Academic News, Fitness News

FIA responds to new study on exercise and depression

A number of national media outlets, including the Metro, BBC, and the Telegraph have reported the findings of a new study conducted by the University of Exeter and published in the BMJ, which claims to have found no benefit from exercise in treating depression.

Commenting on the research, David Stalker, CEO, FIA, said: “It is important to note that this is just one of countless studies into the complex relationship between exercise and depression. Numerous other studies have provided strong evidence that people who are more active have a greater sense of wellbeing and have lower rates of depression and anxiety. For example, a study conducted this year by the University of South Carolina found an inverse association between physical activity and depressive symptoms in a large sample of men, whilst an older study by Durham University found that exercise can be a suitable alternative to medication for the treatment of depression in older people.


Read there full response here:


Academic News, Fitness News, PE News

Top 10 posts of the year so far

As August  kicks in and we fall between academic terms what better time to reflect on what has happened over the past year and tell you, our fantastic readers, which posts have been the most popular and also let you catch up on some stories and topics you may have missed.

Continue reading

Fitness News

Healthy lifestyle can reduce breast cancer risk even in women with family history – Cancer Research UK

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help women reduce their risk of breast cancer even if they have a family history of the disease, it has been claimed.

According to Dr Robert E Gramling, lead author of a new study published online by the journal Breast Cancer Research, many women who have a close relative with breast cancer fear their risk for the disease will remain high no matter what they do.

Cancer Research UK

Fitness News

FitNews November 2008


Dear Colleague,

In this issue of Fit News we review two very different new titles from Human Kinetics.

The Outdoor Athlete is intended for those hardy souls who continue to practice their outdoor pursuits year round and appear to welcome the challenge posed by Winter conditions.

I Golf, therefore I am Nuts…. is a tongue in cheek look at the world of golf. This altogether more sedate activity is fraught with equally challenging elements, most of which seem largely self inflicted if this hugely entertaining book is to be believed.

We also take our regular look at relevant issues concerned with fitness and would welcome contributions from you either in the form of articles or comments.

Dates your Diary is an opportunity for you to publicise your event, whether it is a conference, exhibition, landmark anniversary etc. Just send us details and we will do our best to include them not just in Fit News but also in our other online newsletters.

In FitNews this month…

  • Featured product
  • £350m skiing resort gets go-ahead from ministers
  • Scientists find secret of perfect golf swing
  • A look at the lighter side of Golf
  • Gobbling food ‘doubles the chances of being overweight’
  • Fitness industry professionals to have their say
  • Dates for your Diary 

  • Featured product
    Outdoor activities such as Mountain Biking, Skiing and Climbing burn calories and build fitness all year round and the onset of Winter only serves to heighten the challenge.Wilderness fitness trainer Doug Schurman, believes outdoor enthusiasts should maximize performance, enjoyment and safety by undertaking a specific training regime tailored to meet the differing demands of their favourite pursuits.

    He and his wife, Courtenay, have teamed up to produce The Outdoor Athlete in order to provide just such training advice across a wide range of sporting activities.

    According to Doug Schurman strength training, so often overlooked in favour of endurance training, provides the basis for the safe pursuit of challenging outdoor activities.

    “Strength training is crucial to success in outdoor pursuits because appropriate training gives you power, strength, force and the ability to withstand both the predictable and unforeseen challenges,”

    He maintains “It also helps the body adapt to overload to prevent injuries, provides muscle balance, improves performance and enhances body composition.”

    Strength training gets the outdoor enthusiast ready for any and all overloads that might happen during their activities.
    Starting into an outdoor activity too quickly without allowing enough time to adapt to overload, leaves athletes susceptible to injury from trying to absorb stresses that are too great.

    Strength training also significantly improves performance with both outdoor and everyday activity.
    For example a trail runner with fantastic cardio- respiratory endurance might feel well prepared to tackle a challenging backpacking trip. However until he gets his legs used to moving uphill over uneven terrain with added weight, he might struggle with even a relatively short hike.

    It also enhances body composition by increasing lean muscle mass and improving calorie-burning metabolic functions.
    Instead of relying on the time on the watch or number on the scale, athletes should pay attention to what their body is saying about energy levels, task performance and a change in clothing size or inches lost.

    The Outdoor Athlete offers workouts and programmes for 17 activities, including hiking, trail running, rock climbing, off-road biking and skiing.

    The book also includes nutritional considerations for each activity and information on environmental factors affecting participation and training.

    View an extract from the book

    PRICE: £10.99 (14.85 Euros)

    Read more about the book…

    £350m skiing resort gets go-ahead from ministers


    Following long awaited government final approval, the UK is to get the world’s first indoor winter sports resort. Work will now commence on the 350 acre, £350 million SnOasis development sited in a disused quarry near Ipswich, Suffolk.

    As well as housing Europe’s largest indoor ski slope, SnOasis has been specifically designed to become the country’s first centre of excellence for winter sports athletes.

    Fourteen different sports disciplines will be brought together and provided with training facilities to match, if not surpass, the best in the world.

    In addition to boasting the largest indoor ski slope in Europe, the UK’s only 400 metre ice skating track, cross country skiing circuit, dedicated rollerblading track and 100 metre long bobsleigh push start, it will offer a range of other activities designed to match the needs of the entire family.

    These will include a 100 metre long nursery slope, luge run, 16 metre high ice climbing wall, bobsleigh fun ride, leisure ice rink, swimming pool, fitness gym, rock climbing wall, rowing, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, fishing and a host of other fun activities in the dedicated entertainment dome.

    Locally, a package of benefits costing £29 million will be put in place covering a wide range of projects including a new main line Railway Station linking to London Liverpool Street, a 50 acre ecological mitigation area, cycle tracks, the planting of 130,000 trees, plus an array of skills and training initiatives.

    By being deemed a ‘Super Site’ by the construction industry means this aspect alone will make it of international importance.

    Yet, despite the massive size of the project, it will still manage to generate 75% of its energy from low carbon and renewable technologies which puts it at the forefront of construction development – a fact which no doubt will be closely monitored by governments and developers around the world.

    The project is due for completion in 2011 when the new facility is expected to attract up to 650,000 visitors a year and create 3,500 jobs.

    Scientists find secret of perfect golf swing

    Tiger Woods

    Scientists believe they may have finally found the answer to the perfect golf swing. The key apparently is knowing at exactly what stage of the swing you should exert the maximum force. Use too much strength too early or too late and the aspiring golfer will see their handicap stubbornly linger in double figures. .

    Tiger Woods, who has won 87 tournaments in his 12- year career, is viewed by many commentators as the golfer with the most perfect swing. Using a complex mathematical equation, Professor Robin Sharp from the Department of Mechanical, Medical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Surrey, has calculated which parts of the upper body should be used at what stage.

    Breaking with conventional thinking, his study suggests that the wrists are not as important as the way a golfer uses their arms. His research also concludes that height is not as advantageous as previously thought, with short people able to hit a ball almost as far as their taller competitors if they use the right technique.

    Previous studies have either suggested that maximum power should be used from the start of the backswing, or that a golfer builds up the power throughout the swing, using full force by the time they strike the ball. This latest study, however, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, suggests increasing the power of rotation – known as the torque – to a maximum shortly after starting the swing and maintaining this force until hitting the ball.

    Professor Sharp said: “Generating too much arm speed too soon causes an early release, with the club-head reaching its maximum speed before it arrives at the ball. “The optimal strategy consists of hitting first with the shoulders while holding back with arms and wrists and after some delay, hitting through with the arms. “At release, the timing of which depends on the combination of shoulder and arm actions employed, the wrists should hit through. “In the expert swings studied, control of the arms and not the wrists appears to be the priority.” Knowing exactly how long that “delay” should last is the crucial factor.

    Professor Sharp said under the model, being tall was not a huge advantage. “Dimensional reasoning shows that dramatic differences in performance between large and small players should not be expected on the basis of size alone,” he said. “A 21 per cent bigger player can be expected to have just a 10 per cent advantage in club-head speed.”

    Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Read the full article

    A look at the lighter side of Golf

    Fat of the land

    Finally, a book that delves into the warped and obsessive mind of today’s golfer. Whether your idea of golf is an occasional round with fellow duffers at the local municipal course or frequent forays to far- flung places in search of the perfect round, you’ll identify with this book like no other.

    Popular golf humorist George Fuller will have you laughing out loud as he makes light of the idiosyncrasies of otherwise sane people who are addicted to this holy, wholly frustrating game.

    Golfers of all ages and abilities can relate to the familiar situations described in the book and if they haven’t yet experienced all of them personally, they will do eventually.

    If your eyes light up every time you read about a new driver or putter, you receive Christmas cards from greenkeepers, you possess a collection of sweaters that would make Val Doonican blush or your children address you as ‘who are you’ then I Golf, Therefore I Am-Nuts! is for you.
    Read an excerpt

    “Congratulations! Every golfer should have this book and have a good old laugh! I love the style and laughed out loud on a flight as I was reading it. Everyone thought I was a lunatic! I love it!” Malcolm McDowell Actor and golf fanatic

    PRICE: £8.99 (12.15 Euros)

    Read more about the book

    Gobbling food ‘doubles the chances of being overweight’


    As with many old wives tales it seems that that there is more than a grain of truth in the advice to chew each mouthful of food thirty times before swallowing. According to new research, eating quickly and until you feel full triples the likelihood of suffering weight problems.

    Nutritionists warn that eating meals too rapidly can fool the body into consuming more calories than it needs, because of the time it takes for feelings of fullness to travel from the stomach to the brain. Busy lifestyles and the growing trend to eat on the move or while concentrating on other things, such as television programmes, have been blamed for the growing obesity crisis.

    More than one quarter of British adults are now overweight or obese and that figure is predicted to grow dramatically over coming decades. Just under half of men, 46 per cent, and more than one third of women, 36 per cent, who took part in the study admitted that they ate meals quickly. The research also found that 51 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women said that they ate until they were full. Both factors independently raised the risk of becoming overweight to around twice that of people who ate slowly and finished before they felt full. Combined, they tripled the likelihood of becoming overweight. .

    The study, carried out by the University of Osaka, in Japan, and published on, the website of the British Medical Journal, looked at more than 3,000 Japanese men and women, aged between 30 and 69, over the course of three years. Volunteers were asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about their eating habits. Professor Hiroyasu Iso, who led the team which carried out the study, said that the combination of eating until full and eating quickly appeared to have a “supra-additive” effect on the chances of becoming overweight.

    Source: Daily Telegraph

    Read the full article

    Fitness industry professionals to have their say

    Industry professionals at all levels are called upon to have their say in a major consultation being commissioned by Skills Active in partnership with the Register of Exercise Professionals and the Fitness Industry Association..

    During 2008 the structures which underpin education and development in exercise and fitness have been under review. This has involved extensive industry research with employers and those who work in the sector.

    This review will impact on every part of the fitness industry from the content of qualifications to the industry career structure and employment practice.

    The proposals up for comment are relevant to every part of the fitness industry from the content of qualifications to the industry career structure and employment practice.

    The Review stage has now been completed and has resulted in a series of proposals industry professionals are now being given their chance to comment on them.
    These proposals cover three main areas:

    • Future Structure of the Register of Exercise Professionals
    • Qualifications in Health and Fitness
    • Continuing Professional Development

    This is you opportunity to make your views known and help shape the future of professional fitness in the UK
    You can comment on as many parts of this consultation as you wish

    The deadline for submission is Friday 28 November 2008.

    Find out more

    Dates for your Diary

    BHFNC 8th Annual Conference
    Opening Doors to an Active Life: How to engage inactive communities19th November, 2008 East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

    For more information

    International Coaching Conference
    Expert coaches – Expert Systems 18th – 20th November Twickenham Stadium, London

    Aimed at coaches working at the highest level in sport and system builders, working within components of the coaching system. A mixture of keynote speakers and workshops, including the formation of working groups, will make up the programme with plenty of opportunities to network with international colleagues and delegates from around the UK to share best practice and inform latest thinking.

    If you are attending the Conference, don’t forget to visit the Human Kinetics stand

    Further Information

    The NWHPAF’s Annual conference for 2008
    This year’s conference will focus on inspirational ideas, programmes, networks and partnerships and aims to stimulate information sharing, networking and learning.

    Thursday 27th November 2008 The Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC), Novas Scarman Building, 41 – 51 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BS

    For more information go to

    tenniscoachUK Annual Conference
    24th – 25th November Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Buckinghamshire,

    Limited availability remains for this event which features top class speakers such as Brett Hobden, Steve Green, Mike Walker and Mark Cox.
    Coaches can attend both days as resident or non- resident and can also choose to attend just one of the two days.

    Further Information

    The Annual Newsletter of the British Heart Foundation
    This informative newsletter is now available for download

    Get the Newsletter

    If you have a conference, seminar or event that you feel might be of interest to other FitNews readers please let us know and we’ll try and include details.

    __________________________________________ ___
    All prices in this email are valid until and include VAT where applicable. Postage & Packing within UK – add £2.75 for first item and 75p per additional item. Rest of Europe – add £4 (6 Euros) for first item and £1.50 (2.25 Euros) for each additional item. 


    Fitness News

    FitNews October 2008


    Dear Colleague,

    Welcome to the October Issue of FitNews.

    With the winter nights drawing in, the weather getting colder, the stock market plunging and unemployment soaring it’s a pity we can’t hibernate and wake up when it’s all over.

    To make it sound even worse, the human race has stopped evolving according to Professor Steve Jones, of University College London and this is as good as it gets!

    However he also said that in the not too distant future, all human beings will all be uniformly brown.
    If that’s so then no one will need to use sunbeds any more – so it’s not all bad news!

    But whatever your own particular sport or pastime, Autumn is a splendid time of the year to enjoy it.

    For instance there’s all those healthy and delicious seasonal foods to enjoy and as the weather cools there’s nothing better than getting out on a clear frosty morning and warming up with some form of vigorous exercise.

    You might even try your hand at cani-cross if being dragged across the countryside by a seemingly tireless animal is something that appeals.

    Personally I’ll stick to taking my dog for a brisk walk rather than the other way round.  

    In FitNews this month…

  • Featured product
  • Parents can learn too
  • A bona fido way to get fit
  • Squatters right
  • Surprising benefits in a recession
  • Doctors call for ban on sunbed use by under-18s
  • Dates for your Diary

  • Featured product
    Whether you are just starting out, have been competing for decades, or are returning to the game after an extended break, Playing Tennis After 50 will improve your play and enhance your experience both on and off the court.

    With tactics and techniques ranging from basic to advanced, you’ll learn to adapt court positioning and tweak shot selection for stellar singles, doubles and mixed doubles play. Special features such as how-to- practice games and Stroke Doctor tips will correct common errors and improve skills while you play the game.Off the court, Playing Tennis After 50 will help you avoid aches and injury with stretching and strengthening exercises. Then double your pleasure with expert information on the latest equipment, tips on finding the right club and playing partner and ways to make tennis a lifelong activity!

    What the experts say
    “Playing Tennis After 50 shows not only why someone over 50 should play the game but also how to play and enjoy it with a different set of skills and awareness of weaknesses.”
    Stan Smith
    1972 World No. 1 Player of the Year
    Rated by Tennis magazine as one of the 40 greatest singles and doubles players of all time

    “Tennis is the perfect sport to help keep you young and fit after 50. In Playing Tennis After 50, Kathy and Ron share their experiences and knowledge to make tennis a rewarding and healthy activity.
    Pam Shriver
    1988 Olympic Women’s Doubles Gold Medalist

    “This book is a must-read for those 50 and over! The same instruction that helped us win Grand Slams, reach and maintain worldwide No. 1 rankings and win the Davis Cup championship is yours in Playing Tennis After 50. For those players who come together for camaraderie or competitiveness, this is sure to be a smash hit.”
    Bob and Mike Bryan
    No. 1 Team in the World in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007
    Five-Time ITF Doubles World Champions

    PRICE: £10.99 (14.85 Euros)
    Read more about the book…

    Parents can learn too

    It’s not just children who can learn about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle from this new publication, there is plenty in Physical Activity and Nutrition for Health for parents and carers as well.

    Many children and parents are struggling with weight issues as they never have before and as a consequence, face greater risks of developing type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, and heart disease. Children are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, social isolation, and decreased attendance at school.

    To combat this problem, many schools are turning to co-ordinated school health models to develop healthier students. And that’s where Physical Activity and Nutrition for Health comes in.

    Although developed primarily for schools to help promote fitness and nutrition among students and teachers, this book also contains nutrition services tools which help parents and carers to adopt the same regime at home.

    This package includes:

    • 60 developmentally appropriate, pilot-tested
      lessons for fitness and nutrition
    • CD-ROM with 124 reproducible items, including
      16 family activities, 45 worksheets, 6 transparencies,
      27 exercise cards, 24 food cards, and 6 station
    • Tools that offer practical ideas for building student
      health physically, emotionally, and cognitively
    • Details of activities suitable for the whole

    By integrating fitness and nutrition concepts as part of a healthy lifestyle everyone can improve in all areas of health-related fitness while establishing healthy living standards for the rest of their lives.

    PRICE: £21.00 (28.35 Euros)

    Read more about the book

    A bona fido way to get fit


    Why take your dog for a walk, when it can take you for a run? That’s the idea behind cani-cross, the name given to dog-powered cross-country running in which the owner – rather than his four-legged friend – is the one on the leash.

    Running behind your dog attached to a 10ft elasticated rope is certainly no walk in the park. Even in a nation of seven million dog-owners, surely only British eccentrics would take up the bizarre sport of cani-cross showcased at Crufts earlier this year for the first time in the competition’s 117-year history?

    But, Britain is entering its first squad of two- and four- legged athletes in next month’s European championships, a gathering of 500 runners from 11 countries being held in the Czech Republic.

    Eileen and Richard Cook co-founded CaniX, the organisation leading the British cani-cross team five years ago and what inspired them was Britain’s drift towards becoming a fat nation.

    However, our beloved canines offer the perfect excuse for us to get fit. Eileen says that cani-cross is essentially running with good company. When attached to a dog that’s straining at the harness, cani- crossers find themselves running at a faster rate than they would normally. “It’s a great way to keep fit and get your weight down,” she says. “If you want a fantastic training partner, your dog will never let you down. They are born to run.”

    The medical benefits of running are well-established. It not only promotes weight loss and is a good work- out for the heart, it also reduces stress levels, releases “feel good” chemicals into the body, and can improve bone strength which cuts the risk of osteoporosis. Running with a dog adds an element of surprise that can be beneficial to the body. An unstructured run that alternates from gentle jog to sprint – such as when your running buddy spots a cat in the distance – is more effective at fat-burning than maintaining a regular pace.
    For more information about cani-cross, visit

    Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Read the full article

    Squatters right


    Fitness instructors rate the squat as being among the best strengthening moves for the lower body, with one recent American survey of more than 36,000 gym trainers naming it as the most effective exercise for toning muscles and improving balance.

    Done properly, this flexing of the hips, knees and ankles will lengthen and strengthen the spine and simultaneously will work all the main muscles in the legs – including hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteal and calf muscles – as well as the trunk and lower back muscles that help to stabilise the body

    A less enviable accolade, though, is that the squat is often performed with appallingly bad technique. Among the most common errors is lowering the legs beyond a 90-degree angle, causing the bottom to stick out and the spine to tilt in the lumbar region, eventually leading to postural weakness.
    Arching the lower back so that the head and neck are crunched back can also cause tightening in every part of the body from the neck down. Studies have shown that badly executed squats can cause knee and back problems over time. “.

    Source: The Times

    Human Kinetics has over 230 books relating to back exercises and treatment of disorders. Follow the link below and enter ‘Back’ in the search box
    For full details

    Surprising benefits in a recession


    During the past ten years of boom, a group of American economists and psychologists has been trying to work out whether people really are better off in the in times of plenty.

    Their answer is that recessions (rather than booms or depressions) might actually be a blessing. People tend to drink less, smoke fewer cigarettes and lose weight. They enrol in higher education, the air is cleaner, the roads are less crowded.

    When times are good, research by Stanford University and the University of North Carolina shows that people of all classes tend not to take care of themselves and their families. The better off may have gym membership but all classes drink too much, eat more fat-laden food – either pre-packaged from supermarkets or in restaurants – and are more likely to neglect their families.

    In downturns, people have more time to visit their elderly relatives and are more likely to look after their children themselves rather than booking them into expensive after-school activities or crèches.

    Grant Miller, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford, says that in a boom people work longer, harder hours to take advantage of the conditions and are more stressed and less likely to do things that are good for them: “Cooking at home and exercising are seen as a waste of time.”

    But when wages drop, and jobs are scarce, the young feel that it makes more economic sense to prolong their education, and the elderly will retire earlier because there is less incentive to keep earning.

    So while there is no such thing as a good recession, it doesn’t have to cause unmitigated gloom and despondency.

    Source: The Times

    Doctors call for ban on sunbed use by under-18s


    Children under 18 should be banned from using sunbeds, doctors said today following a major review into the link between sunbeds and skin cancer.

    They reviewed published research on the health effects of ultraviolet radiation and found clear evidence that using sunbeds or prolonged exposure to sunlight in childhood raises the risk of people developing skin cancer later in life. A ban on under 18s using sunbeds should be accompanied by a clampdown on advertising campaigns that claim they are safe to use, the doctors added.

    Writing in the journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, doctors at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the University of New Mexico Cancer Centre conclude: “UV radiation exposure is one of the most avoidable causes of cancer risk and mortality in man. Whereas genetic and other factors undoubtedly contribute importantly to skin cancer risk, the role of UV is incontrovertible, and efforts to confuse the public, particularly for purposes of economic gain by the indoor tanning industry, should be vigorously combated for the public health.”

    The researchers also highlight studies that suggest skin only develops a tan as a direct response to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, implying there is no such thing as a “safe” tan.

    More than 150,000 children under 16 have used sunbeds in Britain, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the consumer association Which? That is despite recently updated guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive to ban under 18s from using sunbeds, and a recommendation from the industry body, The Sunbed Association, that its members refuse to accept the custom of anyone under the age of 16.

    Earlier this year, Scottish MSPs voted to ban under 18s from using sunbeds, a move the Department of Health is considering under its ongoing Cancer Reform Strategy. According to Cancer Research UK, cases of skin cancer in the UK have nearly tripled since the 1980s, with women more likely to develop the disease than men.

    Source: The Guardian

    Dates for your Diary

    Heart Foundation Logo

    The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health are to further develop the Guidelines on Older People and Physical Activity.

    Invitation to Consultation events:
    Tuesday 28th October 2008 – Loughborough University Thursday 30th October – London

    There will be no charge for these events, but participants should ensure they have the support of managers and colleagues before committing to these events to assist in avoiding last minute withdrawals.
    Both events are timed for 10.00 a.m. – 3.30 p.m. Numbers will be limited to 20 -25 for each event.

    For further information and to attend consultation events, please download

    BHFNC 8th Annual Conference Opening Doors to an Active Life: How to engage inactive communities

    19th November, 2008 East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

    For more information

    NHPAF Logo

    The NWHPAF’s Annual conference for 2008
    This year’s conference will focus on inspirational ideas, programmes, networks and partnerships and aims to stimulate information sharing, networking and learning.

    Thursday 27th November 2008 The Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC), Novas Scarman Building, 41 – 51 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BS

    For more information go to

    If you have a conference, seminar or event that you feel might be of interest
    to other FitNews readers please let us know and we’ll try and include your details.


    All prices in this email are valid until and include VAT where applicable. Postage & Packing within UK – add £2.75 for first item and 75p per additional item. Rest of Europe – add £4 (6 Euros) for first item and £1.50 (2.25 Euros) for each additional item.