Fitness Industry News Briefs January 2009


American Family Fitness

In October, the sixth annual American Family Fitness 5K/10K Run/Walk raised $48,000 for Children's Hospital, Richmond, VA. The event drew 800 participants, who started and finished at the hospital. In addition to the run/walk, the Tuckaway Mascot Challenge, a one-mile fun run for children aged 5-12, was held on and around hospital grounds. Including this year's gift, American Family Fitness has raised more than $235,000 for Children's Hospital since 1997. Proceeds will benefit the renovation of the hospital's playground and uncompensated care.

Life Time Fitness

Life Time Fitness' member magazine, Experience Life, received 14 awards at the 12th annual Minnesota Magazine and Publications Association (MMPA) Publishing Excellence Awards Gala. The awards included a silver award for overall excellence. This is the sixth consecutive year that Experience Life has garnered multiple MMPA awards for its editorial and design achievements. Experience Life competed in the general interest, circulation over 60,000 category. The magazine has a circulation of more than 600,000, with an estimated total reach of more than 2.5 million readers.

Rinehart Fitness Center

The reopening of the Rinehart Fitness Center at the Fort Sill, OK, Army base was postponed from November to a possible opening this month. The facility renovation started last summer, but several aspects of the renovation, including new air conditioners, required more time than anticipated, according to Andrew Turnipseed, supervisor for the Lawton, OK-based contractor Ten Bears Construction. Backorders on parts for the fire alarm also caused the delay, according to the Fort Sill Cannoneer.

2008 California Physical Fitness Test

Fifth-, seventh- and ninth-grade California public school students who took the 2008 California Physical Fitness Test showed a slight improvement in test scores from last year. In the results released in November, 28.5 percent of fifth-graders, 32.9 percent of seventh-graders and 35.6 percent of ninth-graders achieved in what the state determines as the "healthy fitness zone" for all six areas of the test, including cardiovascular endurance, body fat percentage and strength and flexibility. The results from the 1.3 million students represent a 1.4 percentage point increase in fifth-graders, a 2.0 percentage point increase in seventh-graders and a 5.5 percentage point increase in ninth-graders compared to last year's results.

Xavier University

Administrators at Xavier University, a private, Jesuit school in Cincinnati, say they will delay construction of the Xavier Square project until the economy improves. The project is to include a new campus health center and a recreation center. Xavier Square also is to include 500 student beds and an entertainment district. Covington, OH-based developer Corporex Cos. was handling the project.

Corporate Fitness

Work places with on-site gyms could have more productive employees, a new study by researchers at the University of Bristol, England, finds. Scientists reviewed "mood diaries" from 200 employees, who held mainly sedentary office jobs, to see if their performance improved on days when they exercised during the work day versus days they did not. Both their moods and performance improved on days when employees were allowed to exercise. Employee tolerance and resilience also improved.

Obesity Risk

A meta-analysis of 15 genetic studies, covering more than 90,000 patients, found six new genetic variants associated with an increased body mass index (BMI) and risk of obesity. Five of those genes are active in the brain, which means that obesity risk could be related more to behavior than to metabolism, researchers suggest. The study was published in Nature Genetics and included authors from more than 60 facilities. Study authors noted that until 2007, scientists had not uncovered any genetic links to obesity. However, the links that have been discovered since then are likely to influence brain function.

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