Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Prescription For Exercise: Researchers Seek Right Dose For Healthy Hearts And Minds

Date:
October 29, 1998
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
Researchers will track how exercise affects volunteers physically and emotionally.

By Vicki White

GAINESVILLE, Fla.---For high blood pressure or thyroid conditions, physicians generally know how many pills to prescribe and how often they should be taken. But when the prescription is for exercise rather than a chemical compound, the proper dosage is much less clear.

How intense and how frequent must physical activity be to keep the heart healthy and the mind psychologically fit? With a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, University of Florida researchers will try to find the answer. At the same time, they will tackle the substantial problem of helping people continue an exercise regimen once they have started.

Michael Perri, professor in the College of Health Professions' clinical and health psychology department, will direct the four-year study, set to begin this fall.

The project was conceived by the late Michael Pollock, a world-renowned expert on exercise who led UF's Center for Exercise Science. Dr. Pollock, who died in June, had recruited researchers campuswide to contribute to the study. The team includes faculty from the colleges of Medicine, Health Professions, Health and Human Performance, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"In 1992, the American Heart Association said a lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease," Perri said. "Since then, there has been a lot of talk about how much is necessary. Does it have to be high intensity or can it be low intensity? Do you have to show up every day or just a few days a week to make a real effect on cardiovascular disease and health? We really don't know the fine line on intensity and frequency."

Perri and his colleagues will randomly assign 500 research participants ages 30 to 65 to one of several different exercise regimens. While the main activity will consist of walking, the groups will differ in how often they don their sneakers and how quickly they move.

A high-intensity, high-frequency group will walk for 30 minutes five to seven days each week fast enough to get their hearts beating rapidly. Another group will walk just as often, but at a more leisurely pace. A third group will walk quickly, but fewer days per week. And a fourth group will have the most leisurely of the assignments: three or four days of walking at a moderate pace. The exercising participants will be compared to a group of people who receive physician advice about changing their activity level.

Meanwhile, researchers will track how exercise affects the volunteers physically and emotionally. Participants will be examined for changes in weight, aerobic fitness, blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density and muscle mass. Additionally, researchers will determine whether participants' self-esteem has risen and whether their overall levels of depression, stress and anxiety have dropped.

"One of the major strengths of this study is that we are looking at long-term effects of exercise," Perri said. "Most studies have been short-term, following people for six months or less. That's problematic, because it takes awhile for health to improve with exercise and because most people tend to abandon their workout programs.

"With this project, we will follow volunteers for at least two years and provide them with intensive assistance and counseling to help them continue. If there are barriers in their lives that get in the way of exercising, we will try to help the participants overcome them."

People often cite a lack of time as the reason for quitting an exercise program.

"We're going to give them a lot of flexibility in choosing where and when to do their walking," Perri said. "They can walk 30 minutes at a time, or break it up into 10-minute segments throughout the day. And in the end, we hope to be able to say how intensely and how often people really need to exercise."

Other scientists involved in the project include: Dr. Marian Limacher, professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at the Gainesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Daniel Martin, associate professor of physical therapy; Dr. Peter Stacpoole, director of UF's Clinical Research Center; Alan Hutson, assistant professor of statistics; Dr. David Lowenthal, director of the Gainesville VA's Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center; and Glen Duncan, an exercise physiologist and postdoctoral fellow in the department of physical therapy.

-----------------------------------------

Recent UF Health Science Center news releases also are available onthe UF Health Science Center Office of Public Information home page. http://www.vpha.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html

For the UF Health Science Center topic/expert list, point your browserto http://www.health.ufl.edu/hscc/experts.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "A Prescription For Exercise: Researchers Seek Right Dose For Healthy Hearts And Minds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981028102907.htm>.
University of Florida. (1998, October 29). A Prescription For Exercise: Researchers Seek Right Dose For Healthy Hearts And Minds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981028102907.htm
University of Florida. "A Prescription For Exercise: Researchers Seek Right Dose For Healthy Hearts And Minds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981028102907.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins