The obesity epidemic has massive socio-economic consequences, and decades of health campaigns have not made significant headway. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen are therefore pursuing the development of new, interdisciplinary methods for preventing and treating this widespread problem.
The subjects in the test group that exercised the least talk about increased energy levels and a higher motivation for exercising and pursuing a healthy everyday life.
"Obesity is a complex social problem requiring a multidisciplinary approach. In a new scientific article we combine data from biomedical studies of the subjects' bodies with ethnological data on their experiences during the 13-week trial period. This enables us to explain the background for the surprising fact that 30 minutes of daily exercise is just as beneficial as a full hour of hard fitness training. The 'lightweight' group of exercisers appear to get more energy and be more motivated in relation to pursuing a healthy lifestyle," says Professor Bente Stallknecht from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
A number of qualitative interviews with exercising subjects have been analysed by PhD student Anne Sofie Gram and have just been published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.
Trials markedly impacting everyday life
Last year, a research team monitored just over sixty moderately overweight -- but healthy -- Danish men for 13 weeks in their efforts to get in better shape. The men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost an average of 3.6 kg. during the three months, while weight loss was 2.7 kg. for those exercising for a full hour. By means of qualitative interviews based on ethnological expertise, the researchers have now approximated the test subjects by, e.g., identifying the cultural barriers in relation to training and change of entrenched habits.
|Contact: Bente Stallknecht|
University of Copenhagen