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Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers

Chapter 6


cerebrovascular disease
type 2 diabetes
cardiovascular disease
cross-sectional surveys
incidence rate
prospective cohort study
surveillance system
case–control studies
exercise epidemiology
metabolic syndrome X
randomized controlled trial
type 1 diabetes

Click here to view definitions for all words.


Click here to view this chapter’s lab.
View or print the lab as a PDF.

Study Questions

  1. Define exercise epidemiology and list some of the chronic diseases that are studied.
  2. What is CVD, and why is it one of the most studied areas in exercise epidemiology?
  3. Can hypertension be treated with an exercise program? If so, what are the proposed mechanisms for exercise-related decreases in blood pressure?
  4. Describe the differences between type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and type 2 (non–insulin-dependent) diabetes.
  5. Which type of osteoporosis does physical activity have the largest impact on, and what is the mechanism for this effect?
  6. Is physical activity an effective treatment for depression? If so, does it have any advantages over other treatments such as drugs and psychotherapy?
  7. What is an incidence rate and what are the three general types of incidence rates?
  8. What are the disadvantages of a cross-sectional survey?
  9. Why is the randomized controlled trial considered the gold standard for testing a research hypothesis, and how is a randomized controlled trial conducted?
  10. Why do the research tools used in exercise epidemiology differ from those used in most areas of exercise science?
  11. What is the most common measurement tool in exercise epidemiology?
  12. Most exercise epidemiology professionals are employed in a university or college setting. Describe some other occupations that contribute directly or indirectly to exercise epidemiology.

Learning Activities

  1. Go to the CDC website and access the “Heart Disease” topic (www.cdc.gov/heartdisease). Use the links to gather information on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and any recommendations for the standardization or improvement of the measurement of these factors. Use this information to write a one- to two-page paper.
  2. Go to the ADA website (www.diabetes.org). Select “Diabetes Basics,” then select “Risk Test”. Follow the directions to determine your personal risk for diabetes. When you’re finished, look at your results and the “Lower Your Risk Factsheet.” Write a short summary of your 30-year risk assessment, including any recommendations for lifestyle changes.
  3. Go to the ACSM website (www.acsm.org). Search for “hypertension.” Write an abstract on ACSM’s Exercise and Hypertension Position Stand.
  4. Search the Internet to discover the spectrum of research being conducted in the area of osteoporosis. Write a brief synopsis of what you find.

Suggested Readings

Cyr, N. M. (2003). Health promotion, disease prevention, and exercise epidemiology. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Dishman, R. K., Washburn, R. A., & Heath, G. W. (2004). Physical activity epidemiology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Gormley, J., & Hussey, J. (Eds.) (2005). Exercise therapy: Prevention and treatment of disease. Malden, MA: Blackwell.