ACSM: Dr. Russ Pate a world leader ‘in physical activity interventions for children, adolescents’
October 16, 2012
Dr. Russ Pate, recognized nationally and internationally for his exercise science research, continues to make new headlines for his scholarship and public service work.
- Was the recipient of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 2012 Honor Award, a highly prized acknowledgment of “his exceptional scientific record,” and
- Served as chair of an Institute of Medicine committee that released recommendations on measurements for use in national youth fitness surveys and school-based fitness tests.
Pate, an Arnold School faculty member since 1974, is a 30-year member, former president of the ACSM (1994-95) and president of ACSM Foundation (1999-2000).
He served on the certification committee, helped write two editions of Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, and served on other groups providing service to ACSM, the organization which selects award recipients.
The ACSM described Pate as “one of the world’s leaders in physical activity interventions for children and adolescents. He has published numerous highly influential research papers that have been cited more than 13,000 times in the scientific literature.
“He has made enormous contributions to public policy initiatives for physical activity. Professor Pate was the driving force that brought ACSM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention together to launch the revolutionary physical activity recommendations that were published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in 1995.
“This report is undoubtedly one of the most influential papers in the history of exercise science, as indicated by the more than 3,000 citations it has received. Russ also initiated efforts to create the first National Physical Activity Plan for the U.S. that was released in 2010.”
A reception Oct. 12 for Pate at the Public Health Research Center recognized the award.
Pate described the ACSM “as my professional home for my entire career. It’s just a wonderful honor, and I’m delighted to be selected. In my line of work, nobody does these things as an individual. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great people here and the award recognizes the work of our team at USC.”
Among exercise science faculty, Dr. Steve Blair is a recipient of the ACSM Honor Award, and Dr. Larry Durstine has received the ACSM’s Citation Award.
The Institute of Medicine report addressed the issue of how well traditional physical activity measurements correspond to desired health outcomes in children.
Fitness testing has traditionally focused on four aspects: heart and lung function, body composition, muscular and skeletal fitness, and flexibility. Pate’s committee undertook a comprehensive review of the science and found that it supports the use of specific ways to measure three of these components -- cardiorespiratory endurance, body composition, and musculoskeletal fitness -- in young people.
These measurements should be used in national youth fitness surveys and school-based fitness tests, says the committee’s report.
“This report’s recommendations offer helpful guidance to those designing fitness batteries targeted at children and adolescents,” Pate said. “Collecting more data through surveys and in schools will advance our understanding about how fitness in early years translates into better health throughout a lifetime.”
Studies have found cardiorespiratory endurance to be associated with risk factors for developing heart disease later in life. The progressive shuttle run -- an exercise in which participants sprint back and forth between two points -- is a good measure of cardiorespiratory endurance, the committee concluded. If space is limited and resources permit, cycle ergometer and treadmill tests are valid and reliable alternatives for the shuttle run in national surveys.