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Kinesiologist named editor of widely used exercise reference guide

by Robert A. Frahm - April 20, 2009


Known for her expertise on exercise and fitness, Linda Pescatello has been named editor of a prescriptive exercise guidebook widely used in medicine, athletics, and fitness programs.

Pescatello, a professor of kinesiology, becomes the first woman to be named senior editor of the Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, a reference guide published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Pescatello has focused her career on examining the connection between exercise and health – an interest that evolved after her days playing softball, basketball, and tennis as an undergraduate at UConn in the 1970s.

The guidebook is considered the bible of exercise protocol for professionals in clinical exercise testing and rehabilitation, exercise science, and other health-related fields.

Pescatello has been a contributor and associate editor of the guidebook’s eighth edition. She now will head the production of the ninth edition, scheduled for publication in 2013.

“It’s an honor,” she says. “In terms of having an impact, it’s really nice to be able to do that in your field.”

The guidebook is used by physicians, nurses, physical therapists, exercise specialists, athletic trainers, health fitness professionals, and others.

Pescatello notes that the guidelines are often used in clinical settings where people are stress tested, or exercise is used as a healthy lifestyle intervention – for example, cardiac rehabilitation.

It is also the primary reference for ACSM certification of health and exercise professionals working in preventive and rehabilitative programs.

Linda Pescatello
Linda Pescatello Photo by Jeff Foley

One of the goals of the eighth edition, Pescatello says, was to condense the handbook. Instead of the large, inclusive resource book it had become in earlier editions, editors pared it down, making it a quick, easy-to-read guide containing references to other more detailed scientific resource documents and manuals published by the ACSM.

The editorial board sought to create “something you could stick in your lab coat,” she says, “short and sweet and to the point.”

Her appointment as editor is the latest recognition of Pescatello’s status in the field of exercise and health.

She is an authority on a range of issues, including ongoing research funded by the American Heart Association on the effect of exercise in lowering high blood pressure.

She has authored or contributed to hundreds of articles in professional journals, and has worked on the editorial boards of publications such as ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, The American Journal of Medicine & Sports, and The Open Sports Medicine Journal.

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