Eleven Thoughts from Reading this Issue
1. Depression: A momentous global challenge. Across the globe, depression has a significant effect on the well-being and quality of life of far too many people. Although commonly treated with medications and mental health therapies, there is some evidence that physical activity may be beneficial. Barbara A. Bushman, Ph.D., FACSM, in this issue's Wouldn't You Like to Know column, "Physical Activity and Depression," shares some insight into the role physical activity may play in treating and preventing this challenging and at times debilitating condition.
2. Sit less, move more, don't neglect strength training, and yes, all physical movement counts. This past fall, the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was released. In this issue's Health & Fitness From A to Z column, William L. Haskell, Ph.D., FACSM, reviews the history and scientific basis for the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines in his superbly written article titled, "Guidelines for Physical Activity and Health in the United States: Evolution over 50 Years."
3. Unfortunately, we still don't get it. Perhaps our physical inactivity challenge is really no surprise. We have spent decades programming physical activity out of our lifestyles, and now we need creative ways to put it back in order to protect our health and maximize our health span. James E. Peterman, Ph.D., highlights the numerous physical activity challenges we are facing in this issue's opening feature article, "Houston, We Have a (Physical Activity) Problem."
4. How much of your client's time is spent in automobiles and buildings? You may be shocked! Perhaps one of the greatest barriers standing in the way of physical activity is the way we have engineered our urban environments. Andrew W. Bailey, Ph.D., and Kara Hamilton, Ph.D., discuss this challenge and provide some interesting reengineering thoughts in their feature article, "Engineering Physical Activity into Daily Life through Public Space." As health and fitness professionals, we need to be strong advocates for this reengineering process.
5. The physical activity vital sign (PAVS), an ethical obligation for medical providers. Despite decades of solid research, there still exists a disconnect between medical providers and the assessment and utilization of physical activity as a preventive and interventional treatment. Carrie A. Jaworski, M.D., FACSM, highlights some of the challenges medical providers face in assessing and prescribing physical activity in her feature article, "Combating Physical Inactivity: The Role of Health Care Providers." Health care is a team approach and presents a tremendous opportunity for medical providers and fitness professionals to work together to improve patient care outcomes.
6. It is time to "kick the can" (of physical inactivity) and get our kids moving. Yes, growing up that was one of my favorite games among other spontaneous play activities we created. Sadly, this is not the case today, and in his feature article, "Physical Inactivity in Childhood from Preschool to Adolescence," Jonathan A. Mitchell, Ph.D., elegantly describes this challenge and shares a few steps we should consider.
7. Sneaky workouts: One way to overcome the daunting task of finding time during the sedentary workday to regularly move. Achieving the recommended daily physical activity levels is a challenging task in our modern sedentary work environments. Lisa Ferguson-Stegall, Ph.D., FACSM, and Jennifer Dysterheft Robb, Ph.D., discuss the challenges many adults face toward living an active lifestyle and offer some excellent suggestions for overcoming these barriers in their feature article, "Effective Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in the Working Years."
8. Retirement: A diversified 401PA account is critical, and a joy to spend during those golden years. Many people nearing retirement age worry whether they have saved enough financial resources for the years ahead. Unfortunately, very few place an equal concern as to whether they have gathered the necessary health resources to expand their "health span" through those same golden years. Chris Dondzila, Ph.D., and Steve Glass, Ph.D., discuss this critically important topic in their feature article, "Currency for Retirement: Investing in Physical Capital." An excellent reminder that it is never too early or late to start saving.
9. Social determinants of health do have an effect on physical activity. Nico P. Pronk, Ph.D., FACSM, FAWHP; Eric G. Bender, BA; and Abigail S. Katz, Ph.D., share an interesting case study from the HealthPartners "Be Well" program that highlights the relationship between social determinants of health and physically active employees. Be sure to read this issue's Worksite Health Promotion column, "The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans II: Associations between Social Determinants of Health and Meeting Guidelines for Physical Activity Among Employees."
10. Stroke: A time-sensitive event. Health and fitness professionals should be acutely aware of the signs, symptoms, and debilitating effect of a stroke. This issue's Take 10 column penned by James A. Peterson, Ph.D., FACSM, shares some critical facts we all should be cognizant of regarding strokes. Be sure to read "10 Ought-to-Know Facts about Strokes."
11. Thank you! The theme of this issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® "Combating Physical Inactivity," has been highlighted by a series of exceptional feature articles and our associate editor columns. However, a very special and well-deserved "thank you" goes to Lenny Kaminsky, Ph.D., FACSM, who served as our guest editor for this exceptional publication. I know you will agree with me that it is a job well done!