PROBLEM: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number-one cause of death in both men and women worldwide. Researchers suggest that chronic exercise programs may help reduce CVD. However, the application of a university-wide worksite fitness program on risk factors for CVD is currently unknown. METHODS: Fifty-two participants (45 female, 7 male; mean age = 48±10 yr) volunteered to complete an exercise program (60 min, 3d wk-1, 12 wk). Classes emphasized total-body exercise, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine, including cardiovascular, resistance, flexibility and neuromotor exercises. CVD risk factors included body mass index (BMI), impaired fasting glucose (IFG), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and total cholesterol (TOTAL). RESULTS: There were significant (p≤0.05) decreases in BMI (Pre: 33.1±1.1 kg/m²; Post: 32.5±1.1 kg/m²) and HDL (Pre: 52.2±2.0 mg/dL, Post: 49.8±1.9 mg/dL) and significant (p≤0.05) increases in IFG (Pre: 90.3±3.9 mg/dL, Post: 99.4±3.4 mg/dL). There were no significant (p>0.05) changes in SBP (Pre: 124.6±1.8 mmHg, Post: 124.2±1.8 mmHg), DBP (Pre: 75.3±1.4 mmHg, Post: 75.4±1.2 mmHg), LDL (Pre: 112.1±5.4 mg/dL, Post: 111.8±4.6 mg/dL) or TOTAL cholesterol (Pre: 188.0±6.1 mg/dL, Post: 188.0±5.9 mg/dL post). While the exercise program did show an improvement in average weight loss (Δ = 5.74 lbs) that significantly effected BMI. Further, while program did demonstrate significant improvements in exercise capacity in this population, an exercise program that is of longer duration is needed to demonstrate lifestyle changes and differences in blood pressure and lipid profile.
Dr. J. Derek Kingsley
Dr. Ellen Glickman