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Fitness Giant Launches Nationwide Bone Health Initiative for 2009
Date:11/13/2008

The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the Swezey Institute of Santa Monica create at-home exercise training that promotes bone and joint health.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 13, 2008 -- 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 Extensors16.7        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: Since 1983, AFAA has been the world's largest fitness and TeleFitness® educator and has issued more than 250,000 certifications to fitness professionals from more than 73 countries worldwide. Each year, health clubs and studios nationwide host more than 2,500 educational workshops. AFAA is unique in that it provides a comprehensive written and practical examination accredited by Vital Research. AFAA is proud to have an affiliate status with the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) and is a member of the National Organization of Competency Assurance (NOCA). AFAA has also applied for an additional accreditation through an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education, meeting IHRSA's 2005 recommendation on accreditation for fitness certification organizations.

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