National Posture Institute Research Review-Physical activity and peer pressure: new research
Study shows that peer mentoring in schools is a simple, fun and inexpensive way to significantly increase kids' physical activity levels
Using peer mentors to enhance school-day physical activity in elementary aged students has been given an A+ from Nova Scotia researchers.
And the increased physical activity levels got top grades for significantly improving both academic test scores and cardiovascular fitness levels.
Funded principally by the Nova Scotia Research Foundation and supported by community partners including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, research by principal investigator Dr. Camille Hancock Friesen and her team at the Maritime Heart Center (MHC) found that peer mentors can significantly influence the amount of physical activity kids have throughout the school day.
The MHC team created a Heart Healthy Kids (H2K ) Lunch program, which included three games that peer mentors could lead during lunch time once every two weeks. At least one MHC staff or adult volunteer was present at each H2K Lunch to ensure that the peer mentors were adequately supported.
"Using positive influences on children to be physically active works," says Dr. Hancock Friesen. "It may be that social reasons for physical activity trump other influences for kids. Unlike adults, they are not as motivated by concern for weight control or long-term health."
Students selected as peer mentors, who were age mates with other team members (grades 4, 5 and 6), received training in organization, positive feedback and team building.
Once the participants had eaten lunch, they participated in the games, including relays, tag and ball games. The peer mentors recognized participants who were particularly involved or helpful and participated in focus groups to evaluate the program.
"There was an average increase among peer-mentored students of over 1,000 steps a day," says Dr. Hancock Friesen. "It is clear that peer mentoring has a role to play in increasing school day activity levels among students."
The Heart Healthy Kids study tracked more than 800 students from 10 schools who used pedometers to track their daily steps. Both control and study schools participated in educational sessions that included basic heart anatomy and physiology, nutrition, smoking prevention and kid-friendly food label reading skills.
The intervention schools took part in the peer mentoring program. Pre- and post-study, all students were evaluated for waist circumference, height and weight and cardiovascular fitness.
While there were improvements in cardiovascular fitness and heart health knowledge in both groups, the intervention schools had significantly increased activity levels and cardiovascular fitness. "As in adults, if we can keep the activity levels high in kids over the long term, the ultimate result will be improved BMIs and waist circumference measurements," says Dr. Hancock Friesen.
The schools were selected by the Halifax Regional School Board based on which ones they believed would benefit most from the program, with a focus on urban schools with a lower than average socio-economic status.
The equipment to run H2K Lunch, including team identifiers, cones, hula hoops and bean bags, cost only $200 per school and was provided for by MHC and its partners.
Dr. Hancock Friesen says the study fits into the groundswell of interventions aimed at stemming the tide of obesity and type 2 diabetes that is becoming all too common in our children and youth.
"When we started H2K, we knew that we would need data for us to be credible advocates for routine school-day physical activity," she says. "A scientific approach will allow us to grow the study into a sustainable program available across the Maritimes and help us advocate for daily physical activity to be reincorporated into every child's school day."
Parent and teacher surveys and interviews revealed adult support for the program was also very strong.
Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson points to recent studies that show that Canadian children and youth are becoming less active.
"Almost one in three Canadian children is currently overweight or obese and only 10 per cent are meeting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily," says Dr. Abramson "This research represents a proactive response to this growing epidemic that is putting our children at risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases."
Hancock Friesen hopes that parents and school leaders will adopt new ways of encouraging children to be more active, based on these research results. "Physical activity doesn't need to mean traditional sports or expensive equipment. Kids can participate in less structured activities – it can be as simple as encouraging them to take time away from their iPods and other electronic gadgets and go outside to play with their peers."
The Heart and Stroke Foundation places a high priority on students receiving at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, based on Canada's physical activity guidelines. Healthy behaviours including regular physical activity beginning at a young age and continuing throughout life are important to reducing your risk of heart disease and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
The Foundation's efforts focused on children and youth aim to inspire individuals, families and communities to help children become more physically active, eat healthier foods and become and remain smoke-free.
Dr. Abramson commented, "Our schools are the logical environment to begin to influence levels of physical activity; this is where our children spend a significant part of their day. Results of this study support the Foundation's position that health, well-being and learning are intimately connected, and that schools have the potential to make a dramatic difference in the lives of Canadian children and youth."
Recommendations for the average Canadian family and educators
Parents and teachers, in both the school and non-school environments should:
- Encourage and provide opportunities for kids to be physically active with their peers;
- Encourage peer-led games: i.e., older kids come up with games and teach younger siblings, friends, neighbours;
- Encourage participation in a variety of sports, including informal non-structured sports like playing tag or running around outdoors;
- Not be discouraged by their own activity levels or weight – encouraging their children to go out and play with their peers can still have positive results;
- Identify and encourage children with peer-mentoring/leadership qualities to foster activity among their friends/siblings.
National Posture Institute - ICAA Posture Analysis and Correction For Older Adults taking place on Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This one day Onsite Pre-Conference Workshop (8 Hours) teaches health/fitness professionals, personal trainers/group instructors (Aerobic/Strength/Silver Sneakers/Pilates/Yoga etc…), and allied health/medical professionals (physical therapists/chiropractors) to assess and educate their older adult clients/patients in all areas of posture and body alignment. The lecture develops a logical flow and sequence to understand, analyze, and assess an individual’s static and dynamic posture in an easy to follow manner. Attendees will learn how to implement this essential key assessment into their organizations current exercise testing program to improve older adult posture that will lead to better balance and a reduction in falls. Learn more and register here: http://www.npionline.org/workshops/ICAA.html
Certificate in Personal Fitness Training
Approved by the American college of sports medicine for 100 CECs & more
Certificate Course Descriptions:
The Online Professional Certificate in Personal Fitness Training is an instructor led, web-based, interactive educational experience that includes input and guidance from outstanding faculty/instructors drawn from colleges/universities, the allied health/medical field, and the personal fitness training profession. Students can elect to take the Advanced Professional Certificate in Personal Fitness Training, which requires an additional 3 courses (see below).
The certificate program is designed to supply essential education integrating exercise science curriculum and practical training techniques into a systematic model that teaches students to progress their clients through different training levels and phases. Students will be prepared for careers working at medically-based fitness facilities, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, corporate fitness centers, YMCA’s/JCC’s, and private and commercial health clubs. Included with the either certificate program registration, you will receive complimentary access to receive the National Posture Institute’s Certified Resistance Training Professional™ (RTP™) designation.
View Complete Approved CEC-CEU List: http://www.npionline.org/programs/professional/career-development/careerdevelopmentcec.htm
The National Posture Institute's (NPI) one-day workshop teaches personal trainers, all group exercise instructors (Aerobic/Strength/TRX/Pilates/Yoga etc...), and allied health/medical professionals to assess, correct, and educate their clients in all areas of posture and body alignment.
Continuing Education Credits/Units (CEC/CEU): The Onsite Posture Workshop offers CECs/CEUs for Personal Trainers (ACSM, NSCA, ACE, NASM, etc...), Louisana Physical Therapists (7 CECs Onsite Workshop & 23 CECs for Online Certified Posture Specialist Program), Athletic Trainers, Kinesiotherapists, and RDs/DTRs from various national and international organizations. Continuing Education Credits/Units List- http://www.npionline.org/approvedcec.htm
National Posture Institute - Register for NPI's FREE Health and Fitness Educational Webinars - Register for NPI's Free Webinars
What is Webinar Training?
NPI’s Educational Webinar Training is a live event that includes presentations with an expert speaker and an interactive question & answer period. Thousands of personal trainers/group instructors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, consumers, and health/medical/fitness professionals attend our FREE live Webinars.
Go To NPI Webinar Library to view previous webinars
Benefits of our Free Webinars:
- Informational: Thousands of busy allied fitness/health professionals and individual consumers are using our webinars as a great way to learn valuable new information and education about the health, fitness, and exercise field. Webinars are 30 to 60-minute in length; designed to fit into your busy schedule
- Expert Advice: Learn from well known national and international experts in the areas of exercise program design, human movement, health/fitness research, sports performance, nutrition, and fitness management.
- No Special Equipment needed: A telephone and computer with access to the Internet is all the equipment you need. Use a speakerphone and as many people as you want can listen in and watch.
- They're convenient: No airlines. No travel. No time out of the office to attend a conference. Listen from the comfort and convenience of your desk.
Webinar Topic Areas May Include:
- Posture Assessments on clients/patients
- Performing Exercise Movements Correctly
- Corrective Posture Exercises
- Developing a successful health/fitness business
- Exercise science-related research studies
- Becoming an NPI Affiliate Site
- Exercise/rehab program design
- Becoming an NPI-Certified Posture Specialist
- Posture-Based Assessment/Business Model
TO STAY CONNECTED VIA NATIONAL POSTURE INSTITUTE FACEBOOK SITE:
If you have a Facebook page- you can “LIKE” the National Posture Institute (NPI) so that we can stay connected while you are taking classes and after you graduate from the program. NPI focuses on posture assessments/correction, exercise/rehab movement performance using free weights, tubing, body weight exercises, commercial strength machines and stability balls to name a few. We also teach PROPER POSTURE while performing cardiovascular exercise on treadmills, elliptical trainers, and while running as examples. We also conduct monthly FREE EDUCATIONAL WEBINARS for fitness/health professionals such as personal trainers, physical therapists, sports performance specialists, chiropractors, strength/conditioning specialists, and you can also attend live educational CEC/CEU Posture Workshops at fitness/health facilities or conferences in the U.S. or internationally. Here is the NPI’s Facebook site: NPI Facebook: www.facebook.com/NationalPostureInstitute
National Posture Institute Research Review-Asthma patients may breathe easier because of new procedure
Northwestern Memorial offers first non-drug, FDA approved therapy for severe asthma
Nearly 24 million people in this country suffer from asthma. For most of them, avoiding allergens and taking medications help keep their asthma under control. But for a small group with severe persistent asthma, frequent hospital visits tend to be the norm and taking medications and lifestyle changes don’t do the trick. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is now using a new procedure called bronchial thermoplasty (BT), the first non-drug therapy approved by the Federal Drug Administration, for patients with severe asthma.
“This procedure is for patients who, despite receiving high levels of asthma medications, continue to suffer from asthma attacks,” said Colin Gillespie, MD, pulmonologist and director of interventional pulmonology at Northwestern Memorial. “BT offers these patients a way to control their disease."
BT is a simple, minimally invasive procedure. It’s performed in three different parts, and each time a different section of the lung is treated. BT is designed to be an outpatient procedure. The Boston Scientific Alair® Bronchial Thermoplasty System delivers heat energy to the airway of the lungs; reducing the excessive muscle, which decreases the ability of the airway to narrow. This helps reduce the amount of asthma attacks.
“Asthma affects many people in this country, and often is undertreated by physicians,” says Ravi Kalhan, MD, pulmonologist and director of the asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) program at Northwestern Memorial. “The bronchial thermoplasty procedure offers our patients with severe refractory asthma an option that may improve their quality of life. This is an important addition to the available therapies for this common condition.”
In a clinical study, adults with severe asthma that were treated with BT had improved quality of life.
• 84% reduction in emergency room visits for symptoms of asthma
• 73% reduction in hospital visits for symptoms of asthma
• 66% reduction in lost days from work, school, or other activities due to asthma
• 32% reduction in asthma attacks
Northwestern Medicine® is the shared vision that joins Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and the Feinberg School in a collaborative effort to transform medicine through quality healthcare, academic excellence and scientific discovery.
To learn more about pulmonology and critical care at Northwestern Memorial, visit us online at http://www.nmh.org/nm/pulmonology-critical-care.
National Posture Institute Research Review-New study reveals that every single junk food meal damages your arteries
A single junk food meal – composed mainly of saturated fat – is detrimental to the health of the arteries, while no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good fats such as mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids, according to researchers at the University of Montreal-affiliated ÉPIC Center of the Montreal Heart Institute. The Mediterranean meal may even have a positive effect on the arteries. The findings are being presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, which runs in Toronto until Wednesday, by the head of the study, Dr. Anil Nigam, Director of Research at the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre (ÉPIC) and associate professor at the university's Faculty of Medicine.
Bad fat vs. good fat
Dr. Nigam undertook the study to compare the effects of junk food and typical Mediterranean meal on the vascular endothelium: the inner lining of the blood vessels. By measuring endothelial function, it is possible to determine how easily the arteries will dilate after a temporary, five-minute occlusion, following the consumption of the two types of meals. This is a very interesting analysis for researchers to perform as endothelial function is closely linked to the long-term risk of developing coronary artery disease.
The study also revealed that participants with higher blood triglyceride levels seemed to benefit more from the healthy meals. Their arteries responded better to the Mediterranean meal compared to people with low triglyceride levels. "We believe that a Mediterranean-type diet may be particularly beneficial for individuals with high triglyceride levels, such as patients with metabolic syndrome, precisely because it could help keep arteries healthy," Dr. Nigam said.
Mediterranean meal vs. junk food meal
The results were established in 28 non-smoking men, who ate the Mediterranean-type meal first and then the junk food-type meal one week later. Before beginning, the men underwent an ultrasound of the antecubital artery at the elbow crease after fasting for 12-hours to assess their baseline endothelial function. The researchers then tested the effects of each meal. The first was composed of salmon, almonds, and vegetables cooked in olive oil, of which 51% of total calories came from fat (mostly monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats.) The second meal consisted of a sandwich made of a sausage, an egg, and a slice of cheese, and three hash browns, for a total of 58% of total calories from fat: extremely rich in saturated fatty acids and containing no omega-3s. At two hours and four hours after each meal, participants underwent further ultrasounds to assess how the food had impacted their endothelial function.
Dr. Nigam and his team found that after eating the junk food meal, the arteries of the study participants dilated 24% less than they did when in the fasting state. In contrast, the arteries were found to dilate normally and maintain good blood flow after the Mediterranean-type meal.
"These results will positively alter how we eat on a daily basis. Poor endothelial function is one of the most significant precursors of atherosclerosis. It is now something to think about at every meal," Dr. Nigam said.
Congrats to HUR Health and Fitness Equipment Wins 2012 ICAA Innovative Solutions Award. This Award recognizes products or services that support older-adult wellness. Check out HUR's iBalance Testing Platform: http://www.npionline.org/products/software/ibalance.html
(Northbrook, IL)—The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, has selected HUR Health and Fitness Equipment’s Smart Card System, integrated with HUR strength machines and iBalance Testing Systems, as the winner of the 2012 ICAA Innovative Solutions Award. A category of the annual ICAA Innovators Awards program, the Innovative Solutions Award specifically recognizes unique, creative products or services for the active-aging industry and active older adults. These offerings target any or all of the seven dimensions of wellness promoted by the association (i.e., emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, environmental, social and intellectual wellness).
“HUR Health and Fitness Equipment product and software development is based on research and customer feedback”, says Juha Vaisanen, President of HUR Health and Fitness Equipment USA. “ We continue to work hard to provide superior solutions for our customers to implement effective, fun, social and measurable active aging programs addressing issues like independence, functionality, falls, continence and physical therapy. As an industry leader, it is our commitment to senior housing, medical fitness and physical therapy companies to continue to provide the best tools to implement their programs, measure the outcomes and support them to grow their businesses. We truly appreciate the ICAA recognition by awarding us the Innovative Solution Award”.
NPI Members: Archived Webinar “Designing Resistance Training Programs for the Arms in Correct Posture” by Ken Baldwin is now available in Your Webinar Library. You have unlimited access to all the archived webinars with your membership.