In This Section:

  • Major Milestone for PAA's 'It's Time to Move' Campaign

    by Greg Margason | Jul 26, 2023

    Policy Corner


    On Thursday, July 20, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology published the United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 4 (USCDI v4). The Physical Activity Alliance (PAA) is pleased to announce that its proposed Physical Activity Data Elements have been included as Core Measures in USCDI v4, alongside other new data elements that focus on improving equity across the health care ecosystem. 

    The addition of PAA’s proposed Physical Activity Data Elements to the USCDI v4 means that electronic health record platforms in the United States (i.e., the software platforms used to collect and share patient information) will be required to include the Physical Activity Data Element that captures the following patient data: “Evaluation of a patient’s current or usual exercise.” 

    With the achievement of this major milestone, PAA is now focusing on work that will incentivize health care providers, health plans, and health systems to integrate physical activity assessment, prescription, and referral into health care delivery and address reimbursement/payment for these services.

  • ACSM Hot Topic | Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report: A Q&A with Federal Lead Katrina Piercy, Ph.D., FACSM

    by Greg Margason | Jul 26, 2023

    QADr. Katrina Piercy, FACSM, is the director of the Division of Prevention Science within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), having taken on the role in January 2022. Piercy earned a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and nutrition from Virginia Tech (in the department now headed by ACSM President-Elect Stella Volpe) and began working with ODPHP as a fellow in 2011; Piercy has since held a number of roles and leadership positions within the office, also joining the U.S. Public Health Service as a dietician officer in 2013. 

    Piercy’s division develops and disseminates the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (Guidelines), the National Youth Sports Strategy, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They also support the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, a federal advisory committee appointed by POTUS that promotes physical activity and healthy eating for all Americans. 

    In her capacity as division director, Piercy was the federal lead overseeing the entirety of the development of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Implementation Strategies for Older Adults (Midcourse Report). In this Q&A with ACSM, Piercy discusses her background and work as well as insights into the report’s creation, its highlights, and actionable content for ACSM members and certified professionals.   

    What led you to pursue a career in exercise science and sports medicine? 

    I was a college athlete, playing soccer on scholarship, and I was always interested in the combination of physical activity and nutrition and how to optimize both. I specifically sought out graduate schools where I could combine both disciplines into one department and do research with human subjects. After graduate school, I did my dietetic internship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was drawn to their program for the opportunity to be involved with many of the research studies at NIH. 

    What does your day-to-day work look like? 

    It honestly changes every day, depending on the projects we are working on. Currently, my team is working to disseminate findings from the Midcourse Report, getting the new members of the Biden-Harris administration President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition — who were just sworn in at their meeting in late June — up to speed and starting to work, and preparing for meeting No. 3 of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which will take place in September. 

    How did you get involved with the production of the Midcourse Report? 

    On behalf of HHS, our office leads development of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in close collaboration with other federal offices, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NIH. We began planning for the Midcourse Report in late 2020. 

    What is the purpose of the report, and what do you hope to achieve with its publication? 

    Move your way

    The Midcourse Report extends the work of the Guidelines and provides the “how” to help older adults achieve the recommended 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening physical activity each week. In addition, older adults also need multicomponent physical activity, which incorporates balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity. 

    Older adults were selected for this report because they are an expanding population with low rates of physical activity (less than 15% are currently meeting the Guidelines) and because of the physical, mental, social, and economic benefits of physical activity for older adults.
    The purpose of this report is to highlight strategies that work to increase physical activity among older adults. This report is for policymakers; exercise and health professionals; clinicians; gerontologists; built-environment professionals; local, state, territorial, and Tribal leaders; and others working with older adults. 

    Of note, the Biden-Harris administration’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health specifically called for this report after the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September 2022. Summarizing evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity among older adults directly supports the National Strategy’s Pillar 4: Support Physical Activity for All. 

    How is the report formulated? 

    The report is primarily based on a systematic literature review performed with support from the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Science Board. It examined how effective a variety of settings are for supporting increased physical activity among older adults. These settings included communities; assisted living facilities; faith-based settings; health care institutions; and homes, independent living facilities, and neighborhoods. 

    What are the most important takeaways from the current report? 

    Here are a few of the key messages from the report: 

    • It’s never too late to start being physically active and gain substantial health benefits. 

    • While people can do physical activity in many locations, the Midcourse Report identifies three key settings for successful physical activity interventions: 

    • Community locations like schools, gyms, senior centers, or outdoor parks or trails 

    • Health care locations, e.g., doctors’ offices, rehabilitation/physical therapy centers, or nursing homes 

    • At home, where older adults spend much of their time and may be most comfortable 

    • The report outlines several strategies proven to increase physical activity among older adults. They include: 

    • Behavior change strategies — physical activity counseling, for example 

    • Physical activity programs like exercise classes 

    • Policy, systems, and environmental approaches such as walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and communities 

    What can/should ACSM members and certified professionals do with this information? 

    A key audience for the report is health professionals and clinicians, which includes exercise physiologists, physical therapists, personal trainers, and physicians — all ACSM members! Below are some of the strategies that health professionals can use when they work with older adults. 

    Professionals working with older adults can:  

    • Help them set self-selected physical activity goals, monitor their progress, use problem-solving to overcome barriers to physical activity, and build social support; 

    • Consider individual factors, social and environmental factors, and cultural factors when providing tailored physical activity guidance; 

    • Help older adults transition from programs or care within the health care setting to community programs by providing referrals to exercise and health professionals or programs and resources that fit their needs; and 

    • Provide guidance and recommendations to help older adults engage in more physical activity, such as through active transportation and leisure-time physical activity. 

    ACSM members can use Move Your Way® resources and share information with their patients and clients. Move Your Way is the promotional campaign for the Guidelines and contains over 80 resources in English and Spanish tailored to a variety of audiences, including consumers and health professionals. The campaign materials for older adults help older adults understand the amount and types of physical activity they need to be healthy. Of note, a new fact sheet for health care providers shares information about how to discuss physical activity with older patients. The fact sheet also points to helpful resources like Exercise is Medicine®, workout videos for older adults, and an interactive physical activity planner. 

    Additionally, CDC leads the Active People, Healthy NationTM initiative, a program that provides resources and tools to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. There are a number of resources for community design, a key component of the policy, systems, and environmental approaches discussed in the Midcourse Report. Improving community design elements can increase physical activity for older adults, as well as everyone in the community. 

    Katrina Piercy

    Katrina Piercy, Ph.D., FACSM
    , is the director of the Division of Prevention Science within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which produces the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Implementation Strategies for Older Adults.

    Viewpoints presented in ACSM Bulletin commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent positions or policies of ACSM. Active Voice authors who have received financial or other considerations from a commercial entity associated with their topic must disclose such relationships at the time they accept an invitation to write for the ACSM Bulletin. 

  • Maximizing Pregnancy Health: The Role of EIM and Multidisciplinary Care

    by Caitlin Kinser | Jul 24, 2023

    pregnant woman in yellow sweater with a towel around her shoulders and holding a water bottlePregnancy is one of the most complex periods in human life, and every year more research is published detailing how events experienced during gestation affect the future growth and development of the child. Epigenetic factors are particularly impactful during this time, and maternal lifestyle during pregnancy is of enormous importance. 

    Thus, the current worldwide rates of sedentary behavior during pregnancy are acutely worrying: Globally, barely 20% of pregnant women are sufficiently active to meet the current physical activity guidelines for health during pregnancy. We believe one way to address this issue is to create obstetric care teams that support and encourage pregnant women to engage in physical activity. 

    Regular appointments with obstetric health care providers are a standard component of clinical care, allowing specialists to monitor how a pregnancy is progressing. Alarmingly, during these follow-ups we are seeing an increase in gestational diabetes, hypertension, obesity and mental illnesses — all conditions in which physical activity has been shown be an important part of the management approach. 

    The COVID-19 pandemic further increased rates of sedentary behavior and associated health issues. It likewise constituted a period of increased anxiety globally, from a pre-pandemic baseline of 38,249 cases per 100,000 people to 48,024 cases per 100,000 people. More to the point, roughly 57% of pregnant women exhibited symptoms of anxiety during the pandemic. 

    Anxiety is associated with a number of other pathologies, from heart disease to cancer and stroke, as well as the hypertension and gestational diabetes observed in the follow-ups discussed above. Physical activity has been shown to prevent and reduce prenatal anxiety and anxiety symptoms, so why are so few pregnant women active? 

    The question becomes more confounding when we realize the period of the COVID-19 pandemic saw an enormous increase in the amount of health information available, particularly on social media, about the benefits of physical activity. Despite growing access to this information, sedentary behavior has continued to increase. 

    The specific reasons why the population generally, and pregnant women in particular, remain sedentary despite ready access to health information demonstrating the benefits of physical activity are still unclear. However, our research indicates that adding physical activity professionals to the already established multidisciplinary pregnancy care team (e.g., gynecologists, obstetricians and midwives) improves pregnant women’s adherence to supervised exercise programs — particularly since the regularity of these appointments provides us with the opportunity to consistently reinforce to patients the necessity of physical activity and to support them with appropriate exercise prescriptions. Our research group, which works with public medical centers and exercise professionals at Spanish public universities, has seen significant rates of exercise adherence in these programs. Ideally, such teams would proliferate not only throughout Spain but in other countries as well. 

    Physical activity during pregnancy has a profound effect on the life of both the mother and child. Further, children who grow up in an environment that values physical activity may be more likely to stay active themselves, making the value of the multidisciplinary approach our team has developed even more apparent. 


    Miguel Sánchez-Polán, Ph.D., is a researcher focused on physical activity during pregnancy at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Spain. 

    Taniya Nagpal, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta within the faculty of kinesiology, sport and recreation researching adherence to health behaviors and the psychosocial barriers to them, such as weight stigma, pre conception, during pregnancy and postpartum. 

    Ruben Barakat, Ph.D., is a full professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and a leading researcher studying the effects of physical activity during pregnancy on the mother, fetus and newborn. 

  • The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Financial Advisor for Sports Medicine Professionals

    by Greg Margason | Jul 24, 2023
    The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Financial Advisor for Sports Medicine Professionals

    Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed when it comes to your finances? You’re not alone. As a sports medicine professional, you’re no stranger to the ups and downs of the industry. Frequent injuries and hectic schedules can make your job incredibly demanding. Even stressful. But there’s one thing that shouldn’t keep you up at night: your finances. And that’s where a financial advisor comes in.

    I know. The idea of handing your money to someone else can be intimidating, anxiety-inducing, scary, the last thing you ever want to do in your entire life... just fill in the blank. And with so many options out there, it can be tough to know whether it’s worth the investment.

    You might even be thinking, “Why pay for something I can do myself?” Before you roll your eyes and dismiss the idea of hiring a financial advisor, let me ask you this: Do you really have the time and expertise to handle your finances on your own? When it comes to managing your money, the stakes are high. One mistake could set you back years. So let’s weigh the pros and cons of hiring a financial advisor and see if it’s worth the investment.

    The Pros of Hiring a Financial Advisor

    Experience and Knowledge

    One of the biggest advantages of hiring a financial advisor is their experience and knowledge of the financial industry. They have a deep understanding of the financial products and services available as well as in-depth knowledge of tax-saving and investment strategies. With their guidance, you can make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.

    Time-Saving Benefits

    Another benefit of hiring a financial advisor is the time-saving benefits. They can free up your time to focus on your work and personal life while also providing comprehensive financial planning and management services. Additionally, if you're dealing with complex financial situations, they can handle them on your behalf and provide guidance on the best course of action.

    Improved Investment Performance

    Financial advisors can also help improve your investment performance. By developing personalized investment strategies based on your individual goals and risk tolerance, they can help you with potential returns. They also have access to professional research and analysis, and can actively manage your investment portfolio to maximize your potential returns.

    The Cons of Hiring a Financial Advisor

    Costs and Fees

    One of the biggest drawbacks of hiring a financial advisor is the costs and fees associated with their services. These can come in the form of commission-based fees or asset-based fees, and there is also a potential for conflicts of interest and hidden or undisclosed fees. It’s important to thoroughly research and understand the fees before hiring an advisor.

    Lack of Control and Autonomy

    Another potential drawback of hiring a financial advisor is the lack of control and autonomy over your financial decisions. By handing over control to another person, you may feel like you’ve lost agency over your own finances. Additionally, it can be difficult to find an advisor who aligns with your personal values and goals, which can cause friction in the relationship.

    Making the Right Decision for You: Weighing the Pros and Cons

    Now that you know the pros and cons of hiring a financial advisor, let’s take a moment to reflect on your financial journey so far. Have you been living the high life like a pro athlete with a fat bank account, or are you still waiting for your big break? Either way, it’s never too early or too late to start planning for your financial future.

    As a sports medicine professional, you’re used to taking care of your physical health, but what about your financial health? Working with a financial advisor can help you create a game plan that works for you and your unique financial situation.

    So what’s next? If you’re ready to take the next step and work with a financial advisor, take the time to do your research, ask questions, and find an advisor who aligns with your values and goals. Together, you can work toward achieving financial security and setting yourself up for long-term success.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how a financial advisor can benefit your unique situation, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a meeting.

    Related content: 
    Blog | Traditional vs. Roth IRA: Which Is Better for Sports Medicine Professionals?

    Jason Korzan
    Jason Korzan
    is based in Atlanta, GA and runs a financial advisory practice associated with Consolidated Planning. Having dedicated a significant portion of his professional life to assisting multimillion dollar manufacturing companies in financial management, he decided to turn his attention to his genuine passion: helping families organize, protect, and focus their financial resources. As a former collegiate baseball player, coach, and lifelong athlete, Jason focuses his practice on delivering tailored financial solutions to sports medicine professionals, helping them achieve financial fitness alongside their physical endeavors.

    Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 6115 PARK SOUTH DRIVE, SUITE 200, CHARLOTTE NC, 28210, 704-5528507. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Consolidated Planning, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. 2023-156982 Exp. 6/25

  • HHS Releases Midcourse Report; AFI Rankings Next Week

    by Greg Margason | Jul 13, 2023
    Policy Corner

    HHS releases midcourse report on ‘Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.’ 

    Health and Human Services (HHS) of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) released its Physical Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Implementation Strategies for Older Adults (Midcourse Report) highlighting strategies to increase physical activity in key settings among adults ages 65 years and older from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

    The Guidelines emphasize why individuals need to engage in physical activity and what dose of physical activity is needed for health benefits. The Midcourse Report focuses on how and where to incorporate physical activity and reinforces the amounts and types of physical activity older Americans need. The report includes strategies that professionals, as well as others working with older adults, can implement wherever older adults spend their time — including in community, health care, and home settings.

    These strategies include policy, systems, and environmental approaches; behavior change; and physical activity programs. View the Executive Summary and additional resources such as Top 10 Things to Know about the Midcourse Report and this FAQ. 

    Thank you to the ACSM members who played critical roles as writers, literature reviewers and peer-reviewers for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report:

    • Katrina L. Piercy, Ph.D., R.D., ACSM-CEP, FACSM
    • David R. Brown, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Geoffrey P. Whitfield, Ph.D., M.Ed.
    • Graycie Soto, MPH
    • Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Ph.D.
    • Barbara J. Nicklas, Ph.D., FACSM
    • David E. Conroy, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Loretta Di Pietro, Ph.D., MPH, FACSM
    • NiCole R. Keith, Ph.D., FACSM
    • David X. Marquez, Ph.D., FACSM
    • David M. Buchner, M.D., MPH, FACSM 

    American Fitness Index results to be announced next week

    ACSM's American Fitness Index will reveal its fitness rankings of America's largest 100 cities on a composite of health behaviors, health outcomes, community infrastructure, and local policies that support a physically active lifestyle.

    With the help of the Fitness Index, local officials, community groups, health organizations, and individual citizens can assess factors contributing to their city’s fitness, health, and quality of life.

    Sign up for AFI's newsletter to receive the rankings once they release.