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Glued to Your Cell Phone? Research Suggests It May Reduce Your Physical Activity and Fitness

enter photo description
A Kent State student stretches in front
of the Student Recreation and Wellness
Center. Kent State researchers Jacob
and Andrew Lepp have linked
high cell phone use to poor fitness in
college students.

Today’s smartphones allow for increased opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors, such as surfing the Internet, emailing and playing video games. However, researchers Jacob Barkley and Andrew Lepp, faculty members in the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University, linked high cell phone use to poor fitness in college students.

Barkley and Lepp were interested in the relationship between smartphones and fitness levels because, unlike the television, phones are small and portable, therefore making it possible to use them while doing physical activity. But what the researchers found was that despite the phone’s mobility, high use contributed to a sedentary lifestyle for some subjects.

More than 300 college students from the Midwest were surveyed on their cell phone usage and activity level. Of those students, 49 had their fitness level and body composition tested. The researchers’ results showed that high cell phone use was associated with low cardiorespiratory fitness. In the study, the students who were the least fit were those who spent large amounts of time on their cell phones – as much as 14 hours per day. The most fit students were those who used the cell phone the least – around 90 minutes per day.

One subject said in the interview data: “Now that I have switched to the iPhone I would say it definitely decreases my physical activity because before I just had a Blackberry, so I didn’t have much stuff on it. But now, if I’m bored, I can just download whatever I want.”

The study is believed to the first to assess the relationship between cell phone use and fitness level among any population. Barkley and Lepp conclude that their findings suggest that cell phone use may be able to gauge a person’s risk for a multitude of health issues related to an inactive lifestyle.

The study appears online in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, visit

Posted July 22, 2013

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Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad Helps Students Create Animation and Motion Graphics Company

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Kent State students Brian Recktenwald and Alex Kurr
successfully launched The New Fuel, an animation and
motion graphic business, with the help of Kent State's
Blackstone LaunchPad.

The New Fuel, an animation, motion graphics and video production company, created by Kent State University students Brian Recktenwald, a senior managerial marketing major, and Alex Kurr, a junior visual communication design major, was started with the help of Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad.

“We produce animations and motion graphic for sports arena jumbotrons and ribbon boards,” Recktenwald says. “We also make corporate explainer videos, which are fun videos that describe how to use a website, service or product. Our first big client, AtNetPlus, is an IT company. They brought us in to create an animated video for their new disaster recovery services.”

Recktenwald and Kurr have been friends since elementary school, and began making videos together around fifth grade. Recktenwald started working at Kent State TeleProductions three years ago, and Kurr joined him this past summer. “We gained a lot of valuable experience while working at TeleProductions,” Recktenwald says.

“We had thrown around the idea to start The New Fuel for about a year,” Kurr says. “When we heard about Kent State’s Business Concept Competition, we finally decided to take action.”

With the help of Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad, The New Fuel took second place and won $750 in the competition. After the competition, the company landed its second client and has continued to grow. Recktenwald and Kurr hope to expand the company and hire staff by the end of 2013.

“Our goal is to become one of the big-name animation and motion graphics companies in the country,” Kurr says.

For more information about Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad, visit

Posted July 18, 2013 | Taylor Titus

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Kent State University Hotel Offers Promotional Rate to Kent State Faculty and Staff

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The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center
offers an on-site restaurant and a stylish lounge for hotel

The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center is offering a special introductory rate to Kent State faculty and staff. Regular rates start at $139, but Kent State employees can reserve a room for only $109 now through Sept. 30. The special rate includes a light continental breakfast. Reservations can be made by using the code "Kent" online at or by calling 330-346-0100.

The Kent State Hotel opened to the public on June 14 and features 94 boutique-style guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and lounge, an indoor pool and workout facility, a 24-hour business center and 5,000 square feet of event space with a 10-seat executive boardroom.

Cindy Sherman, director of sales for the Kent State Hotel, says the hotel’s Zenas Restaurant offers a sophisticated yet relaxed environment for patrons, and the 1910 Lounge offers a cozy atmosphere and a stylish bar.

“The 1910 Lounge is open daily and offers classic cocktails, such as Manhattans, whiskey sours, specialty beer on tap, and is a great location to unwind,” Sherman says. “Zenas is a full-service restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a fresh, contemporary take on international cuisine. The menu has everything from pizza and pasta to rack of lamb and steak. We invite Kent State employees to come try our restaurant and lounge.”

The Kent State Hotel is located at 215 S. Depeyster Street in downtown Kent.

For more information about the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, visit

Posted July 22, 2013

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Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science Honors Students, Alumni

Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science honored 10 of its top alumni and dozens of outstanding students at events in Kent and Columbus this past spring.

The Celebration of Alumni and Student Success took place in April at the School of Library and Information Science’s site in the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, and in May at the Kent Student Center on the Kent Campus.

Among those honored were Sue Polanka, M.L.S. '95, as Alumnus of the Year, and Don W. Barlow and Michael O. Bice, as Friends of the Year.

Polanka is head of reference and instruction at Wright State University Libraries and serves as president of the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO). She was elected to the American Library Association Council in 2012 and was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2011, tagged as the "Ebook Guru." Polanka is editor of the American Library Association series "No Shelf Required," which also is the name of her award-winning blog on issues related to ebooks and electronic reference interfaces.

Barlow is executive director of Westerville Public Library in Westerville, Ohio. Barlow has been a frequent lecturer in the School of Library and Information Science’s Columbus classes and taught Library Management as an adjunct instructor for many years. He also hosted many practicum students and spearheads a tuition reimbursement program that has enticed many of his staff to enroll in the School of Library and Information Science. A long-time supporter of the School of Library and Information Science, Barlow was honored for his visionary library leadership and the transformational impact he has had on the lives of many students, alumni and other library professionals.

Bice, a former hospital executive, joined the School of Library and Information Science in 2010 to launch a new concentration in health informatics as a concentration in the school's Information Architecture and Knowledge Management program. He developed the curriculum, established an advisory board of health care IT professionals, recruited adjunct instructors and established partnerships with other institutions that have helped make the concentration a success. Bice retired at the end of 2012. 

Also recognized at the events were recipients of six additional alumni awards and graduates from August 2012, December 2012 and May 2013. Student honorees included scholarship winners, Beta Phi Mu inductees, graduate assistants and student employees.

Information on the honorees can be found at

Posted July 22, 2013

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