Friday, December 14, 2012 Need for Educated, Credentialed Fitness Professionals Tops Trends for 2013 For the sixth consecutive year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has ranked the need for educated and certified health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals as the top fitness trend. For its survey, ACSM received more than 3,340 responses from health and fitness professionals from almost every continent—Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North America, and South America. Specific countries included the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, and Russia. Demographics of the survey respondents included 67% female across a wide variability in ages and 48% having more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Strength training ranked second for the second year in a row. Body weight training, which ranked third, appeared for the first time in the trend survey because it has only now become popular (as a defined trend) in gyms around the world, says ACSM. Programs aimed specifically at the problem of childhood obesity, weight loss programs, and fitness programs for older adults placed fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively. The trend toward creating incentive programs to stimulate positive healthy behavior change as part of employer-based health promotion programming and health care benefits ranked 15th. Outcome measurements placed 17th in the survey. This is the first time this trend toward accountability has made it into the top 20 spots. Free full text of the article is available in the November/December issue of Health & Fitness Journal.