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Otto, A D.1; Nagle, E F.1; Jakicic, J M. FACSM1; Robertson, R J. FACSM1; Aaron, D A.1; Pcsolyar, M J.1; Hindes, K M.1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 - p S33
A-15P Free Communication/Poster Obesity

1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Non-weight bearing activity is commonly recommended as a form of exercise for overweight individuals. However, enjoyment and attendance for this type of activity has not been examined.

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To compare physical activity enjoyment and attendance in overweight women participating in aquatic plus walking (AW) or walking only (W) exercise groups.

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Forty-four sedentary, overweight women (age: 40.3 ± 6.8 y; BMI: 34.9 ±3.8 kg/m2) undergoing a 16-week standard behavioral weight loss program (SBT) were randomly assigned to AW or W. The AW group was prescribed 2 supervised aquatic classes while the W group was prescribed 2 supervised walks a week. In addition, all subjects were instructed to complete 3 unsupervised, home-based walking sessions per week. Type and minutes of activity were recorded in a weekly diary. Physical activity enjoyment (Kendzierski and DeCarlo, 1991) was assessed at completion of this study.

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Thirty-three subjects completed the study. Enjoyment scores were significantly different (p ≤ 0.05) between the AW (115.6 ± 14.3) and the W (103.6 ± 14.5) group. Attendance (AW = 67 ± 22%, W = 57 ± 17%) and total physical activity minutes for the 16 weeks (AW = 2937.6 ± 1459.5, W = 2414.8 ± 1518.3) did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Spearman Rank Order correlation coefficients showed significant correlations between enjoyment scores and total activity sessions attended (r = 0.50, p ≤ 0.05) in the AW group but not the W group.

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These short-term results suggest that AW is an acceptable, alternative activity for overweight, sedentary women undergoing SBT. Comparisons of AW and W should be further investigated to examine if these results translate into better long-term exercise adherence and/or weight loss. Supported by NIH grant 5P30DK4620410

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine