Professor Kathleen Janz contributes to key federal report on physical activity guidelines

Scientific report stresses importance of physical activity to personal and public health; will serve as basis for next edition of U.S. "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans"
Saturday, March 3, 2018

Professor Kathleen Janz
Professor Kathleen Janz

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released on March 2 the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Professor Kathleen Janz of the Department of Health and Human Physiology served as one of 17 members of the ad hoc committee tasked with updating federal guidelines on physical activity.

The committee's report builds on and significantly expands the scientific evidence summarized in the first federal Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report (2008).

The report, available online, describes findings from the Advisory Committee’s systematic review of the scientific evidence on physical activity, fitness, and health, and will help inform the next edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It provides a detailed summary of the disease prevention and health promotion benefits of a more physically active America that is firmly established by the latest scientific evidence.

The HHS noted the importance of Janz's work.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is grateful to Dr. Kathleen Janz and all the members of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for their dedicated service and thorough review of the current science on the connections between physical activity and health,” said Don Wright, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health. “HHS will review the Committee’s Scientific Report, as well as comments from the public and federal agencies, as it is developing the next edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.”

The public is encouraged to view the scientific report and provide written comments to the federal government at The comment period will be open for 30 days, closing on March 31, 2018.

Kathleen Janz, who has a secondary appointment with the Department of Epidemiology (College of Public Health) joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1991. Her research interests include physical activity and physical fitness as determinants of health outcomes; electronic monitoring of physical activity; and longitudinal tracking of physical activity.

A prolific researcher with many peer-reviewed publications, invited lectures, and external grants to her credit, Janz directs the UI's Physical Activity and Health Outcomes Laboratory. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Heart Association's Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and consults on projects nationwide related to physical activity.

The Department of Health and Human Physiology is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.