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ACSM Newsbriefs

ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal: July-August 2009 - Volume 13 - Issue 4 - p 2
doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e3181aae047

Learn about how weight loss may improve balance recovery; Find out more about ACSM's updated Position Stand on Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults; Journal Editorial Board Member honored.

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A recent study published in the July 2009 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, examined effects of weight loss and strength training interventions on balance recovery.

The authors reported that weight loss and strength training have been shown to improve balance that could lead to positive interventions for those at risk for falling and injury, such as obese individuals who have an increased risk over nonobese individuals. Nine male subjects, aged 19 to 32 years, participated in the study. Subjects were leaned forward while harnessed at the waist with their arms behind their bodies and were instructed to regain balance when released. This was repeated with the angle increased each time until the subject failed three times at the same angle by stepping or bending at the hip. The data collected were then applied to an inverted pendulum model of the experiment used to simulate the effect of strength training, weight loss, or a combination of the two on balance recovery.

The researchers determined that a higher percentage of strength training over weight loss was needed to improve balance recovery. All interventions improved balance recovery, but greater improvement in balance recovery was achieved with a smaller amount of weight loss.

Obesity is an increasing global health concern and is associated with a higher risk of falls, which leads to an increased risk for injuries. This study gives insight into the most effective ways to reduce the risk of falling. To view the complete article, visit

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The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released updated physical activity guidelines for older adults in the July 2009 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, the official journal of ACSM.



The revised Position Stand, "Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults," expands on the previous 1998 version and is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1 reviews the normal aging process of structural and functional deterioration, declining physical activity levels, and increasing risk of chronic disease for the population.
  • Section 2 details the effects of regular physical activity on the aging process and effects on chronic conditions and diseases.
  • Section 3 summarizes the benefits of long-term and short-term physical activity on health and functionality for older adults.

The conclusion of the current Position Stand is consistent with the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines, that is, regular physical activity is necessary for healthy aging. The Position Stand also emphasizes that it is essential to promote physical activity for older adults because this population is the least physically active age group. Find the complete Position Stand at by clicking on "Position Stands" under the "Inform" section of the ACSM home page.

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Laura Kruskall, Ph.D., R.D., CSSD, FACSM, recently received the Outstanding Dietetics Educator award from the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The award recognizes the teaching, mentoring, and leadership activities of faculty and preceptors in dietetics education programs accredited and approved by the ADA. Dr. Kruskall serves on the editorial board of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®, is a member of ACSM's Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition Planning Committee, and a regular presenter at ACSM's Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition. Dr. Kruskall is a Fellow of ACSM and is a registered dietitian. She is the director of Nutrition Sciences and an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV.

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In recent years, the practice of blood flow-restricted exercise, also known as KAATSU training or occlusion training, has gained increased attention in the research community. This exercise modality involves placing a compressive cuff around a limb that is inflated during exercise. If you are a practitioner in the rehabilitative or exercise fields and currently or in the past have used blood flow-restricted exercise in your practice, we would like you to take a brief survey. If you are interested and willing to provide information on your use of blood flow-restricted exercise, please email Brian Clark, Ph.D., at to receive the survey. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

© 2009 American College of Sports Medicine