Exercise Dose and Quality of Life

Earlier this week I blogged about the recent study from Kingston on the benefits of exercise in older adults with abdominal obesity.

In this week’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, Corby Martin and colleagues from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, report on the results of another large randomised controlled study of a 6-month exercise program on quality of life (QoL).

430 sedentary postmenopausal women (BMI range, 25.0-43.0) were randomized to a nonexercise control group (n = 92) or 1 of 3 exercise groups providing an exercise energy expenditure of 4 (n = 147), 8 (n = 96), or 12 (n = 95) kCal per Kg of body weight per week. This corresponds to around 50%, 100%, and 150% of the generally recommended physical activity, respectively.

At 6 months, all mental and physical aspects of QoL, except bodily pain, improved in a dose-dependent manner. These improvements were independent of any changes in body weight.

The results are very much in line with the findings reported earlier, that exercise has benefits on function and well-being, even if the impact on weight is minimal.

Reason enough to dig out those runners (although running may not be the best way to start if you are significantly overweight – try walking instead).

Edmonton, Alberta