Students to offer fitness tests at men’s conference

Quite a stretch -- Erin M. Wanserski, a Southern Illinois University Carbondale senior in kinesiology from Mattoon, practices administering the “sit and reach” test, which measures lower back and hamstring flexibility, with SIUC instructor Tony Calabrese. Wanserski and other SIUC kinesiology students have volunteered to run four fitness screens at the Southern Illinois Men’s Health Conference March 20 at John A. Logan College. (Photo by Russell D. Bailey)Download Photo Here

March 01, 2010

Students to offer fitness tests at men’s conference

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Ten kinesiology students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale will provide physical fitness assessments for participants at the Southern Illinois Men’s Health Conference, which runs from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Building C on the John A. Logan College campus in Carterville.

The group, all members of the student Organization of Sport and Exercise Science at SIUC, will conduct tests to measure cardiovascular capacity, lower back and hamstring flexibility, upper body strength and body fat composition.

“All four of these measurements translate into healthy lifestyle markers,” said Philip M. Anton, an assistant professor of kinesiology at SIUC and a member of the conference steering committee.

“Participants will get a copy of our data collection form which will have normal values for their age groups so they can see where they stand. After they have completed the tests, they will have a consultation with a trained exercise science student, who will go over what they can do to improve any component they’re lacking in.”

The group, a mix of graduate students and upperclassmen, all volunteered for the assignment.

“They’ll get the opportunity to practice the skills they have with a different population,” Anton said. “All their lab experience comes from working with their peers.”

Exercise science graduates can run physical fitness programs for corporations, gyms and public agencies. Classes in subjects such as anatomy, biology, movement, nutrition, pharmacology, physiology and psychology teach them how to assess fitness levels and design exercise programs to help adults become fit and stay that way, while management classes aid them in understanding the business side of the equation.

Erin M. Wanserski, the student organization’s vice president, for example, hopes to become a wellness and fitness coordinator, a job she might find in settings that range from park department to corporate headquarters. But she’s not choosy.

“At this point,” said the Mattoon senior with an eye toward May graduation, “I’ll take whatever I can get!”

For more information on the men’s health conference, visit To learn more about kinesiology at SIUC. go to