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Fitness Giant Launches Nationwide Bone Health Initiative For 2009

AFAA and the Swezey Institute of Santa Monica create at-home exercise training that promotes bone and joint health.

LOS ANGELES --AFAA, the world's largest fitness certification association, announced today it is working with a leading bone health institution in providing a new and better way to improve bone and joint health for millions of Americans.

As part of the initiative, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) will reach out to select locations including clubs and health institutions to promote bone and joint health. Osteoporosis affects nearly 44 million Americans, of whom more than half are at least 50 years of age, according to national statistics.

In collaboration with the renowned Swezey Institute of Santa Monica, AFAA also created a custom home-exercise DVD to complement the OsteoBall®⿿an inflatable vinyl ball for easy-to-do tension and resistance (isometric) exercises. The DVD is AFAA's first home-exercise training video with closed-captioned subtitles for hearing-impaired individuals.

A landmark eight-week Swezey Institute study using the OsteoBall® revealed an increase in muscle strength in the following areas: head, neck, hands, elbow flexors, quads, elbow extensors and trunk. Each muscle exercise consisted of five-second maximum contraction against progressively increasing resistance of the ball. Muscle strength was measured using a hand-held dynamometer at week 0, week 4 and week 8. The findings were published in the Journal of Rheumatology.

8-Week Muscle Strength Increase: 20 Females Ages 56 to 69
Muscle Group Pre-Test Post-Test Change
Head & Neck 20.7 22.7 1.96
Left Hand 50.0 53.5 3.52
Right Hand 54.5 58.7 4.2
Left Elbow Flexors 24.1 25.8 1.64
Right Elbow Flexors 22.7 25.3 2.53
Left Quad 42.6 45.7 3.1
Right Quad 40.3 45.5 5.25
Left Elbow Extensors 17.4 17.2 -0.21
Right Elbow Extensors 16.7 17.2 0.52
Trunk 26.4 27.1 0.71

*This site was used as the Control group, therefore the Left Elbow Extensor was not exercised in the study. Source: Swezey Institute of Santa Monica

The "OsteoBall Training for Bone Health" program includes an instructional DVD and OsteoBall®. To make a greater impact, the program is available for both consumer and personal trainers who have clients with bone and joint related conditions such as osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis. To learn more, go directly to www.afaa.com/osteoball.

About AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America)

AFAA is the world's largest fitness and TeleFitness® educator. Since 1983, AFAA has issued over 300,000 certifications to fitness professionals from more than 73 countries around the world. Each year, health clubs and studios host over 3,000 educational workshops across the nation. AFAA provides a comprehensive written and practical examination accredited by Vital Research. AFAA is proud to be granted full status with the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) and is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). AFAA is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The DETC is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education, and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This meets IHRSA's 2005 recommendation for fitness certification organizations.


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