About CERG

The Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) seeks to identify the key mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of physical on cardiac health in the context of disease prevention and treatment. Named the K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise in Medicine under Professor Ulrik Wisløff's leadership in 2011, CERG uses both top-down and bottom-up approaches to combat lifestyle-related disease.

Sitting too much: Try some PAI

When we are in a reclined position (e.g. sitting or lying down) and our energy expenditure does not exceed 1.5 metabolic equivalents of task (METs; 1 MET = 3.5 ml/kg/min), we are said to be sedentary. On average, we spend 50–60% of our day sedentary and as we get older we tend to become even more sedentary. Continue reading

World’s healthiest hearts found in Bolivia: What can we learn from that?

Recent research published in the Lancet has identified world’s healthiest hearts in Tsimane, indigenous people of Bolivia. Tsimenes, live in huts, with no running water or electricity and without all the conveniences of the modern society. And yet, they do not appear to  develop heart disease, even as they age.

Continue reading

Exercise as an alternative treatment for chronic insomnia

Insomnia is characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, waking-up too early and daytime function impairment. Its prevalence ranges from 10% to 40%, and various medications are used to treat insomnia. However, side effects are common. Non-pharmacological interventions with some efficacy may be useful, and include sleep hygiene advice (e.g., set a regular bedtime, limit alcohol and caffeine, and increase daylight exposure), cognitive–behavioral therapy and exercise. The British Journal of Sport Medicine recently published a systematic review aimed to determine whether aerobic- or resistance-training program improves sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems.


The review confirmed that exercise improves subjective sleep quality. The magnitude of the effect compared with that of hypnotic pharmacotherapy is difficult to gauge. However, tailored exercise may be a safe and effective alternative to such medications. This is particularly important given the side-effect profiles of hypnotic and sedative medications in older adults. With documented efficacy, one should consider exercise as an alternative or adjunctive treatment for older adults with poor sleep quality.

Øivind Rognmo, researcher with CERG

Trening som en alternativ behandling for kronisk søvnløshet

Insomnia er preget av problemer å falle i søvn eller opprettholde søvn, for tidlig oppvåkning og svekket funksjonsevne på dagtid som følge av for lite/dårlig søvn. Insomnia varierer fra 10% til 40%. Ulike medisiner brukes til å behandle søvnløshet, men bivirkninger er vanlige. Ikke-medikamentelle tiltak inkluderer søvnhygieniske råd (for eksempel regelmessig leggetid, begrenset alkohol- og koffeinbruk og økt dagslys-eksponering), kognitiv atferdsterapi og mosjon. British Journal of Sport Medicine publiserte nylig en systematisk gjennomgang av publiserte studier for å finne ut om en utholdenhetstrening eller styrketrening bedrer søvnkvalitet hos middelaldrende og eldre voksne med søvnproblemer.


Gjennomgangen bekreftet at trening bedrer subjektiv søvnkvalitet. Størrelsen av virkningen av trening sammenlignet med hypnotiske farmakoterapi er vanskelig å måle. Imidlertid kan trening være et trygt og effektivt alternativ til slike medisiner. Dette er spesielt viktig da man kan unngå bivirkninger av beroligende medisiner. På grunn av den dokumenterte effekten av trening for å redusere insomnia, konkluderer studien med at trening derfor burde vurderes som et alternativ eller tilleggsbehandling for eldre voksne med dårlig søvnkvalitet.

Øivind Rognmo, Forsker ved CERG

The Rise in Dementia Diagnosis

A study published in the Lancet suggests that the number of people diagnosed with dementia has doubled over the 10 years (between the year 2005 and the year 2015).

University of Manchester researchers found 0.82% people diagnosed with dementia in 2015, compared with 0.42% in 2005. In addition, the proportion of those who received medications for dementia have increased from 15% to 36.3%.


In Norway, it is estimated that about 1.5% of the entire population suffers from dementia, and almost every fifth person will develop dementia during their lifetime. As dementia is age-dependent and its prevalence rises sharply with increasing age, the current estimates show that the number of people with dementia will rise even further as a result of an ageing population.

By studying around 9 million patients, the researcher from University of Manchester found a steady increase in the dementia diagnosis regardless of age, although, the proportional increase in the rate of diagnosis was higher in older patients. The authors of the study attributed this rise in the dementia diagnosis to ageing population, increased clinical awareness, and implementation of national policies and guidelines.

Majority of the known risk factors for dementia are the same as for the heart disease. Therefore, primary prevention of heart disease would probably also protect against dementia. The most common interventions to reduce incidence of heart disease include less smoking, increased physical activity, and a healthy diet.

Javaid Nauman, Researcher at CERG

Månedsbrev Generasjon100 Februar 2017

Ny doktorgradsavhandling godkjent

Nina Zisko har fått godkjent doktorgradsavhandlingen sin og skal disputere 8.mars kl. 12:15 i auditorium MTA, Medisinsk teknisk forskningssenter på Øya. Det er åpent for alle som ønsker å komme og høre på. Hele seansen vil foregå på engelsk.nina

I avhandlingen har hun blant annet brukt data fra aktivitetsmålerne våre Generasjon100 deltakere har gått med. Tilgjengelige metoder for måling av fysisk aktivitet blant eldre voksne er utviklet på unge og friske folk, og reflekterer derfor ikke fysisk aktivitet blant eldre voksne fullt ut. Hun har derfor vært med på å utvikle en metode for å måle fysisk aktivitet med relativ intensitet blant eldre voksne. Sammen med målinger av absolutt intensitet av fysisk aktivitet kan dette gi et mer helhetlig bilde av fysisk aktivitet i denne populasjonen. Continue reading

Study shows that walking for exercise improves quality of life in people with cancer

We all know someone who has been afflicted with cancer. In fact some 14 million people discover that they have cancer every year and more than half die from the disease.

Quality of life is particularly affected in people with advanced cancer, but research shows that exercise can play an important part and confer significant health benefits in people afflicted with cancer. Yet physical activity in cancer patients is very often low during and after treatment. Evidence shows that improving physical activity participation in people with cancer can positively affect quality of life. However, interventions targeting increased physical activity in this patient population often require supervision and attendance at specialist facilities.


Walking is an inexpensive form of physical activity which has been shown to improve quality of life. It is a feasible form of physical activity which can be performed alone or in groups and requires no supervision or specialized facilities. However, the effect of walking on quality of life in people with metastatic cancer has not been explored .

Researchers from the UK investigated the effect of walking on quality of life and symptoms in patients with advanced cancer.   They recruited 42 patients with advanced cancer and split them into two groups: the standard care group and the intervention group. The intervention group received a short motivational interview, was encouraged to walk 30 minutes every other day and could participate in weekly volunteer led walks.

The intervention group participants reported improvements in quality of life and many participants reported that walking improved the attitude toward their illness and encouraged social participation. This is very good information as it shows that exercise in the form of walking can be suitable and beneficial for people living with cancer.

Nina Zisko, PhD student at CERG