About half of all adults, or 117 million people, have at least one chronic health condition according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Harvard Medical School researcher will explain how physical activity can reduce the rate of chronic illness during the Hilton Chair Lecture at Iowa State University.
I-Min Lee is a professor of medicine and a leading researcher on the role of physical activity in preventing chronic diseases and enhancing longevity. Her free, public presentation, “Physical Activity: Wonder Drug for Chronic Disease Prevention,” starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center.
In a 2012 paper published in the journal Lancet, Lee and her colleagues established that reducing the rate of physical inactivity by 25 percent could prevent more than one to three million deaths worldwide every year. They estimated that physical inactivity causes 6 percent of the burden of disease from coronary heart disease, 7 percent of type 2 diabetes, 10 percent of breast cancer, and 10 percent of colon cancer.
The risk of premature death from a sedentary lifestyle is similar to that of smoking, Lee said in an interview with the BBC. The study also found inactivity is a common factor in chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Warren Franke, a professor of kinesiology and publicity chair for the Hilton Lecture, says there are many misconceptions about the benefits of physical activity.
“People often think of exercise as it relates to weight loss, but the benefits of physical activity are far greater,” Franke said. “Dr. Lee’s research clearly demonstrates that effect. Her work also shows that any activity is better than nothing. People don’t realize how little it takes—it doesn’t have to be ‘exercise’ to be beneficial.”
Lee has served as an expert panelist for such groups as the American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for which she wrote the scientific report on the 2008 physical activity guidelines. Her most recent research has focused on women's health in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the National Cancer Institute.
Lee’s lecture is sponsored by the Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair Endowment, the College of Human Sciences and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.
Helen LeBaron Hilton served as dean of what was then the Iowa State University College of Home Economics from 1952-1975. LeBaron Hilton was an advocate of the status of women and the well-being of children. In 1993 LeBaron Hilton bequeathed $1.4 million, establishing The Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair, the largest fully endowed faculty chair fund at Iowa State University at the time.
Lecture series schedule
Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair Lecture Series
"Move for Life: The Health Benefits of Exercise Across the Lifespan"
Sept. 29, 2016, 7 p.m.
Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building
Hilton Endowed Chair: I-Min Lee
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Lee is a professor of medicine and a leading researcher on the role of physical activity in preventing chronic diseases and enhancing longevity. Her most recent research has focused on women's health in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the National Cancer Institute.
Jan. 26, 2017, 7 p.m.
Sun Room, Memorial Union
Corcos is a motor systems neuroscientist who has made significant contributions to understanding how different brain regions control movement. He is currently studying how progressive resistance exercise improves the motor and non-motor systems of people with Parkinson’s disease, and how endurance exercise changes disease severity in Parkinson’s disease.
Feb. 15, 2017, 7 p.m.
Sun Room, Memorial Union
Director of the Sustainability Institute and Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, University of New Hampshire
Nelson served as associate dean of Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life and professor of nutrition at its Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. At the Friedman School, she was the founding director of the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention.
March 2, 2017, 7 p.m.
Gallery, Memorial Union
J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center
Gibbons is the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. He is a clinical psychologist who has examined the effects of lifestyle behaviors, including exercise, on psychological functioning in healthy older adults, in patients with cardiovascular disease, and in individuals with major depression and cognitive impairments.
Closed session: I-Min Lee will meet with kinesiology faculty and graduate students to discuss national physical activity guidelines.