Cadmus-Bertram’s Fitbit study
a hit with media outlets
A study co-authored by Lisa Cadmus-Bertram that examined whether or not fitness trackers really improve health garnered significant media attention in June, with reports from the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies being picked up by newspapers and online publications across the globe.
The assistant professor with the Department of Kinesiology is the lead author of a paper appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that’s titled, “Randomized Trial of a Fitbit-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Women.”
The Associated Press reported: “Sales of fitness trackers are climbing, and the biggest maker of the gadgets, Fitbit, made a splashy debut on the stock market (June 18). But will the devices really help you get healthier?”
In one of the few completed clinical trials of fitness trackers, the Associated Press explains how Cadmus- Bertram’s study found that overweight middle-aged and older women who used a Fitbit got about an hour of additional exercise a week, while a group of women that were given pedometers didn’t improve. Cadmus-Bertram tells the AP she thinks that if the women had received more support they might have experienced even bigger gains. But the study involved a specific group of women — they were around 60 years old, white and affluent. And they still didn’t reach the activity goals that experts recommend.
The Associated Press report also noted that Cadmus- Bertram is preparing to launch additional studies on Garmin’s Vivofit tracker and plans to test the LED-based heartbeat sensors in some activity trackers to see if their measurements are accurate.
Searchable database project
earns technology infusion grant
In an effort to help faculty and students implement innovative projects designed to bolster teaching and learning, UW–Madison’s School of Education during the 2014-15 academic year awarded a dozen Replicable Instructional Technology Infusion (RITI) grants.
Four faculty members with the Department of Kinesiology — which is housed within the School of Education – joined forces and submitted a winning proposal titled, “Searchable Database of Pedagogical Exemplars.” Grants of up to $2,000 per student or $5,000 per faculty member were available, while total project funding could top those figures if applicants teamed up with others.
Department of Kinesiology Associate Professor Kreg Gruben (biomechanics), Associate Faculty Associate Cindy Kuhrasch (physical education teacher education), Associate Professor Andrea Mason (motor behavior) and Associate Clinical Professor Andrew Winterstein (athletic training) were awarded a total of $20,000 for a project that will create a rich and searchable video and image database to better teach students about movement across a range of Department of Kinesiology disciplines.
Similarly, assistant professor Kristen Pickett, who is a faculty member with the Department of Kinesiology’s Occupational Therapy program, submitted a winning proposal titled, “First Person Video to Enhance Student Learning, Knowledge Retention and Future Clinical Application.” This project utilizes the lightweight and wearable GoPro digital camera system and allows students to improve their learning of OT assessment techniques by wearing the camera during an assessment — and then reviewing the video at a later time.
Schrage named a Vilas Associate
William Schrage, an associate professor with the Department of Kinesiology who is focusing on how nerves and blood vessels control blood flow in response to exercise and environmental stressors like low oxygen, was selected earlier this year for an appointment as a Vilas Associate.
The university’s Vilas Associates Award competition recognizes new and ongoing research of the highest quality and significance. Recipients are chosen competitively by the Divisional Research Committees of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education on the basis of a detailed proposal. This Vilas Associate appointment provides partial summer salary for 2015 and 2016, and also provided $12,500 in flexible research funding for each of the next two fiscal years.
Schrage’s BioDynamics Lab studies how conditions like obesity alter blood flow control, and how this may contribute to cardiovascular disease later in life.
Student-led projects land UW backing
Students with the Department of Kinesiology are leading a project that received funding this spring through UW–Madison’s Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment competition.
One of the mini-grant awards went to students Morgan Lange and Bruin Armwald, who are with the Department of Kinesiology’s Athletic Training program. They are heading a project titled, “Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety: Developing a State-Wide Network.”
This initiative will expand local efforts in promoting brain safety to a broader audience in communities across the state by establishing brain safety organizations on university campuses throughout Wisconsin and providing them with start-up community education toolkits.
Meanwhile, Kristen Cassarini, a student with the Department of Kinesiology, was selected to receive a 2015-16 Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowship, the Morgridge Center for Public Service announced in April. Her project is titled, “TEAM (Time for Education, Awareness, and Management of) Concussion: A Community Resource for High School Students and their College student mentors; Madison, Wis.”
This project will allow Cassarini to help build a collaborative group setting to support high school teenagers who have experienced concussions.
Department news ticker …
• UW–Madison’s Alison Brooks and David Bell earlier this year were awarded a grant from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) to analyze the potential problems associated with student-athletes at the high school level specializing in a single sport. Bell is an assistant professor with the departments of Kinesiology and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and the director of the Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory. The grant, worth $20,000, will allow the investigators to survey high schools of different sizes throughout Wisconsin.
• Students from the Department of Kinesiology’s Physical Education Teacher Education Program in April helped train a cohort of high school students from the area about how to become site leaders for summer programming run by Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR), which is the public recreation provider for residents of Madison. Cindy Kuhrasch, who coordinates the Physical Education Teacher Education program, trained the UW–Madison students and put together the training session and teaching materials, as well as facilitated the training event.
• The Big Ten Network’s “Forward Motion” news program in December aired an uplifting and powerful report about a summer adaptive fitness camp for children with disabilities that is hosted by the Department of Kinesiology. “The biggest perception I want to change is the perception that kids with disabilities can’t do the things that other kids are doing,” Tim Gattenby says in the report. Gattenby (pictured below in a summer 2015 photo) leads the camp and is coordinator of adaptive fitness and personal training with the Department of Kinesiology. The Forward Motion report highlighted a range of ways in which this “No Limits” camp was truly a life-changing experience — for the kids, their families and the UW–Madison students who are majoring in kinesiology and helping out at the camp.