Fitness Law Academy

Enhancing Fitness Safety through Education


JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek was awarded the title of “professor emeritus” after retiring in June 2017 from the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. She served as the founding coordinator of USF’s Exercise Science program from 2003 to 2012. JoAnn also developed and coordinated a master’s degree program in Fitness and Wellness Management at her former institution, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). She was nominated by students for outstanding teaching awards that she received at both USF and UNO. 

Prior to becoming a full-time academician in 1994, JoAnn worked as a health/fitness manager and consultant in various settings for nearly 20 years. In 2013, she formed her own business, the Fitness Law Academy, LLC, a company devoted to enhancing fitness safety through education.

JoAnn is an internationally known researcher, author, and speaker. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications including two textbooks - Risk Management for Health/Fitness Professionals: Legal Issues and Strategies (lead author) and Rule the Rules of Worksite Wellness Programs (co-author), 10 book chapters, and 85 journal articles. 

Each year, JoAnn presents her research at national conferences sponsored by various professional organizations. In 2013, she was invited to give a keynote presentation at a conference in Sidney, Australia and was invited again in 2017 to give a presentation at a Forum sponsored by La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. JoAnn also assisted with the Australia Fitness Industry Risk Management (AFIRM) project; a 3-year study that resulted in a manual published in 2014 entitled The Australia Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual in which JoAnn was a contributing author.

During her 42+ year career, JoAnn has served in many elected and appointed leadership positons for various professional organizations including serving as an Associate Editor and the Legal Columnist for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal for 10 years (2001-2011). She also held several "professional" certifications in Health/Fitness Management, Exercise Science, Clinical Exercise Science, Worksite Wellness Management, and Health Education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995 and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Association of Worksite Health Promotion (AWHP).

Legal and Risk Management Expertise

Arrange For Dr. JES to Speak

Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is available to present on a variety of legal and risk management topics as follows:

  • Conference speaker
  • Distinguished lecturer for colleges/universities
  • Half-day or full-day training workshops for fitness staff:
    • Fitness managers and program coordinators
    • Personal fitness trainers
    • Group exercise leaders
    • Strength and conditioning coaches
    • Health and wellness coaches

Disclaimer: Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek is not a lawyer. The information provided on this website should never be considered or construed to be the provision of legal advice. For individual legal advice, it is necessary to obtain legal counsel in the jurisdiction where such appropriate advice can be provided.