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Implement Sci. 2010 Apr 15;5:28. doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-5-28.

Knowledge translation to fitness trainers: a systematic review.

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School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.



This study investigates approaches for translating evidence-based knowledge for use by fitness trainers. Specific questions were: Where do fitness trainers get their evidence-based information? What types of interventions are effective for translating evidence-based knowledge for use by fitness trainers? What are the barriers and facilitators to the use of evidence-based information by fitness trainers in their practice?


We describe a systematic review of studies about knowledge translation interventions targeting fitness trainers. Fitness trainers were defined as individuals who provide exercise program design and supervision services to the public. Nurses, physicians, physiotherapists, school teachers, athletic trainers, and sport team strength coaches were excluded.


Of 634 citations, two studies were eligible for inclusion: a survey of 325 registered health fitness professionals (66% response rate) and a qualitative study of 10 fitness instructors. Both studies identified that fitness trainers obtain information from textbooks, networking with colleagues, scientific journals, seminars, and mass media. Fitness trainers holding higher levels of education are reported to use evidence-based information sources such as scientific journals compared to those with lower education levels, who were reported to use mass media sources. The studies identified did not evaluate interventions to translate evidence-based knowledge for fitness trainers and did not explore factors influencing uptake of evidence in their practice.


Little is known about how fitness trainers obtain and incorporate new evidence-based knowledge into their practice. Further exploration and specific research is needed to better understand how emerging health-fitness evidence can be translated to maximize its use by fitness trainers providing services to the general public.

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