February 28 - 29, 2008 Advisory Committee Meeting
Edward Howley, Ph.D., reviewed preliminary recommendations for
future research. Dr. Howley noted that there is a great deal of information and
data already which allowed conclusions to be drawn in a number of areas.
However, there is still a great deal that is unknown. Current information does
not answer whether increased participation in physical activity affects
classroom performance. It is also unknown how much physical activity is enough
to improve health outcomes in disabled populations. There is no evidence if
physical activity can prevent gestational diabetes and we cannot determine what
mode of activity is the best.
There are common research needs across all areas among the
committee. More research is needed to determine relationship of gender, age,
race, ethnicity and disabled populations and potential differences in physical
activity recommendations. Because most studies apply a standard dose amount of
30 minutes or 60 minutes it would be helpful to have studies research the effect
of lower doses. When assessing and collecting information it would be beneficial
to have more uniform methods for collecting and expressing data as well as more
objective monitoring of physical activity.
The following specific research needs were identified:
Additional research on the dose-response effect on excess adiposity, bone
health, cardiovascular health, metabolic health and academic achievement.
More studies are needed to better define the shape of the dose-response curve
as well as determining the point in the curve where no further risk reduction
Data is needed to determine FITT of physical activity associated with specific
health outcomes and reductions in secondary conditions. There is also a need
for adequately powered RCTs.
More information is needed to better study the progression of starting and
exercise program and incrementally increasing the dose. More information is
also needed to study the risks associated with walking and does development of
an activity plan with a health care provider help reduce adverse events?
Research is needed to determine if physical activity prevents or delays the
onset of functional limitations. Also we do not know if physical activity
reduces the risk of injurious falls or if multi-modal physical activity is
We do not know if physical activity is linked to weight stability for those in
normal BMI range. It would also be helpful to use state-of-art technology
along with complete energy balance designs to look at weight regain after
weight loss. More studies are also needed on those most susceptible to weight
More studies are needed that are focused on those at high risk of mental
disorders. It would also be beneficial to have more frequent measurement of
exposures and outcomes to model change. Additional data is needed to compare
features of physical activity interventions and its setting.
We currently do not know the effect of physical activity on vascular health.
Additional information is needed to better study the resistance training dose
on cardio-respiratory health. Studies also need to time course of changes.
More information is needed to study the relation of physical activity to
preventing Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular outcomes associated with
diabetes. Data is needed to determine the role of physical activity in the
prevention and treatment of gestational diabetes.
It would be helpful to compare physical activity to anti-resorptive therapy on
prevention of fractures. More information is needed to determine optimal FITT
associated with benefits and increased symptoms of arthritis. Future research
should evaluate the relationship of specific modes of physical activity to
preventing age-associated decline in skeletal muscle mass.