Academic News

Academic News October 2008


Dear Jamie,

Welcome to the October issue of Academic News.

In this issue we introduce an important new title which investigates the challenge posed to public health by the increasing levels of youth inactivity. Youth Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior is written by Stuart Biddle Ph.D, Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology at Loughborough University and looks likely to become the standard reference work on the subject.

We look at some exciting research that brings hope that one day mobility will be restored to those with severe spinal injuries.

We also investigate some exciting recent advances in the development and applications of smart fabrics.

And finally, more bad news for couch potatoes as research shows that athletes continue to burn calories at a faster rate even when resting

If you would like to contribute to Academic News, publicise an event or comment on any issues raised please let us know, we value your input..

Attention Bloggers: You can now link to the content in this newsletter and know it will live permanently at:

In this Month’s Issue

  • Product of the month…
  • Leisure Services Management with Web Resources
  • Athletes burn more energy than couch potatoes even when resting
  • Beware The Silent Assassin
  • Long term hope for spinal injury victims
  • Smart fabrics for smart clothing
  • Dates for Your Diary
  • Academic News inspection copy requests
Product of the month…
As interest in the challenge posed to public health by the increasing levels of youth inactivity, the ambitious Youth Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior sets a standard for addressing a problem with worldwide implications.

Drawing on the contributions of a diverse group of international experts, this reference challenges professionals, researchers and students to implement new solutions and further their research and work.

No other text addresses the causes, contributing factors and fundamental issues in dealing with youth physical activity with such depth or comprehensive coverage.
Using a multidisciplinary approach, Youth Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior breaks away from traditional thinking that places activity and sedentary behaviour on a single continuum and which may limit progress in addressing youth inactivity.

Instead, the authors encourage readers to focus on how sedentary and physically active behaviours co -exist and consider how the two behaviours may have different determining factors.

In doing so, the text also considers developmental features such as maturation, ethnicity, environment, and genetics across childhood (up to age 12) and adolescence (the teen years). By looking at a variety of psychosocial and epidemiological factors, the authors set the stage for a critical analysis of beliefs and views at a time when many assumptions are taken for granted.

The book is organised into three parts that build one on another to deepen readers’ understanding of this complex problem.

Part One begins by addressing the fundamental issues and assumptions pertaining to youth physical activity and sedentary behaviour, covering such topics as measurement of the behaviour in question, health outcomes, concepts and trends in a public health context.
Once readers have grasped this foundational knowledge, they advance to Part Two for a comprehensive account of personal factors likely to be associated with the problem.

Part Three moves beyond the individual into the wider social and contextual aspects of physically active and sedentary living in young people. Through this concluding part, readers gain the latest thinking on how parents, peers, schools, organised sport and related factors link to youth physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

Youth Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior is an invaluable reference for exercise science professionals and researchers, social scientists, consultants and health officials who want to improve the health of children; a guide for upper- undergraduate and graduate courses in developmental sport and exercise psychology, physical activity and health, behavioural medicine, health promotion and youth physical activity.

About the author
Stuart J. H. Biddle, Ph.D, is professor of exercise and sport psychology at Loughborough University.
A recognised leader in the field of physical activity and health for young people, he has worked in the area for nearly 30 years.
He is co-author of the first textbook on exercise psychology and has delivered keynotes and other lectures in more than 20 countries. Dr. Biddle is past president of the European Federation for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity and was academic co-chair of the Young and Active Project leading to national guidelines for physical activity for young people in the United Kingdom.
He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from Keele University.

£39.50 (59.25 Euros)

Leisure Services Management with Web Resources

Leisure Services Management prepares students for the challenges they’ll face as entry-level recreation and leisure managers.

The text begins by presenting a firm foundation of competency-based management. Students will learn what management is, what the manager’s role is and how their work affects their agency and their customers.

They will also explore specific management areas, such as marketing, financial management, human resources, employee development, communication and evaluation.

Throughout the text students are encouraged to apply their own experiences to the concepts being discussed in order to extend their understanding of the profession.

For each chapter, the authors provide experiential learning activities that simulate real, on-the-job situations and ask students to assume one of the many roles of a new manager.

They’ll learn to deal with day-to-day management activities by completing work assignments and projects similar to those they’ll assume as managers.

These activities will help students develop the competencies they’ll need in order to meet the challenges of this evolving field.

The text also includes access to an online student resource (OSR), which provides documents and forms sampled from the files of actual Leisure Managers, to assist students in understanding and using important management tools.

The OSR also includes an overview of key concepts by chapter, one or more detailed case studies for each chapter, a glossary, Web links and a competency scorecard, detailing the competencies required for entry-level professionals. Using this scorecard, students can measure their management skills, knowledge, and abilities at the outset of the course and reevaluate their progress at end of the course.

The competency-driven approach of Leisure Services Management assists readers in gaining the knowledge and practicing the skills they need in order to begin their career in leisure management.

Bolstered by the practical information in Leisure Services Management, new managers can contribute to the success of their organisation as they enjoy the challenges and rewards of their new position.

£34.50 (46.60 Euros)

Athletes burn more energy than couch potatoes even when resting
Couch Potato

Super fit athletes burn more energy than couch potatoes even when they are resting according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team of researchers from the School of Medicine at Yale University led by Gerald Shulman, found that endurance-trained athletes have a higher resting muscle metabolism than their unfit counterparts, suggesting that they burn energy faster than sedentary people even without exercising.

Using a scanner they compared the rates of oxidation or calorie burning in the calf muscles of resting endurance runners compared with their less fit counterparts.
They found that the athletes recorded 54 per cent more oxidation than their less active counterpart suggesting that the muscles of runners convert more energy to heat at rest

Eight sedentary subjects and seven trained athletes took part in the study, all matched for age, weight and height.

The findings show that not only does exercise appear to speed up your general metabolism such as heart rate for a few a hours after the exercise, but that it also changes the way that muscles convert fat.

The data suggests that exercise has even more benefits in fighting obesity and type 2 diabetes than previously thought.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Beware The Silent Assassin
Silent Assassin

Diabetes UK has launched ‘Silent Assassin’, a hard-hitting UK-wide campaign highlighting the seriousness of a condition that causes heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness.

As you may already have seen, the campaign’s striking visuals show diabetes as a shadowy figure ready to pounce on unsuspecting members of the public. All posters feature the ‘Diabetes. Beware the Silent Assassin’ headline, and include secondary warning messages such as:

  • Diabetes causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined.
  • The death certificate will say heart attack. It was really diabetes.
  • Diabetes causes heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness.

The advertising campaign includes a series of outdoor posters as well as newspaper and consumer magazine advertising during October and November. Diabetes UK worked with focus groups and held extended interviews with the general public to finalise the campaign key messages and gauge effectiveness.

All visual materials also encourage people to visit the Diabetes UK website and its newly created Silent Assassin microsite, where a new online tool has been developed to let people know their own personal risk of developing diabetes or provide information and support on managing the condition.

In addition to raising awareness of the seriousness of the condition, the campaign also aims to encourage people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to make urgent changes in their lifestyle.

It also aims to reach the estimated 500,000 people who have the condition but are not currently aware of it, as early diagnosis is crucial in preventing people from developing the complications of diabetes.

There are currently 2.3 million people already diagnosed with diabetes.

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Dealing with the diabetes time bomb is a matter of urgency if we want to prevent millions of people from facing a grim future of ill-health. It is a startling fact that diabetes causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined. This is why Diabetes UK is launching its Silent Assassin campaign to raise awareness of the seriousness of the condition and we hope that its hard-hitting messages will help us address this serious health challenge and improve the health of the nation.”

Source: Diabetes UK

Find out more about the Silent Assassin

Action Plan for Diabetes
This poular book by Darryl E. Barnes, American College of Sports Medicine is a complete guide to managing and preventing complications associated with the disease and can significantly decrease the chances of needing insulin injections.

Find out more

Long term hope for spinal injury victims
Spinal Injury

Few people who read the story of the former rugby player Daniel James and of the parents who eventually helped him to die at his own request, could experience anything but the deepest compassion for those concerned.

Daniel was an engineering student whose great passion in life was playing rugby. His passion became the cruel instrument of his torment, when a scrum collapsed on him in 2007 and left him paralysed in his arms and legs.

However, new research offers hope that tragic cases such as Daniel’s may one day be a thing of the past.

In the study, which appears in the journal Nature, scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle implanted ultra thin electrodes into the brains of macaques which had been trained to play a game that involved rotating their wrists to the left and right.
While the monkeys played, the electrodes picked up electrical signals in their brains that made them tense different muscles.

The scientists then injected the monkeys with a chemical that temporarily paralysed their arms. This time signals from nerves in their brains were fed into a computer, cleaned up, magnified and sent down a wire to muscles in the monkeys’ wrists.

Although the monkeys were initially unable to play the game again, they soon learned to control their wrist movements using the brain implant. Remarkably, even when the implant was connected to nerves that were not involved in wrist control, the monkeys could learn how to change their brain activity to control their actions.

“The monkey was experimenting with different types of movement and different types of cognitive activity to drive those neurons and when he found something worked, he quickly repeated it and adopted the strategy,” said Eberhard Fetz, who led the study.

Future work will focus on miniaturising the technology and developing wireless networks to send the brain’s signals around damaged parts of the spine to limbs that have lost their connections to the brain.

As it stands, researchers have several major hurdles to overcome before the system could safely be used in humans. The first is to remove the need for wires, which increase the risk of infection. The second problem is that when electrodes are put into the brain, they gradually become encapsulated by scar tissue, which reduces their ability to read signals from individual neurons.
The study suggests, though, that as long as the electrodes have a good contact with at least one neuron, it will still be possible to control muscles.

Chet Moritz, who also worked on the study, said the team was looking at a potentially more powerful way of using the implant to control paralysed limbs. Instead of redirecting brain signals to individual muscles, they can be sent into the spinal cord to stimulate several nerves that together trigger a group of muscles to do a specific job, such as grasp a mug, or kick a ball.

“If you stimulate directly in the spinal cord, that will often activate 10 to 15 muscles in a precise balance that produces a grasping movement or a stepping movement,” Moritz said.

Scientists involved in the experiments sought to damp down hopes of the technique being ready to help disabled people in the near future, but others said they expected to see the first human trials within five years.
More advanced versions of the implant could give people with paralysed legs the ability to walk again, and eventually give paraplegics control over all of their limbs, including very precise movements of the hands and arms.

Source: The Guardian

Smart fabrics for smart clothing
Smart Fabric

Scientists working for ConText, an E.C. funded consortium-based, research project, have developed groundbreaking medical-sensing smart fabrics that could eventually lead to pregnancy monitoring belts, sports clothing that provides training tips, or even a wearable games controller.

ConText’s ambitious programme tackled pioneering and very complex issues in smart-fabric research, which resulted in a useful, unobtrusive and reliable RSI vest that can warn wearers to take a recuperative break.

More importantly, perhaps, the work was finished on time and under budget, so ConText has scope to explore other potential applications enabled by the system.

Muscle stress during sports training is one such potential application and one ConText consortium partner will pursue a swing-monitor for hockey players.

Bas Feddes, Context’s coordinator said “Hockey coaches find it difficult to give feedback to their players, so they would be very interested in clothing that details the path of their stroke. The shirt would track the order in which muscles engaged during the swing. It is an application that could apply to golf, too,”

Another interesting and intensively investigated applications is a physical game controller.
Controlling a computer game by wearing a garment that continuously probes your muscle activity is attractive, not only because of the fun-factor but also because it promotes exercise by children.

He concluded “It is an interesting area with many potential applications and the project partners were very engaged so we got a lot of work done. We would like to pursue other areas together in a future project, if possible, and we will be discussing potential research areas over the coming months.”

The ConText project is receiving funding from the Sixth Framework Programme for Information Society Technologies.

Source: Science Daily

Dates for Your Diary

2nd International Congress on Complex Systems in Sport
and the 10th European Workshop on Ecological Psychology

The organisers have put in place an important international event featuring some of the world’s foremost speakers in the field of Complex Systems in Sport and Ecological Psychology. Among those speaking at this event are the authors of Human Kinetics’ Dynamics of Skill Acquisition, Chris Button and Keith Davids
For more information

5th Evidence Based Physical Therapy Conference & Exhibition
May 9th 2009, Imperial College, London

This Conference is a multi-disciplinary event particularly targeted at physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, as well as sport scientists, sports therapists and all medical and healthcare professionals working or having an interest in physical therapy.

For more information

4th European Congress of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering
23-27th November 2008. Antwerp, Belgium
The European Congress of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2008 will take place in the Flanders Conference and Concert Centre. It will take as its theme ‘Engineering for Health’ and will present a balanced programme reflecting all recent developments in the different biomedical fields and bridge the gap between clinical and research.

For more information

To publicise your event here, send information to and we will do our best to include your details

Academic News inspection copy requests
If you wish to arrange an appointment to discuss our latest texts and your course needs, or you would like to enquire about an inspection copy of any book featured in Academic News, please call Sian Partridge on 0113 255 5665 ext. 204 or e-mail

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All prices in this email are valid until 01/05/09 and include VAT where applicable. Postage & Packing within UK – add £2.75 for first item and 75p per additional item. Rest of Europe – add £4.00 for first item and £1.50 for each additional item.


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