media, including this Washington Post article. As the report card outcomes reverberate around the country, two new educational resources are being developed and will be available over the next two months. In early August, a video will be distributed that summarizes the report card's outcomes and subsequent call to action. The video features Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, chair of the U.S. Report Card Research Advisory Committee and associate executive director at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, and Dr. Russell Pate, chairman of the NPAP Alliance and professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

In early fall, a webinar will be available that provides an in-depth discussion of the report card findings, including a question and answer session with Doctors Katsmarzyk and Pate.

Be watching future issues of SMB for more information about the video and webinar.More

Policy Corner: Update on Congressional Appropriations for Research Funding

Here is a brief update from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) on the current status of the appropriations process in Congress. ACSM monitors the appropriations process in the Congress due to its importance in funding grants and programs that directly affect ACSM members.

Further consideration of the appropriations bills remains stalled in the Senate due to an ongoing dispute over possible amendments that are related to policy, rather than funding issues. Although Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) had hoped to schedule votes on the Energy and Water and Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) measures this week, it appears that has again been delayed. Senators also have not reached an agreement on how to proceed with the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture and Transportation-Housing "minibus" package (HR 4660).

The House has made considerably more progress related to the FY 2015 appropriations process, passing all but the LHHS and interior bills at the committee level. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said that the LHHS bill will be considered by the end of July, but did not specify a date. Five of the spending measures have been approved by the full House thus far. A sixth, the Energy and Water bill (HR 4923), is currently being debated by the full House. The bill provides $5.071 billion for Department of Energy Office of Science, the same as the FY 2014 enacted level.

Given the crowded legislative agenda and limited time, it is clear that the appropriators will not achieve their goal of completing work on all 12 of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 spending bills by the September 30 deadline. Lawmakers are expected to pass a short term “continuing resolution” (CR) after Labor Day to keep federal agencies operating beyond October 1. The length of the CR has not been determined yet, but many expect that it will fund the government through at least late November.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Monte Ward, vice president of government relations, at

Last Day to Submit Abstracts for ACSM Conference on Integrative Physiology of Exercise

The ACSM Conference on Integrative Physiology of Exercise conference will be held September 17-20 at the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach, Florida. The program will emphasize areas of rapid advancements in exercise physiology and feature exciting keynote lectures by David Dinges, Karyn Esser, Bruce Spiegelman and Erik Richter.

Program highlights include:

Today, July 15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, is the last day to submit an abstract to present at the IPE conference. Abstracts can be submitted here.

View the full agenda and register today!More

IAWHP Webinar: The Top 20 Healthy Workplaces in the World

Wolf Kirsten, president of International Health Consulting, will present this one-hour webinar about the Global Healthy Workplace Awards on August 20 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern time. The Global Healthy Workplace Awards is the first truly global awards program, which follows the World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Workplace Framework. This presentation will highlight the finalists as well as programs which made the top 20 and come from all over the world. Participants will learn what the WHO Healthy Workplace Framework entails and which organizations (small, medium-sized, and large/multinational) have done an exemplary job implementing the framework. Register Online Today.

$25 USD for IAWHP members & $40 USD for non-IAWHP/public members. This cost is per registered phone line/internet connection. You may have multiple participants participate under a single registration. Registration ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern US Time on August 19.

Continuing Education Credits:
The program offers 1 ACSM CEC. Please note: There is NO LONGER an additional fee for the CEC. The credit is included in the registration fee. In addition, all participants at your site are eligible to receive the ACSM CEC.

About IAWHP:
The International Association for Worksite Health Promotion, an ACSM Affiliate Society, is the first global association dedicated to advancing the global community of worksite health promotion practitioners through high-quality information, services, educational activities, personal and professional development and networking opportunities. For more information, visit

Correction from July 8 Issue of Sports Medicine Bulletin

In last week's Sports Medicine Bulletin article "ACSM, NCAA develop new guidelines to protect student-athletes," Stan Herring, MD, FACSM was incorrectly identified. Click HERE to review the updated article.More

'Hot' Yoga Yields Fitness Benefits According to Researcher
Colorado State University via Medical Express
Researchers at Colorado State University have produced some of the first scientific evidence that Bikram yoga, a type of "hot yoga," has beneficial effects on fitness.

They are also the first to quantify the number of calories burned while practicing this yoga. Brian Tracy, an associate professor in CSU's Department of Health and Exercise Science, presented his lab's findings in May at the national conference of the American College of Sports Medicine. Bikram yoga is a standardized 90-minute session featuring 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and kept at 40 percent humidity. In his most recent study, which was highlighted in recent online issues of Time and Glamour magazines, Tracy measured the body's response to a yoga session performed by 19 seasoned 18- to 40-year-old Bikram practitioners – 11 women and eight men.

He found that the participants showed elevated heart rates averaging about 160 beats per minute and core temperatures averaging 100.3 degrees F, all within a safe range. Tracy also found that the body's average metabolic rate, or calories burned, was roughly equivalent to walking briskly for a full 90 minutes.

Some practitioners have reported burning as many as 1,000 calories in one Bikram yoga session, but Tracy said the figure in his study averaged about 460 calories for men and 330 for women. Differences in body size explained the caloric difference between the sexes.More

Stanczykiewicz: The Decline of Youth Sports
News and Tribune (opinion)
An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak.

Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-12, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. National experts speculate on several reasons for this decline including the squeeze on family finances caused by the Great Recession, increased concern about injury and too many kids playing video games instead of the real thing.

"The whole picture to me is very concerning," said Dr. Bill Dexter, President of the American College of Sports Medicine. "It's very clear that kids who participate are more likely to be healthy and stay active throughout their lives."

Dr. Michael Bergeron, who leads the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute, agrees.

"It's a concerning issue because all of us who are involved with youth sports know the value to kids of sports participation."

Without discounting the importance of other extracurricular activities — from marching band to math bowl, from the sciences to the arts — playing organized team sports can have a positive effect on healthy youth development.

The Journal of Sports Medicine reported that youth who are active in sports enjoy increased physical fitness and emotional health including a decreased likelihood of depression, suicide and other high risk behaviors. These positive impacts are likely to remain into their adult years.More