Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Low-Intensity Exercise, Three Times per Week, of Little Cardiac Benefit. (Study of 492 Sedentary Adults)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Low-Intensity Exercise, Three Times per Week, of Little Cardiac Benefit. (Study of 492 Sedentary Adults)

Article excerpt

SALT LAKE CITY - Physical activity must be either intense or frequent--preferably both--in order to exert cardiovascular benefits on sedentary individuals. Exercising at a moderate intensity only three or four times a week provides no cardiovascular benefit, Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

The subjects of the study were 492 sedentary adults, aged 30-69 years, who were in good health. All reported engaging in less than 1 hour per week of moderate- or high-intensity leisure-time activity over the previous year.

Investigators administered treadmill stress tests at baseline and following the 6-month study. They used these stress tests to determine each subject's maximal heart rate. Cardiovascular fitness was based on each subject's maximal oxygen uptake, an assessment of their ability to metabolize and consume oxygen while exercising, said Dr. Perri of the University of Florida, Gainesville.

The subjects were then randomly assigned to one of five groups. The control group had a 1-hour session with a cardiologist who provided Feedback on their baseline testing, as well as standard advice and reading material about exercise. The patients also attended monthly health education lectures not related to exercise.

The remaining groups engaged in moderate-intensity and low-frequency exercise, moderate-intensity and high-frequency exercise, high-intensity and low-frequency exercise, or high-intensity and high-frequency exercise. …

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