McGill Announces Inaugural Winner of Bloomberg Manulife Prize

$50,000 research award to promote active health goes to Professor Steven Blair

MONTREAL, Dec. 5, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - McGill University, in association with Lawrence S. Bloomberg and Manulife Financial, is pleased to announce that Dr. Steven Blair, an exercise scientist at the University of South Carolina, is the winner of the inaugural Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health.

Widely regarded as a lead contributor to a new area of epidemiological research linking physical fitness with decreased mortality and numerous health benefits, Dr. Blair is seen as an academic leader in his field. He has advised governments and health organizations, has published over 500 scientific papers and book chapters, and is one of a handful of people outside the U.S. Public Health Service to be awarded the Surgeon General's Medallion.

Dr Blair was among the first researchers to show that even moderate increases in fitness, regardless of one's weight, translate into significantly reduced mortality rates. His research has shown that as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day is enough to drive down mortality rates by 50 per cent, and he contends that it is the lack of physical activity - and not obesity - that is the single biggest health issue we are facing today.

Launched in May 2011, the $50,000 CAD prize will be awarded annually to a researcher whose work promises to broaden our understanding of how physical activity, nutrition or psychosocial factors influence personal health and well being. Sponsors of the prize include Westjet Airlines, The Globe and Mail, Shaw Communications and the Cambridge Group of Clubs.

For the full press release: http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/news/item/?item_id=212729

For further information:

Jessica McGovern
Promotional Officer, Bloomberg Manulife Prize
McGill University
514-398-6480
bloomberg-manulife@mcgill.ca

Chris Chipello
Media Relations Office
McGill University
514-398-4201
chris.chipello@mcgill.ca