Exercise in prevention of metabolic syndrome

Blotrykksmåling av pasien i studien metExThe Met-Ex study started up in 2012. The aim is to examine whether high intensity interval training (HIT) yields greater beneficial effects on risk factors for metabolic syndrome than continuous moderate intensity exercise (CME). The study is designed with a 16-week exercise program and one and three year follow up. In addition, the importance of the volume of aerobic interval training remains unclear. It is unknown how little “one can get away with” and still gain beneficial cardiovascular effects. Therefore, we also want to determine whether 1×4 minutes of aerobic interval training at high intensity can confer beneficial effects compared to 4×4 minutes with high intensity and continuously moderate intensity exercise.

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Exciting football matches increases the risk of heart trouble – in the TV chair

Shunsuke Nakamura taking a free kick, during Japan's world cup qualifier against Bahrain on June 22, 2008. Photo: neier. Picture shared under the licence CC BY-SA 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/Les dette innlegget på norske her!
Periodically we hear from the media about footballers who incur heart complications during soccer matches, but watching exciting matches on TV may prove to be just as risky a “sport”. During the football World Cup which was held in Germany in 2006, German scientists studied the incidence of acute cardiac complications in the Munich area to determine whether the incidence of such events was increased in the days when the German team played one of their World Cup matches. Incidences of myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest or activation of implanted defibrillators were examined.

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High intensity interval training reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases in elderly and obese

Kondisjonstrening (Illustrasjonsfoto: Geir Mogen)Les dette blogginnlegget på norsk her!

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, with cardiovascular diseases being the number one cause. Because of the recent changes in world demographics with an increasing number of elderly and obese, NCDs are expected to increase in the years to come. Physical inactivity is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and aerobic exercise training is shown to improve both aerobic capacity and endothelial function, two important and strong prognostic factors for cardiovascular mortality. However, little is known about the effects of high intensity exercise on cardiovascular risk factors in elderly and obese subjects.

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More bad news for couch potatoes

Our previous blog post called for more than the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise for people with inactive jobs or inactive lifestyles. Our campaign against inactivity goes on, today representing a study by an Australian research group. The findings concluded that each hour you spend sitting in front of the TV reduces your life expectancy by 21.8 minutes – ten minutes longer than a cigarette.

Funny but risky

The study, lead by J. Veerman at the University of Queensland, was published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine. Data from 12000 Australians was collected by a national survey on diabetes, obesity and lifestyle. The respondents answered questions about health, diseases, exercise, smoking, dietary habits and hours of watching television per day.The goal was not to measure time in front of the screen specifically, but get a ballpark figure of the amount of hours a person spent sitting. With these data in hand, the researchers tried to isolate the factor of risk posed by long stay seated for other unhealthy habits like smoking and not exercising. Their conclusion was that adults who spends six hours a day sitting in front of TV, lives nearly five years less than persons who do not watch television.

Interestingly, another study on the same subject was published this fall by a British group in the scientific journal Diabetologia, and reviewed 18 studies – total 794,577 individuals investigated – that took into account not only the period in which the person remains seated in front of the TV, but also the time sitting at work. The authors showed that adults on average spend between 50 and 70 % of their day sitting. Furthermore, the study showed that people who spend more than seven hours a day sitting have a 112 % increase in risk of developing diabetes, 147 % in risk of cardiovascular disease and 49 % in risk of dying prematurely even if they exercise regularly.

So, the take home message is: spend less and less time sitting and exercise more! It’s just as simple as that. We will write more about this topic the coming weeks, and you can also find tips for exercising in previous blog posts.

Written by Gustavo da Silva, researcher at CERG.