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Public Health. 2004 Jan;118(1):31-42.

The effects of a 12-week group exercise programme on physiological and psychological variables and function in overweight women.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, West Medical Building, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. s.grant@biomed.gla.ac.uk



The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a 12-week functional exercise programme on overweight women.


Twenty-six subjects (n=13 exercisers, n=13 controls) aged (mean+/-SD) 63 (+/-4) years completed the study. The exercise sessions were carried out twice each week for 12 weeks. The variables measured were body mass, body mass index, skin-fold thickness, resting blood pressure, total blood cholesterol, chair rise, timed 'up and go' test, 20-m walk,lifting a 1- and a 2-kg bag on to a shelf, stair walking, 'sit and reach' flexibility test, Life Satisfaction Index and Physical Self-perception Profile for Older Adults. The exercise sessions consisted of 40-min sessions during which the subjects performed aerobic and strength exercises.


Paired analyses showed that body mass, body mass index, blood pressure (systolic and diastolic values), 'up and go' time, time to complete a 20-m walk, time to lift a 1- and a 2-kg bag with both the right and left arms onto a shelf, and stair climbing-total time and ascent time-decreased significantly in the exercise group. Also, the exercise group improved their Life Satisfaction Index score significantly compared with the control group.


The results indicate that a functional exercise programme has the potential to improve performance in a number of physiological variables and functional activities in overweight women. The exercise programme enhanced life satisfaction.

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