helps get campus in SHAPE
a time when half of all Californians suffer from cardiovascular
disease risk factors because of obesity and physical inactivity,
a CSUS professor and his students are rising to the fitness challenge
in the form of a convenient, affordable exercise program that fits
even the busiest schedules.
Roberto Quintana, professor of kinesiology and health science, and
exercise science students operate the Site for Human Applied Physiology
and Exercise, or SHAPE. The program is designed to reduce the risk
of cardiovascular disease in the community and encourage healthier
lifestyles through physical activity. Programs like SHAPE are gaining
importance as new surveys by the California State Department Health
Services indicate an alarming increase in physical inactivity, poor
nutrition and obesity among Californians.
"We're promoting health and fitness assessment because a lot
of people don't know what their health risk factors are," Quintana
says. "Physical activity is an important component of a healthy
In the human performance research exercise laboratory in Solano
Hall, Quintana and his students assess clients' cardiovascular risk
based on fitness testing, blood pressure measurement, blood lipid
analysis, medical history screening, nutritional analysis and body
"We use the program to train students how to implement it and
gain experience firsthand in working with the public. It is a service
by the University for the community," Quintana says.
A typical SHAPE exercise prescription is 30 minutes of activity
per day, four times per week, to begin. Prescriptions are tailored
to clients' individual needs. "The goal of prescription is
to make physical activity a habit by incorporating it into a person's
lifestyle," Quintana says.
Quintana gives an example of a client who has a work schedule of
nine hours per day at CSUS. "She wanted to do something about
her tendency to gain weight during the winter. We structured a program
where she could exercise by riding her bike to work," Quintana
says. "And instead of taking a coffee break, we converted it
into a walking break every day that provides 20 minutes or more
of exercise per day."
The SHAPE team worked on the little details too. "We changed
some of her habits at work. Instead of faxing things, she walks
over and talks to people. It may not seem like much at first, but
if you look at it over a period of a year, it may add up to four
pounds of fat burned. Over a period of 10 years, this can add up
to 40 pounds," Quintana says.
The overall goals of SHAPE are to promote the objectives of Healthy
People 2010, a set of national health objectives that serves as
the basis for development of state and community plans.
Jason Talanian, a CSUS graduate student and intern with the program
says, "It's great. I was surprised at how many people don't
spend the time taking care of their physical activity needs. The
SHAPE program has given me an opportunity to work with clients in
a professional environment and led to a job opportunity as an exercise
Last year, SHAPE had an enrollment of about 180 clients with two
to three students working with them. Quintana would like to expand
the program as a resource to the Sacramento community, while allowing
students to gain experience by working with clients.
Screening and initial assessment can take anywhere from 45 minutes
to two and a half hours. After the initial assessment, clients receive
a consultation and an interpretation of their results in a one-and-a-half-hour
session, plus another follow-up session to address any further questions.
Prices vary depending on the tests recommended for each individual,
but tend to be lower than health clubs in the area. Faculty and
staff receive a 30 percent discount, and students receive a 40 percent
discount. "All proceeds go back into the lab," Quintana
To sign up for the program, contact Quintana at 278-4495 or 278-6902.