Sports Medicine Bulletin
Oct. 28, 2014

Active Voice: Part 2 of Preparticipation Health Screening before Exercise — Is It Time for a Change?
By Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., FACSM, MAACVPR, FAHA
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., FACSM, is director of preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. He is a past president of ACSM and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, and is currently serving on editorial boards of 15 prominent scientific/clinical journals. For further biographical information, see Part 1 of this commentary at the SMB online archives.

Here, Dr. Franklin presents his views on the above-titled topic in relation to the recent study by Whitfield GP, et al. published in Circulation, March 2014. Given the scope of the topic, the text is presented in two installments. Part 1 presents his analysis of past evidence on the benefits and risks of increasing physical activity and the rationale for health screening of sedentary adults who begin structured exercise. In this final installment, he re-examines these preparticipation guidelines in the context of these new data from Whitfield et al.

The Whitfield et al, article in Circulation, March 2014, evaluated two commonly recommended self-screening exercise preparticipation questionnaires, the AHA/ACSM Preparticipation Questionnaire (AAPQ) and the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. The aim was to clarify the utility of these screening tools in a systematic manner. Using relevant responses from the combined 2001 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database for individuals > 40 years of age, as many as 96 percent and 94 percent of men and women, respectively, would be advised to consult a physician before embarking on an exercise regimen. The investigators concluded that widespread use of the AAPQ would result in excessive medical referrals and present unfounded barriers to exercise adoption.More

Media Turns Attention to Concussion in Soccer, Including Interview of Former ACSM President

The PBS Newshour focused on the risk of concussions in soccer over the weekend. Former ACSM President and neurosurgeon Robert Cantu was interviewed, making points that included: requiring helmets will not offer protection from concussions; eliminating headers by children ages 14 and younger will help protect young players from head injuries; and youth sports is important for our children and should be encouraged, as we strive make it even safer. Read more and view the story here.More

Apply Now for 2015 ACSM Foundation Research Grants

ACSM is now accepting applications for the 2015 Foundation Research Grant Program. In 2014, ACSM funded 24 grants through this program, awarding a total of $140,000 to researchers.

Members ranging from graduate students to experienced professionals are eligible to apply for these funding opportunities, which can be found under Student Awards and Research Grants on the ACSM website. Choose the grant opportunity that's right for you.

Please note that you must use Adobe Reader 9 to complete the application. The application deadline is Jan. 16, 2015. Contact Michael Dell at or (317) 637-9200 ext. 143 with questions or for more information.More

Reminder: Annual Meeting Abstract Submissions Due Nov. 3

Present your research at the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science meeting in the world, ACSM's 62nd Annual Meeting, 6th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise Fatigue to be held May 26-30 in San Diego, California. The deadline to submit abstracts is November 3 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Each person is permitted to submit and be first author on one scientific and one clinical case abstract for the annual meeting, which includes the World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise Fatigue, and one scientific abstract for the World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®.

With 12 topical categories, including Exercise is Medicine®, these three meetings offer attendees outstanding programming covering the science, practice, public health and policy aspects of sports medicine, exercise science and physical activity.

View the Call for Abstracts brochure for details. Or, visit the ACSM Annual Meeting website for more information. More

Check Out New Issue of ACSM's Fit Society Page®

The October 2014 issue of the ACSM Fit Society Page® is now available, with new information on the theme of "Women's Health." Get a number of great articles by subject matter experts on how exercise relates to issues specific to women, including:

Click here for more health and fitness information from ACSM or to subscribe to this newsletter.More

Register Now: Free Wellness Webinar for Business and Community Leaders Nov. 3

All ACSM members have one thing in common: a vested interest in keeping individuals healthy and productive.

Unfortunately, that is an increasingly difficult task to accomplish, as chronic disease and health care costs continue to rise. These issues have consumed all public discussion around health care, and it is clear that we need a new direction if we’re going to solve this crisis.

You're invited to a one-hour webinar on November 3 from 1-2 p.m. that will address a new approach to health care that stems from learnings through the field of sports. When professional athletes want to improve their game, they go to a trainer or a sports performance coach for ways to improve their overall performance – whether it be fitness tips, technique improvement or learning better focus and mental toughness.

On this webinar, titled "A new approach to driving individual performance and health outcomes: How businesses and communities can serve as performance coaches," you'll hear from the world of business (Johnson & Johnson) and from an innovative community (Lake Nona, FL) on how they are successfully playing this role of "performance coach" and helping to drive health outcomes. You'll also get some tips on various ways businesses, communities and health field leaders can work together to influence an individual's health and performance on multiple levels.

Featured speakers:

Register today!More

Why You Need to Keep Exercising Past Age 50
The Seattle Times
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, even adults 65 and older should aim to exercise four to five days per week for approximately 20 to 45 minutes at a time.

Many think that as you age you need to slow down. Take it easy.

It comes from the long-ingrained fear that the older you are, the more fragile your body is and you need to do your best not to break it. While you are indeed precious cargo, it has nothing to do with your age. In fact, exercise is arguably more important the older you get. Regardless of age, everyone needs to exercise.

When someone tells you something often enough, you start to believe it. Thankfully, you do not need to buy into the self-defeating idea that old age means giving up the activities you once loved.More

The Half-Marathon Achieves its Personal Best
The Wall Street Journal
The business plan wasn't promising: Take a storied running event, chop it off in the middle and give it a name like a second-rate movie sequel. Yet the half-marathon has become a star attraction on its own, racing past its older sibling to become the darling of amateur distance runners.

Nearly 2 million people finished a half-marathon in the U.S. last year, an all-time high and a fourfold increase from 2000, according to industry tracker Running USA. The 13.1-mile half-marathon now counts more than three times as many annual finishers as the 26.2-mile marathon.

Fans of the half-marathon say it is long enough to present a challenge but short enough that novices can train for it in a few months. It's also gentler on the body. With proper training, half-marathoners can avoid some overuse injuries common to marathoners, such as stress fractures and joint irritation, says Kelley Anderson, primary care sports medicine physician at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh.