Coming up short

Stein is a Times staff writer.

Most of us don’t exercise as much as we should, or eat as healthfully as we could. But neither do athletic trainers.

In a recent survey of 275 men and women who work with athletes, often on rehabbing sports injuries, only 41% said they met the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendation of 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week. None of the trainers said they met the USDA’s Dietary Reference Intakes for all five food groups during a typical week.

By and large the results are not too bad, says lead author Jessica Groth, who conducted the research as a graduate student at Western Michigan University. (She’s now an athletic trainer with Select Medical Corp. in Orlando, Fla.) “But there’s definitely room for improvement,” she says.


Though the survey didn’t ask why some people failed to meet standards, Groth has a theory. “We’re on other people’s schedules as far as practices and games are concerned. We work a lot of long hours, and nontraditional hours, as far as mornings, nights and weekends are concerned. You add in families and personal lives, and we’re spread pretty thin. But we’re still able to get in exercise and take pretty decent care of ourselves in spite of all of these things.” The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Athletic Training.