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UW-Eau Claire Kinesiology Department Looking for Participants for Fitness Study

RELEASED: Jan. 26, 2006

Dr. Lance Dalleck

Dr. Lance Dalleck, UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of kinesiology (photo courtesy of the University of New Mexico College of Education, photograph by Corrie Photography).

EAU CLAIRE — Kinesiology faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will begin conducting a new fitness study in mid February and are looking for approximately 30 women between the ages of 18 and 45 to participate. University students, faculty and staff and community members are welcome to apply.

Assistant professor of kinesiology Lance Dalleck, who will lead the study, said most fitness studies typically work with white adult males, while women, children and minority groups are studied less often. He hopes to change that and at the same time challenge the appropriateness of some current fitness recommendations.

According to Dalleck, resources like the American College of Sports Medicine, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control now recommend that to gain significant health benefits most adults should aim for a level of exercise that burns a minimum of 150 calories of energy per day, seven days a week, or approximately 1,000 calories per week.

But how much do different individuals, with different body sizes and fitness levels, need to exercise to burn 1,000 calories, and is that really the optimal amount of exercise required to obtain health benefits? Dalleck said he believes the recommendations need to be much more targeted to specific individuals, and he hopes to demonstrate that by putting women of different ages and sizes on various 12-week fitness regimens designed to burn 1,000 calories a week and then measuring the individual health benefits gained over that time.

"Our aim is to show that an absolute recommendation isn't appropriate," said Dalleck. "And if we can show that, it will encourage those of us in the business of health and fitness to develop more realistic, helpful and specific recommendations."

Dalleck will interview potential participants to make sure they are appropriate subjects and to ensure they understand the requirements of the study and the commitment of time necessary for participation.

"We're estimating a commitment of three to five hours a week each week to complete the exercise program," Dalleck said, noting that subjects will be tested before and after the study for things like aerobic fitness, cholesterol, blood pressure, and body composition.

Study participants will work with Dalleck, other faculty members and four kinesiology students to design programs of moderate intensity that fit their preferences and lifestyles in addition to burning the required calories.

"They'll pick their own modalities," Dalleck said. "They will have the option to walk outdoors or on the indoor track, work on a treadmill, ride an exercise bike, etc."

Dalleck hopes that this pilot-study, which is being funded by UW-Eau Claire's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, will lead to a grant for a larger, more in-depth study.

Of the four kinesiology students helping with the study, two have already been accepted into programs where they will train to be physical therapists. Typically, kinesiology students are interested in working in physical therapy, corporate fitness or sports performance management, cardiac rehabilitation, or as personal trainers.

Before joining the UW-Eau Claire staff last year, Dalleck worked for five years in a clinical setting as an exercise physiotherapist in cardiac rehabilitation. He earned his doctoral degree in kinesiology from the University of New Mexico.

To apply to participate in this study, contact Dalleck at (715) 836-3774 or dalleclc@uwec.edu.

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NW

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