Copyright 1997-2006 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved.



  January, 2006
   Vol. 10 No. 1

 Editor: Dr. Lonnie Lowery

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What's New?


BOD Editorial
"Exercise Science": Now I Understand

Lowery, L.
Research Bias In Exercise Physiology (1st on page)
Robergs, R. 
A Crisis in Leadership in Exercise Physiology
Boone, T.

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"Exercise Science": Now I Understand
Lonnie lowery, MA, MS, Ph.D., RD, LD

..the reality is that the majority of the exercise physiologists who receive a doctorate should know better... and should be doing something to assess the costs and risks of having and not having information about the exercise science mess.

-T. Boone, PEP-online 8(9), 2005.

Why all the fuss over the term exercise science as opposed to exercise physiology? I admit that for years I did not fully understand. You see, I went to school for a long time but I never really saw a wide variety of exercise-related academic programs. My ring of fellow students, both in the classroom and via collaborative research, were more or less educated with similar standards. The exercise physiology program I attended was rigorous; we actually had slightly more intense requirements than the biomedical sciences major at our University. A year of graduate school in San Diego exposed me to yet more quality and frequent trips to Canada engendered a love of exercise physiology research - both cellular and systemic.

To be honest, I listened several times over the years to faculty and students who suggested big differences in our preparation versus "the phys ed students upstairs in the building" but I always attributed it to differences in major or profession. They were not exercise biologists or clinicians; they did not require the same depth of biochemistry, lab experience and biology (among other things) to which we were exposed. This assessment was valid. However, extrapolating my sense of affiliation and confidence to all exercise science programs was not.

You see, a few years ago I encountered an exercise science program that frankly stunned me a little. Although it was indeed physical education of a sort, it was not exercise physiology. Its students' preparation and, for lack of a better word, "culture" clearly did not reflect that to which I had grown accustomed. Nonetheless I felt defensive of this program at first, thinking that surely I was not seeing enough to make a determination of quality. In fact, during a number of early interactions with this very university's nutrition faculty, I initially felt rather offended when they spoke somewhat judgmentally of the "sports students", a term that was used interchangeably with "exercise phys students". What?! What was this emphasis on "sports" as something that almost sounded non-academic? And what does it have to do with exercise physiology?

I struggled to understand while I bit my tongue. Heck, I never could name more than a handful of professional athletes and I've been familiar with very few sports teams at all - thus I failed to see any mandatory connection to exercise physiology per se. Irritated questions swam beneath my calm exterior. Were my years spent pipetting serum samples for interleukin-6 analysis - via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay - really perceived as a coaching degree? (Not that I have anything against coaching degrees.) Were my late nights in the lab, pouring over ECG strips misconstrued to be part of a mere personal training background?! (I do have some issues with personal training degrees granted by state universities.) How could exercise physiology students be unfavorably compared with dietetics students? Did the misconception that "we" were all coaches or personal trainers or "jocks" permeate even higher education?

I soon discovered my answer, in part thanks to ASEP. It had to do with standardization and accreditation. Let me offer an example. Nutrition programs, wherever one goes, are largely consistent - at least in professional preparation and core competencies. Dietetics is strongly managed by a unified singular specific governing body, the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and by a separate but "sister" accreditation group, CADE. This allows for effective communication with government and the public - and it ensures minimum standards among university dietetics programs. Exercise science programs, conversely, are mired in a deluge of certifications, other licensed professions and competing accreditations. Nationwide, this leaves a myriad of ill-defined competencies, vastly differing university programs and even students who aren't sure what they will actually do upon graduation. I'm coming to realize: A degree or certificate in exercise science doesn't actually mean anything in particular (at least not legally, by nationwide professional consensus or to much of the public). An "exercise scientist" or "exercise professional" is not synonymous with a Board-Certified Exercise Physiologist (EPC), just as a "nutrition scientist" or "nutrition professional" is not synonymous with a Registered Dietitian (RD). In sad comparison to nutrition/ dietetics, this history of failure to get behind an EP-specific governing body does more than create confusion regarding the rigor of academic programs. It also removes the strength of a unified voice for legitimate EPs. No voice of solidarity reaches state governments or the public, thus allowing stereotypes to remain and dampening any hope that EPs will become recognized professionals. Instead, a "crowd of voices" - sometimes from non-EP groups - drowns-out any meaningful message.

Just recently, I read a disheartening statement on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) astronaut training web site. Although it lists degrees in biological sciences as appropriate, it specifically lists exercise physiology as "not considered qualifying".1 After more than 15 years in higher education and completing more courses in biology than many biology professors have, I find this very troubling. Does NASA think exercise physiologists are coaches or gym teachers or personal trainers? How is physiology not biology? Again, I am not insulting these physical education-related professions; I only seek to explain their differences from actual exercise physiology.

In summary, I now agree that there is indeed an "exercise science mess". My exposure to vastly differing university programs and their individual student "cultures", each professing to be "exercise science" (loosely interpreted as both "sports studies" and "exercise physiology" by other professions) is difficult for me to dismiss. I hope sincerely that legitimate EPs and their students can find a way to get behind ASEP, to grow stronger with ASEP accreditation and to lend their voice to a unified message.


1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mission Specialist and Pilot Astronaut Candidate Brochure.; accessed Jan. 5, 2006.

Ask the Professor: Your Inside Scoop on Tough Questions

Note: Ask the Professor is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be taken as healthcare advice. Please do not submit questions of a personal nature (e.g. fitness programs, nutrition advice solicitation, etc.) Thanks.

Q.) I recently had a debate with another student about the quality of a reference in a term paper. He said that a professional newsletter was a legitimate reference but I say a new study in a scientific journal, not a small collection of other, real publications is best. Who's right?

- A recent anonymous question

A.)  You've come upon a common issue among undergraduates (and even some grads). In a sense, you can both be "right" depending upon your intent. A review article, even a brief one in a professional newsletter, does have worth if it was peer-reviewed. But it should not be used as evidence of a broad consensus in the literature. Large exhaustive reviews in scientific journals and published meta-analyses are better. That is, your fellow student who was utilizing a small newsletter reference should stick to the available facts or quotes, making every effort not to overstate the impact/ importance of this single brief, "non-original" publication. And hopefully publications that both support and refute a given hypothesis will be examined. (Perhaps one day you'll learn to critique large reviews, meta-analyses and original investigations. See our highlighted JEP-online paper in the "What's New" section of this Newsletter for an example.)

This brings us to a second facet of your debate. A new, original investigation that presents and analyzes heretofore unpublished data can indeed present evidence "straight from the horse's mouth". A benefit here is that the conclusions are the author's own and even a look at the numbers themselves may facilitate better (even different) conclusions by the reader. Think of such a primary reference as a "brick" whereas a review paper consists of many "bricks" that the author is building into an "edifice". Both types of article are necessary. (See "Chaos in the Brickyard", Science 142:3590, October 18, 1963 for more.)

And remember that no research article, no matter how well designed or heavily referenced constitutes "proof" - research simply supports or refutes a hypothesis. Proof, per se, is not part of research.


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University of North Florida, Department of Public Health

The University of North Florida, Department of Public Health, is seeking applicants for a tenure-track, nine month Assistant Professor position #32276R in the Public Health program. Responsibilities include teaching, research and service. Required qualifications are: PhD in exercise physiology or a closely related field with formal training in a public
health discipline; OR a PhD in a Public Health discipline with a Master's degree in Exercise Physiology or a closely related field; and a record of achievement in, or potential for, successful teaching and developing an extramurally funded research program.

Applicants must apply online at and must upload all required documents to be considered for this position. Applicants who do not apply on-line or do not upload all the required documentation will not be considered for this position. Only those candidates who are invited to an on-campus interview must mail official transcripts and 3
original letters of reference.

Application deadline date: January 16, 2006.

UNF is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.


Exercise Physiologist - Kosciusko Community Hospital

At Kosciusko Community Hospital our goal is to provide customer service that exceeds the expectations of patients, physicians and the community. If you are committed to the same expectations then we are currently seeking you as a new team member.

Exercise Physiologist:
KCH currently has an opening in its Wellness Center for An experienced Exercise Physiologist. The successful candidates will posses a Bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology and three to six months experience preferably in a Hospital Cardiac Rehab program. ASEP certification is preferred.

KCH offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Qualified candidate may submit a resume or application to:

Kosciusko Community Hospital
2101 East DuBois Drive
Warsaw, Indiana 46580 
574-372-7624 (fax)


Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility seeks a Director of Exercise Physiology interested in working in a leading rehabilitation center to play a vital role in the successful rehabilitation of our cardiac and general rehabilitation patients. Hands-on responsibilities include patient evaluations, exercise stress testing, risk factor management and exercise training. Working closely with our Cardiology, Immunology and Neurology Departments to perform complex cardiopulmonary stress testing, pulmonary stress testing, spirometry and bronchospasm evaluations, also opens the door to research and education endeavors which our institution finds important to remain in the forefront of rehabilitation services.

The successful candidate must have a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology or closely related field, strong analytical skills and a minimum of one year of clinical experience in a hospital or cardiac rehabilitation setting. BLS or ACLS certification is preferred.

Located on beautiful Roosevelt Island in New York City, the facility is easily accessible from the five boroughs by subway, bus or car and provides free parking. We offer competitive salaries and an excellent benefits package including an on-site health club. For immediate consideration, please send your resume to:

Human Resources Department
Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility
One Main Street
Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
Fax: (212) 318-4464
Equal Opportunity Employer M/F

Assistant Professor in Exercise Physiology at Wright State University

The Department of Biological Sciences and the Exercise Biology Laboratory at Wright State University are now accepting applications for an Assistant Professor in Exercise Physiology.  The successful candidate will assist in teaching biomechanics, exercise physiology, and/or clinical exercise physiology to undergraduates and M.S. students in the departments program in Exercise Biology. There are opportunities for research collaboration with faculty in the areas of organismal and cellular aspects of animal and neuromuscular physiology, both in Biological Sciences and in departments affiliated with Wright States School of Medicine.

Graduate programs include the interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program, Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program, Biological Sciences M.S. program, and Microbiology and Immunology M.S. program. Resources in support of research include a Genomics Core Facility, a modern animal care facility, Brehm Analytical Laboratory, a greenhouse, and an on-campus Biology Preserve and neighboring wetlands. There are also opportunities for collaboration in the Dayton area with numerous research institutions including Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Successful candidates are expected to have a doctorate by start date and sufficient research experience to establish and maintain an independent, extramurally funded research program. Competitive start-up packages will be tailored to individual needs. WSU has 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and the department graduates approximately 150 students per year. Appointment at the Associate level will require meeting the criteria in the Department Bylaws. Send CV with statement of research and teaching interests, and names and contact information for three references to:

Search Committee
Department of Biological Sciences
Wright State University, Dayton OH 45435-0001

Electronic applications can be sent to Review of applicants will begin November 1, 2005 and continue until the position is filled.

The Exercise Biology program web site may be visited at 

Wright State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer


Yavapai Regional Medical Center

We currently have two Exercise Physiologist positions available in our Preventive Medicine department. Preventive Medicine is a high functioning team of professionals dedicated to reducing chronic disease or the progression of disease. The department provides cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, adult fitness, diabetes education, employee health and wellness services, and other community minded health related programs. Staff includes registered nurses, exercise physiologists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, and a medical director all dedicated to providing high quality services in state of the art facilities.

You must have a Bachelor or Masters degree in exercise science and be certified ACSM-RCEP or ACSM-Exercise Specialist. A minimum of three years experience working as an exercise physiologist in the cardiac rehab setting is also required. Yavapai Regional Medical Center offers:

* Attractive Salaries
* Relocation allowance
* 5% Retirement match
* Benefits begin 1st of the month following start date
* Much more

For more information or to apply, please visit: or send your resume to:

Yavapai Regional Medical Center
Human Resources Department
1003 Willow Creek Rd
Prescott, AZ 86301
Call toll-free:
(800) 976-9762
Fax: (928) 771-5755

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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