NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) is conducting a new study to see if activity trackers, exercise programs and wellness seminars  can help medical students stay fit, reduce their stress and score higher on exams — and make them better able to get their patients to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

For the study, researchers will measure the physical activity, academic scores, sleep patterns and stress levels of the 120 medical students participating.

One-third of the students will wear fitness trackers that measure steps per day, caloric intake, heart rate and sleep pattern. They will participate in weekly running and walking groups. And they will attend monthly wellness seminars that cover a range of topics, including stretching and strength training exercises, nutrition, biomechanics and methods for motivating patients to exercise.

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A second group will be provided with fitness trackers, but will not attend the wellness seminars or exercise programs. The remaining 40 students, the control group, will have no intervention.

All the students in the study will undergo metabolic testing that measures oxygen consumption during exercise and body composition scanning to measure percentage of body fat and lean body mass..

Jerry Balentine, DO, the Vice President for Medical Affairs and Global Health at NYITCOM, commented, “As a medical school, we need to be a leader in promoting health and wellness for our students, our faculty members, our patients at the Riland Academic Health Care Center and the patients of the future.”

The results from this study will be presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in May 2017.


“NYITCOM Program Aims To Develop “Fit Physicians””. New York Institute of Technology website. Updated May 5, 2016. Available at: http://www.nyit.edu/box/features/ nyitcom_program_aims_to_develop_fit_physicians. Accessed September 22, 2016.

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