Week one is now in the books for the 2014 spring semester. It was great to see all of our students and faculty back on campus. Our classrooms are filled to capacity, as our student enrollment has grown exponentially over the past several years. We are extremely proud to see how our Exercise and Sport Science undergraduate enrollment has grown. I believe this speaks directly to the excellent opportunities and education that our students have access to as they progress through our different programs. Many thanks to our faculty and staff, as their efforts have elevated our department to one of the top programs in the nation.
Now more than ever, the importance of an education in Exercise and Sport Science is critical for society. The core mission of our department and university is to improve and enhance the quality of life of people. The education, research and service efforts of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science are directly aligned with this mission. We provide a novel and impactful educational experience that addresses the growing need to develop well-educated medical, health, and sport professionals with expertise in management / administration, exercise, nutrition, rehabilitation, and prevention.
The latest issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine is dedicated to the theme of “Exercise is Medicine”. There are several excellent articles within this issue that provides information detailing the importance of an Exercise and Sport Science education. Some of the world’s greatest health problems are related to a lack of exercise / physical activity. The article by Pratt et al outlines the following as major negative consequences of physical inactivity:
- Physical inactivity is the 4th leading underlying cause of mortality in the world
- Physical inactivity causes over 3.3 million people deaths each year around the world
- Many of the most costly medical conditions are related to physical inactivity, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, ischemic heart disease, falls and hip fractures, and depression.
In addition to the health concerns, the negative consequences of chronic disease are devastating from a financial perspective. The World Health Organization estimates, in the United States alone, the medical costs associated with treating chronic diseases will reach over $303 billion by 2015. Thus, an education in any area of Exercise and Sport Science is a critical part of the foundation for solving this great problem facing society.
Society needs professionals at all levels and different in capacities to help solve this problem. We need scientists and practitioners who develop and implement evidence based guidelines for exercise and nutritional program. We need health care professionals who work to prevent injury / illness and care for those who sustain injury / illness. We need administrators to develop policies and procedures for ensuring best practices are being implemented for exercise, nutrition, injury prevention and rehabilitation. So whether you are majoring in the Exercise and Sport Science, Sport Administration, Fitness Professional, or Athletic Training specialization, your training and education is vital to help combat this global epidemic that can be prevented and cured with proper exercise, diet and management.
To learn more about the latest research in this particular area, I would encourage to take a look at some of the articles that were published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. These articles will provide a great overview of the importance and value of an education in Exercise and Sport Science.
- The cost of physical inactivity: moving into the 21st century (Pratt et al)
- Creating health through physical activity (Burns & Murray)
- Physical inactivity remains the greatest public health problem of the 21st century: evidence, improved methods and solutions using the ‘7 investments that work’ as a framework (Trost et al)
In closing, we are extremely proud that our students have chosen to pursue an area of study that has such tremendous global impact on the public. Remember that “exercise is medicine”, and an education in Exercise and Sport Science is the foundation for developing the different professionals the world needs to deliver the prescription. Feel good and be proud that you’ve chosen to pursue such an impactful area of study that truly enhances the quality of life of society.
Keep making your EXSS impact!