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In this issue:

Active Voice: Activity Behaviors and Blood Pressure During Adolescence
ACSM and Johnson & Johnson Form Global Alliance to Advance Human Health and Performance
Policy Corner: ACSM President Bill Dexter Recaps Last Week’s Congressional Briefing
May 7 is Project ACES Day - All Children Exercise Simultaneously!
Don't Miss Free Online Content from ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines

  Actiheart - Ambulatory Energy Expenditure Monitor

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Active Voice: Activity Behaviors and Blood Pressure During Adolescence
By Bamini Gopinath, Ph.D.
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, Ph.D., is an epidemiologist at the Centre for Vision Research, University of Sydney. Her research focuses on comprehensively assessing the links between modifiable lifestyle risk factors, including diet and activity behaviors, obesity and blood pressure, in adults and children/adolescents who have a range of chronic health conditions. The ultimate goal of her research is the translation of epidemiological data into health policy and practice, and thereby targeting current gaps that exist in health services.

This commentary presents Dr. Gopinath’s views on the topic of a research article which she and her colleagues published in the April 2014 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise® (MSSE).

The recognition and management of elevated blood pressure (BP) during childhood and identifying modifiable lifestyle risk factors could be important to limiting the overall disease burden in later life. Of particular importance is the fact that several studies have shown that elevated BP levels in childhood and adolescence could be associated with an increased risk of hypertension and vascular disease in later life.

Physical activity and its associated health benefits in childhood and into adulthood have been well established, including reductions in adiposity, BP and other positive effects on vascular health. Conversely, sedentary lifestyles, including excessive time spent in TV viewing are known to be associated with childhood obesity and raised BP. However, to date, there has been a lack of prospective studies which have simultaneously assessed the long-term relationship between physical activity and various types of sedentary behaviors and change in BP measures among a representative sample of children. From a public health perspective, it is important to understand the prospective relationship between a range of physical and sedentary activities and change in BP in nonclinical populations of children.

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ACSM and Johnson & Johnson Form Global Alliance to Advance Human Health and Performance

On April 29, ACSM, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, announced the creation of the Global Alliance for Health and Performance. The alliance will work to educate and promote the ways in which proven principles of sport science and energy management can move society from a disease state to a performance state.

The alliance is comprised of leading professionals in business, sport, science, and academia, and will share tools, best practices, research, and case studies in this newest initiative. Both Johnson & Johnson and ACSM have been working in the fields of human performance and sport science for decades. The Human Performance Institute Division of Wellness & Prevention Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company, is a pioneer in energy management training and has been helping businesses, athletes, military, elite medical teams and law enforcement agencies apply principles of energy management to help drive health and performance since the 1980s.

For more information on the global alliance, go to

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Policy Corner: ACSM President Bill Dexter Recaps Last Week's Congressional Briefing

Last week, ACSM and the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Alliance released the first-ever United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, and Uncle Sam could not be proud of the 2014 grades.

The key indicators that were evaluated and graded as part of the U.S. Report Card include:

  1. Overall Physical Activity: D-
  2. Sedentary Behaviors: D
  3. Active Transportation: F
  4. Organized Sport Participation: C-
  5. Active Play: INCOMPLETE
  6. Health-Related Fitness: INCOMPLETE
  7. Family and Peers: INCOMPLETE
  8. School: C-
  9. Community and the Built Environment: B-
  10. Government Strategies and Investments: INCOMPLETE
ACSM President William Dexter, M.D. offered some constructive calls to action for policymakers. Dr. Dexter emphasized that government has an important role to play in surveillance, research and other policies.

"An important opportunity for improving physical activity grades in the U.S. is the role that physicians can play in encouraging kids and families to be more physically active," said Dexter. "ACSM launched a program called Exercise is Medicine® with the American Medical Association, and it encourages doctors to discuss physical activity during every patient visit. As a physician, I can tell you that I make physical activity an important part of my practice, and more and more doctors are going to be prescribing healthy and enjoyable physical activity for all Americans, and especially our youth."

More information, including the full report, can be found on the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance website.

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May 7 is Project ACES Day - All Children Exercise Simultaneously!

In conjunction with May's Exercise is Medicine® Month, "The World's Largest Exercise Class" came to children and schools around the world on May 1. Tomorrow, millions of participants across the globe will be celebrating the annual Project ACES® Day beginning at 10 a.m. This Youth Fitness Coalition (YFC) signature program, in partnership with American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine® initiative, promotes physical activity to children in order to decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity. Project ACES, an acronym for All Children Exercise Simultaneously, also coincides with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and National Physical Education Week. To learn more, please visit
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Don't Miss Free Online Content from ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®

Check out the two free featured articles from the May/June 2014 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® at

The free featured articles for this issue include, "Personal Fitness Trainers Giving Tough Love: Risks and Consequences," by Betul Sekendiz, M.Sc., Ph.D. and the Nutritionist's View column, "Vitamin D and Exercise Performance," by Stella L. Volpe, Ph.D., R.D., FACSM. The articles are accessible at no cost on the journal's website until June 22. Download your copies today.

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Just 1 in 4 US Kids Gets Enough Exercise
The Huffington Post
Childhood obesity has gotten plenty of attention, but are behaviors that may prevent it really changing? A new report explored the state of physical activity among US youth.

The report examined a variety of aspects of the physical activity levels of American children and teens, and found mixed results.

The report found that only about a quarter of children meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity levels.

This new report — the "2014 U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth" — was produced by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA), a non-profit organization.

The report considered a variety of factors, including overall physical activity, sedentary behaviors, active transportation methods and organized sports participation. Numerous data sources were used, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Household Travel Survey and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

According to NPAPA, the US 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children between the ages of 6 and 15 get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five days of the week. However, the report found that, overall, only around a quarter of these children (25 percent) are meeting this recommendation.

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Healthy Aging into Your 80s and Beyond
Sixty years ago an American who made it to 65 could expect to live an additional 14 years. Today, it's 19 years. The most important question then: how to grow older healthfully so that we can actually enjoy those extra years? A ­Con­sumer Reports survey of 2,066 Americans age 50 and older ­revealed that we're eager to maintain our quality of life into retirement and far, far beyond.

"Whether you're just starting to think about your golden years or are well into retirement, it turns out that most of us have pretty similar goals: remaining independent, keeping mentally sharp, and staying as mobile as possible," said Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D., director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging.

But that kind of successful aging requires savvy planning and decision-making. Our survey found that multiple chronic illnesses, shelves full of medications, and numerous medical specialists are common for Americans older than 50, so lining up good health care and managing it smartly are important. We also discovered that mobility decreases dramatically as you age; 33 percent of those older than 80 have difficulty walking, and more than 25 percent have a tough time simply getting out of chairs, so a fitness plan that maintains strength, flexibility, and balance is vital. Our survey group told us that their current home was the top choice of where to live as they aged and needed more care. But the ability to do so is highly dependent on the home’s location and physical features. Also, maintaining an active social network for yourself and being a lifelong learner are the best ways to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, the situation that respondents feared most about old age.

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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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