|National exercise, wellness expert Steven Blair to visit UND March 26-27|
Steven Blair, a national expert on exercise and wellness, will visit the University of North Dakota and Grand Forks March 26-27 for a series of presentations.
Blair is professor of exercise science at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He has 26 years as director of epidemiology/research and CEO of the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. Blair is the recipient of the Surgeon General’s Medallion, and many other national and international honors. He is the senior scientific editor for the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, and the author of more than 400 scientific papers.
Blair's itinerary includes:
Wednesday, March 26:
* Noon, "Exercise is Medicine," a Dean's Hour presentation at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided for all attendees!
* 7 p.m., Is Weight Loss the “Holy Grail” in the Quest for Good Health? presentation at the Red River High School Auditorium. Free and open to the public. Healthy drinks and snacks will be available at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 27
* 11 a.m., Ideas for Researching and Promoting Physical Activity for Health — Especially in Rural Environments presentation at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center.
* 4 p.m., Fitness and Fatness Fireside Chat session at the UND Student Wellness Center. This session is especially for present/future exercise and wellness professionals.
While at the Cooper Institute, Blair did extensive research using the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS) which examines the impact of diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors on mortality. The ACLS database, the largest of its kind, is based on objective measures of fitness collected on more than 80,000 patients at the Cooper Institute since 1970. Steve plans to continue to use that database in his research at USC.
Blair says he’s delighted to return to the South Carolina campus where he first worked in 1966 as a PE instructor, and he looks forward to working at the new research center at the Arnold School at USC. He says he also hopes to devote some time to public health issues particularly in light of a newly announced effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop comprehensive physical activity guidelines. The guidelines are long overdue, said Blair, and there is a great need to have a process similar to the dietary guidelines, which are issued every five years. The physical activity guidelines can form the foundation for the development of a national physical activity plan, noting that the USA is one of the few industrialized countries without such a plan.
“Physical inactivity is one of the biggest public health problems we have. Inactivity and low fitness are powerful predictors of morbidity and mortality for millions of Americans,” he said.
The guidelines will be based on the best scientific findings on physical activity, something that Blair’s research has documented extensively.
Blair is preparing to publish the results of a five-year exercise study involving a group of postmenopausal, moderately hypertensive, sedentary women who were tested at different levels of exercise. “We pretty much know that exercise is good for you, but how much is really required to have any benefit? Is it the public health consensus rate – 30 minutes of moderate intensity five days per week? Well, suppose you do half that. Do you get any benefit? Well, nobody knew,” Blair said.
The women were tested at various percentages of the current recommendations. The results indicated that even a little exercise goes a long way. Even performance at 50 percent of the recommended exercise levels produces “significant physiologic adaptations that are healthy. So that’s good news,” Blair said.
Steven Blair is a professor in the exercise science program at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. After 26 years as director of epidemiology and research, and as CEO of the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Blair returned to USC last year. He is a Benjamin Meaker Fellow at the University of Bristol, England. He is a fellow in the American College of Epidemiology, Society for Behavioral Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, and American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education; and was elected to membership in the American Epidemiological Society.
Dr. Blair is a past-president of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, and the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He is the recipient of three honorary doctoral degrees -- Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium; Doctor of Health Science degree from Lander University, U.S.; and Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, University of Bristol, UK.
Blair has received awards from many professional associations, including a MERIT Award from the NIH, ACSM Honor Award, Robert Levy Lecture Award from the American Heart Association, and is one of the few persons outside the U.S. Public Health Service to be awarded the Surgeon General's Medallion. He has lectured to medical, scientific, and lay groups in 48 states and 30 countries. His research focuses on the associations between lifestyle and health, with a specific emphasis on exercise, physical fitness, body composition, and chronic disease. He has authorship on over 400 papers in the scientific literature, and was the senior scientific editor for the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. He also is the author, or edited several books, including Fitness After 50, Active Living Every Day, and Physical Activity and Health.
Dr. Blair’s visit is possible because of the sponsorship and the assistance of the following people and groups: H. David Wilson, dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences; President Charles Kupchella; Laurie Betting, assistant vice president for wellness; Jane Croeker, health promotion/market advisor in student, health services; Red River High School; Department of Phyical Education, Exercise Science and Wellness; Allen Anderson, family health team leader, Grand Forks Public Health Department; Donna Bernhardt, NDSU Extension Services, Grand Forks.
For more information contact Jim Whitehead at 777-4347 or email@example.com.