Blair, Steven N. 1939–

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Blair, Steven N. 1939–

(Steven Noel Blair)

PERSONAL: Born July 4, 1939, in Mankato, KS; son of Bernard (a farmer) and Wilma (a homemaker) Blair; married Jane Marie Pottberg (a psychologist), April 10, 1965; children: Max Earl, Ann Marie Blair Kennedy. Education: Kansas Wesleyan University, B.A., 1962; Indiana University, M.S., 1965, P.E.D., 1968; Stanford University, postdoctoral studies in medicine, 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, jogging, theater.

ADDRESSES: Home—9316 Windycrest Dr., Dallas, TX 75243. Office—Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, 12330 Preston Rd., Dallas, TX 75230; fax: 214-458-1675. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, instructor in physical education and athletic coach, 1962–63; University of South Carolina, Columbia, from instructor to professor, 1966–84, founder and director of Human Performance Laboratory, 1966–78, adjunct professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, 1989–; Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Dallas, TX, director of epidemiology and clinical applications and director of research, 1980–2002, president and chief executive officer, 2002–. University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, adjunct professor of epidemiology, 1989–; University of North Texas, Denton, adjunct professor at Academy for Research and Development, 1996–; University of Houston, TX, adjunct professor, 1998–.

Member of editorial board, Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 1987–98, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1988–, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 1989–, Current Issues in Exercise Science, 1989–, American Journal of Human Biology, 1994–, Biological and Pedagogical Problems of Physical Education and Sport, 1995–98, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 1996–97, Frontiers in Bio-science, 1996–98, American Journal of Medicine & Sports, 2001–, and Current Sports Medicine Reports, 2002–; member of advisory board, Medicine, Exercise, Nutrition, and Health, 1991–97. University of Bristol, Bristol, England, Benjamin Meaker fellow, 2001. American College of Sports Medicine, member of board of trustees, 1981–84, vice president, 1990–92, president-elect, 1995–96, president, 1996–97. Member of council on nutrition, physical activity, and metabolism and of council on epidemiology, American Heart Association; member, American College of Epidemiology.

MEMBER: North American Association for the Study of Obesity, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Public Health Association, Society for Epidemiologic Research, American Epidemiological Society, Society for Behavioral Medicine, Human Biology Council, Society for Clinical Trials, American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (president, 1994–95), American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

AWARDS, HONORS: South Carolina Scholar Award, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), 1981; Health Educator of the Year Award, South Carolina Association for Health Education, 1982; Honor Award, AAH-PERD, 1988; Distinguished Alumni Award, Wesleyan University, 1989; Scholar Award, AAHPERD (southern district), 1989–90; Honor Award, AAH-PERD, 1991; W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award, Indiana University, 1992; Scholar Award, AAHPERD, 1993–94; Wellner Distinguished Scholar, Frostburg State University, 1994; Citation Award, American College of Sports Medicine, 1994; R. Tait McKenzie Recognition Award, AAHPERD, 1995; distinguished scholar award, University of Memphis, 1995; named Healthy American Fitness Leader, 1995; Person of the Year, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), 1996; IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award, 1996; Gold Medal, International Council of Sports Science and Physical Education, 1996; Surgeon General's Medallion, 1996; Honor Award, Texas Regional Chapter, American College of Sports Medicine, 1997; Presidential Citation, AAHPERD, 1997; Award for Meritorious Achievement, American Heart Association, 1998; Lansdowne Scholar, University of Victoria (Canada), 1997; William G. Anderson Commemorative Award, 1998; named honorary member of the Order of the Horse Collar Knights of Kuopio University, 2001; Outstanding Service Award, Texas Health, IHRSA, 2001. D.H. C., Free University of Brussels, 1994; D.H.S., Lander University, 1996; D.Sc., Bristol University. Fellowships from American College of Epidemiology, American Epidemiological Society, American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and North American Association for the Study of Obesity.


(Editor, with others) Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Lea & Fe-biger (Philadelphia, PA), 1988.

Living with Exercise, American Health (Dallas, TX), 1991.

(With others) The LifeStyle Counselor's Guide for Weight Control, edited by Brenda L. Wolfe, American Health (Dallas, TX), 1996.

(With Walter H. Ettinger, Jr., and Brenda S. Mitchell) Fitness after 50: It's Never Too Late to Start!, Beverly Cracom Publications (St. Louis, MO), 1996.

(With others) Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality, Human Kinetics (Champaign, IL), 2001.

Contributor to numerous books and professional journals. Associate editor, American Journal of Health Promotion, 1986–99, and American Journal of Epidemiology, 1991–97.

SIDELIGHTS: An expert on diet and exercise, Steven N. Blair is a researcher and teacher who also has a background in epidemiology. One of the most significant epidemics that has become a vital issue in the United States in recent years is obesity. The sedentary lifestyle of most Americans, along with poor diet and stressful jobs, has made this a nation where the majority of people may be classified obese. For many years, obesity has been determined by the body mass index (BMI), a measurement that takes into account both weight and height. However, in his writings, Blair has asserted that simply plugging weight and height into a formula does not result in an accurate assessment of fitness. He weighs close to two hundred pounds and is only five feet, four inches tall; however, Blair runs four miles a day and has been deemed very fit by his physician. What is most important, insists Blair, is participating in a reasonable amount of activity daily, resulting in a sound heart rate and good blood circulation, among other benefits. Moreover, as he explains in such books as Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality, a person need not endure intense weight training and aerobic exercise to achieve fitness. Instead, moderate exercise, including walking at a brisk pace for thirty minutes a day, is enough to add years to a person's life.

In research studies that Blair has conducted, he found "that about fifty percent of the obese people in his studies were fit," according to a Jet article. "There is a misdirected obsession with weight and weight loss," Blair stated in the article. "The focus is all wrong. It's fitness that is the key."



Dallas Morning News, August 30, 1999, Laura Beil, "Fatness vs. Fitness: Fatness, Fitness Can Coexist," p. F1.

Internal Medicine News, October 1, 2004, Kate Johnson, "Emphasize Fitness over Weight Loss, Expert Says," interview with Steven N. Blair, p. 20.

Jet, November 26, 2001, "Heavy Can Mean Healthy If You're Active," p. 14.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, April, 2003, review of Active Living Every Day: 20 Weeks to Lifelong Vitality, p. 526.

Library Journal, May 1, 2002, Susan B. Hagloch, review of Active Living Every Day, p. S4.

Nutrition Action Healthletter, December, 1993, David Schardt, "These Feet Were Made for Walking," interview with Steven N. Blair, p. 1.

People, December 2, 2002, "He Ain't Heavy: Fat but Fit? Researcher Steve Blair Says It's Possible, and He's Got the Data—and the Biceps—to Prove It," p. 199.


Cooper Institute Web site, (January 16, 2006), biography of Steven N. Blair.

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Blair, Steven N. 1939–

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