April 2017 Update

In this edition of the ASGA Update you’ll find articles about:


Mayo Clinic Logo   

Exercise fights ageing

Mayo Clinic scientists may have just discovered the fountain of youth, according to an article on the Psychology Today website. And this magic elixir doesn’t come in the form of a pill, powder, or hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The team of researchers found that various types of exercise—but high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in particular—appear to slow down aging on a cellular level.

The findings were published on March 7 in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Senior author of the study, Dr Sreekumaran Nair, said “Based on everything we know, there’s no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process. These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine… exercise is critically important to prevent or delay aging. There’s no substitute for that.”

The most earth shattering aspect of the latest Mayo Clinic findings are that, in some cases, the high-intensity cycling regimen used in this study seemed to reverse the age-related decline in mitochondrial function and proteins necessary for muscle building and energy production. The researchers also observed a robust increase in mitochondrial protein synthesis.

For more information about the study please read the article on the Psychology Today website.


HIT Consultant Logo   

Sweat the future of wearables?

Dr. Sonia Sousa is CEO and Co-Founder of Kenzen, a startup that creates next-gen wearable diagnostics based on sweat analysis. In a blog post on HIT Consultant she talks about the coming revolution in wearables and how they will monitor health and optimise performance by analysing the wearer’s sweat.

Medical journals have been talking about the value of sweat for nearly 50 years. Readily available, sweat has a number of important biomarkers and knows nearly as much about our state of health as blood.

Sweat is officially the new blood, and 2017 will be the year when it becomes a big authority in injury prevention, healthcare and wearable diagnostics. Analysts predict that the global wearable patch market will grow at an impressive rate of more than 88% between 2016 and 2020 and surpass $5B, citing the rise in healthcare costs and lifestyle diseases. The U.S. Army and the Air Force are interested. Professional sports teams like San Francisco 49ers and FC Dallas are already piloting sweat analysis biosensors that can help prevent injuries in real time.

To read more about how sweat analysis will be the next big thing in wearables and health diagnostics please visit the blog post.


Sustainable Brands Logo   

Exploitation in the Indian Leather Industry

An article on the Sustainable Brands website discusses a new report into the exploitation of Indian leather workers.

The report by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) – Do Leather Workers Matter? Violating Labour Rights and Environmental Norms in India’s Leather Production – explores the existing labor conditions in the Indian leather industry that are steeped in deep-rooted social inequalities in Indian society based on caste and gender discrimination.

In India, approximately 2.5 million workers in the leather industry are exposed to poor working conditions that violate their human rights and negatively affect their health. Exposure to toxic chemicals, unfair wages, child labor, discrimination of Dalits (‘outcastes’) and the difficulty to organize in trade unions are just some of the many challenges workers face.

India is the world’s second largest producer of footwear and leather garments. The footwear sector in India specializes in medium to high priced leather footwear, particularly for men. Almost 90 percent of the country’s footwear exports goes to the European Union.

To read more of the article by Libby McCarthy, please visit the Sustainable Brands website.



Encouraging people to walk more

A new report released recently has revealed that two-thirds of people who took part in the Victoria Walks and VicHealth Change to Walking program now intend to walk more in their daily routine. 

The program, delivered by councils in Bendigo, Darebin, Geelong, Warrnambool and the Yarra Ranges used incentives such as free public transport, coffee carts, and new school drop off zones to encourage locals to increase how often they walked.

The Change to Walking program found:

  • Up to 94% of participants were influenced to walk more
  • Two thirds of people intend to continue walking after participating 
  • Participants increased their total physical activity by up to 42%.

In a media release, Victoria Walks Executive Officer Dr Ben Rossiter said “The Change to Walking program trialed innovative approaches to make walking attractive, social and easy. We’ve found that if people are given the right incentives physical activity, such as walking, can easily become a part of their daily routine.”

More information about the program and the Change to Walking report is available at http://www.victoriawalks.org.au/Change-to-Walking/.


BBC Logo   

The muddy rise of obstacle courses

According to an article on the BBC, Doing a “mud run” might sound like an unpleasant and painful way to spend a weekend, but it is actually the fastest growing mass participation sport in the UK. As many as 250,000 people take part in more than 150 events each year, according to the Obstacle Course Racing Association (Ocra).

It is not a cheap sport. Between £50 and £80 is spent on entering most events, but in some cases people fork out more than £100 to hurl their exhausted, dirt-encrusted bodies across gruelling courses.

Probably the most well known in Australia, Tough Mudder, has become huge, with more than two million participants to date, races across several countries, big-name sponsorship deals and TV shows in the US and the UK. In 2015 Tough Mudder recorded a turnover of more than £10.5m in the UK alone.

Mark Leinster, the chief executive of Ocra, which is aiming to have the sport officially recognised, said there needed to be a balance between challenge and safety and it had succeeded in stopping four races from happening last year over safety concerns.

To read more about the rise of the obstacle course as a sporting event, please read the article on the BBC website.


Emory Healthcare logo   

Sport specialisation can increase injury risk in kids

A recent study, conducted by Emory Sports Medicine physician Dr Neeru Jayanthi, MD, recommends that young athletes should not specialise in sports before age 12, train more hours per week than their age, and should limit training to less than 16 hours per week to avoid injury.

Jayanthi and his team evaluated the risks of sports specialised training patterns in nearly 1,200 athletes over the course of three years. They discovered injured athletes had a mean age of specialisation below 12 years old, while those who were not injured specialised at a mean age greater than 12 years old.

Investigators also found that on average injured young athletes played more year-round sports, participated in more weekly hours of organised sports, and also maintained a higher degree of specialisation over the three-year study period.

Complete findings from the study are available in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.


ESSA Logo   

Tackling physical health can improve mental health

People living with mental illness could add years to their lives with the right support to get their physical health on track, according to three leading medical organisations.

The three groups, the Dietitians Association of Australia, Exercise & Sports Science Australia and the Australian Psychological Society issued a joint position statement ‘Addressing the physical health of people with mental illness’. The statement underlines the importance of diet and exercise, along with psychological treatment and medical treatment, for people living with a mental health disorder.

Recent Australian research shows people living with serious mental illness are two to three times more likely to suffer from diabetes, and their rate of cardiovascular disease is almost four times that of the general population.

Mental illness, such as depression, is also an independent risk factor for developing coronary heart disease.

In a media release, Gabrielle Maston, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, said “By improving diet and exercise, side effects and complications of these chronic conditions can be reduced. With increased disease rates in people living with mental illness, support from Accredited Practising Dietitians and Accredited Exercise Physiologists is crucial.”

To read more please visit the Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) website.


MediLine Plus Logo   

Physical activity starts declining at seven years old

Many parents have seen their rambunctious 5-year-old age into a teen “couch potato.” But a new study, discussed in an article on Medline Plus, finds the slowdown in activity may begin long before adolescence.

Sedentary behaviors begin to set in shortly after the ripe old age of seven, the researchers found. And contrary to what many have thought, girls are not the only ones who fall prey to less healthy living at a young age.

The researchers found that “100 percent” of both boys and girls in the study experienced a drop-off in activity well before their teen years, according to a team led by John Reilly from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, in Scotland. And the decline did not happen “more rapidly in adolescent girls than boys,” the researchers added.

For the study, the physical activity of about 400 children in the United Kingdom was followed over the course of eight years. The kids wore portable monitors that tracked their activity levels for a period of seven days when they were ages 7, 9, 12 and 15 years.

Overall, the investigators found that physical activity levels among the kids started falling at the age of 7. The declines continued during the study, but did not drop more sharply once they hit adolescence.

To read more about the study please visit the article on the Medline Plus website.