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Media Contacts

Tracy James
University Communications
(c) 812-369-7100

Dara Eckart
School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Media advisory: Health experts discuss Indiana public health issues, personal health

IU Conference on Healthy Living on Wednesday

Feb. 26, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Leading health and fitness experts from Indiana University will discuss critical public health issues facing the state and important personal health and fitness issues during the IU Conference on Healthy Living on Wednesday (Feb. 27) in the Indiana Government Center South Auditorium, 302 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

Healthy Living Conference

Reporters are welcome to attend the panel discussions and faculty presentations, which address such issues as cancer prevention, emotional fitness, technology and aging well, nutrition and cardiac health. The event is geared toward the general public, which was required to register. For times and descriptions of panel discussions and presentations, visit:

Below are some potential events to cover and examples of faculty presentations at the conference, which is sponsored by the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at IU Bloomington:

  • Health forecast panel. 9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m., auditorium. Panelists will discuss a nursing shortage, the impact of lifestyle choices on rehabilitation, a health policy forecast and a new view of public health. Panelists include Marion Broome, university dean of the IU School of Nursing; Joyce MacKinnon, interim dean of the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; Eric Wright, director of the Center for Health Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and Robert M. Goodman, dean of the School of HPER.
  • Discussion: The Economic Impact of Chronic Disease on the State of Indiana. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., conference rooms A,B. Moderated by Goodman, the panel will include Mary Hill, deputy Indiana State Health Commissioner; Lloyd Kolbe, applied health science professor in the School of HPER; and Gerhard Glomm, chair of the Department of Economics at IU Bloomington.

Faculty presentation: Your digital Golden Years -- how technology could shape your health and future, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., auditorium. Gerontology expert Lesa Lorenzen-Huber, from the School of HPER, will discuss the pros and cons of some of the latest high-tech gadgets -- from Internet bunnies to a $900 medicine dispenser -- geared toward helping older people maintain their health, remain in their homes longer and stay connected with loved ones and friends. "We often have a rosy vision of the future, where technology solves all of our problems," said Lorenzen-Huber, clinical assistant professor in HPER's Department of Applied Health Science. "But there's also a downside. How can we make sure we develop products that protect older people and their personal information, products that also are not overly complicated to use?" Lorenzen-Huber is involved in research that explores this and more. She can be reached at 812-855-1733 and

Faculty presentation: Emotional fitness -- using physical exercise to improve mental health, 1:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m., auditorium. Just 20 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise -- which is far from huffing and puffing -- can cause feelings of calmness, lowered anxiety and less fatigue for two to four hours, offering a natural way to treat or alleviate depressive disorders and to give an emotional boost to people without these disorders. "These same positive benefits apply to children," said John Raglin, a psychologist in the School of HPER's Department of Kinesiology. "At the same time, it's becoming more and more challenging to find time for kids to have physical activity." Swimming, running, group exercise aerobic or water exercise classes and cycling are examples of aerobic exercise. Raglin said no particular form of exercise is known to have a stronger impact on mental health and it is not clear why the exercise has this effect, although he said endorphins, which often are credited with such effects, have nothing to do with it. Clinical groups -- people with elevated levels of depression and anxiety -- seem to receive more of the mood-boosting benefits of exercise, however. Physical exercise sometimes can have the opposite effect -- making mentally healthy people feel depressed. "Exercise is a complex stimulus," Raglin said. "Intensive training regimens can create depression in athletes, a condition called athletic overtraining syndrome. It's a real problem for serious endurance athletes. We're seeing this in roughly one third of serious swimmers. We're seeing this in middle school and high school athletes, too." Raglin can be reached at 812-855-1844 and

For additional assistance, contact Tracy James, University Communications, 812-855-0084 and On the day of the conference, James can be reached at 812-369-7100.