Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the long-term effects of a sixteen week weight loss program induced by exercise or diet on bodyweight and daily physical activity levels in postmenopausal women after a twelve month follow up period.
Methods: 243 postmenopausal women with an inactive lifestyle were randomized into an exercise (N=98), diet (n=97), or control group (N=48). During 16 weeks subjects received an exercise or diet intervention to lose 5kg in bodyweight. 12 months after completing the intervention, women were contacted for a follow up measurement. Outcomes were: bodyweight, physical activity measured by the ActiGraph® accelerometer and physical activity scale for the elderly (PASE), and quality of life measured by the short form-36(SF-36).
Results: All groups lost a significant amount of bodyweight compared to baseline. Both the exercise and diet group lost ±3kg of bodyweight more in addition to the control group, 6.24:0.06 and -6.12:0.19 95% confidence-interval (CI). Both the exercise (39 points) and diet group (14 points) scored higher on the PASE questionnaire, which means both groups were significantly more active compared to baseline which was confirmed by the ActiGraph®. The ActiGraph® showed that the exercise group was performing less sedentary, -1.5% (-2.73:- 0.26 95%CI), more moderate, +0.6% (0.07:1:17 95%CI), and vigorous activities, +0.21% (0.05:0.37 95%CI) compared to baseline. In categories moderate and vigorous activities the exercise group scored significantly higher in addition to the diet and control group
Conclusion: In conclusion, this study shows weight loss and increased levels of physical activity 12 months after completing a sixteen week exercise program in postmenopausal women with obesity and an inactive lifestyle.
Clinical Relevance: This study shows that taking part in a short term exercise intervention leads to a long-term healthier lifestyle whereby long-term healthiness can be improved in postmenopausal women with obesity and an inactive lifestyle.