URI’s Kinesiology chair to edit prestigious reference book on exercise testing

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Coventry resident says exercise is ticket to good health

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 1, 2014 – Keeping fit is more important than ever today to prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease and help tame ailments already underway.

No one knows that better than Deborah Riebe, chair of the kinesiology department at the University of Rhode Island and a longtime advocate of regular physical activity.

Now Riebe will have a chance to share her expertise with the world. She’s been selected as senior editor of the 10th edition of American College of Sports Medicine’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. The 450-page book is considered the top resource in the field.

“The book is the gold standard in the field so I’m not surprised that Deb was selected as the senior editor,” says Lori Ciccomascolo, interim dean of Human Science and Services and dean of the College of Continuing Education. “She is one of the most respected leaders in the American College of Sports Medicine and in the field, in general, and we’re very fortunate to have such an expert here at URI.”

Selected by the sports medicine group’s board of directors, Riebe, of Coventry, says she plans to take a sabbatical next semester to focus on the book. She will also write a section about certification for preventive and clinical exercise physiologists.

Exercise helps prevent many diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer and obesity. Regular exercise can also improve sleep, reduce stress and help people live longer.

First published in 1975, the book provides scientifically based standards for exercise testing and recommends fitness programs for people who are sick, as well as healthy. Highly regarded worldwide, the book is read by professionals in sports medicine, exercise science and health and fitness.

Kinesiology is a thriving program at URI. Most of the department’s 850 undergraduates focus on exercise science or health fitness, with the remainder entering the health and physical education teacher education program.

Many undergraduates find jobs, often as health and wellness specialists in companies, teaching employees safe and effective exercise programs. Others work in cardiovascular rehabilitation helping patients with heart ailments.

Some students continue their studies in physical therapy or occupational therapy. Some study to become physicians’ assistants, and Riebe says a 2014 graduate went to medical school.

“The URI kinesiology program is challenging and emphasizes scientific research and hands-on laboratories and community internships,” she says. “It’s becoming more and more popular every year. The program has grown tremendously.”

Riebe obtained her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Springfield College in Massachusetts and her master’s degree in kinesiology at URI. She earned her doctorate in exercise science at the University of Connecticut.

She joined URI in 1995 as an assistant professor in the kinesiology department. She was appointed chair in 2005. She’s an expert on the benefits of physical activity for older adults and people who are obese.

Riebe has published more than 50 academic articles and lectures throughout the world, most recently in Scotland, where she spoke at the World Congress on Physical Activity in Aging.

She also co-edited and wrote a chapter in the book, “Exercise in Older Adults.” The other editor was Patricia Burbank, associate dean for academic affairs in URI’s College of Nursing.

“I’m honored to get this opportunity to edit the exercise guidelines book,” says Riebe. “This is an important publication for exercise professionals.”

Pictured above: Deborah Riebe, chair of the kinesiology department at the University of Rhode Island, is senior editor of the 10th edition of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Riebe.