Short- and long-term impact of a physical exercise intervention on physical capacity and perceived physical work ability among middle aged women
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Only a fifth of the Finnish adult population fulfill the national recommendations for health-enhancing physical activity and 36% experience their work to be physically demanding. The aim of this study is to investigate the short- and long-term impact of regular progressive leisure time physical activity on physical capacity (maximal oxygen consumption) and on perceived physical work ability among middle aged women. This study was conducted in cooperation with the UKK-Institute and the material used is based on the institute’s MELLI-study which aim was to assess the effect of aerobic training on quality of life in a six months long randomized controlled trial. The original study included 176 women with menopausal symptoms. The women were randomized into an intervention and a control group. This study included those 62 women who worked part- or fulltime and had data regarding their perceived physical work ability and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) four years after the randomized controlled trial. It was hypothesized that an increase in physical exercise during leisure time will increase the physical capacity and physical work ability of the women. The physical exercise trial instructed the intervention group to practice leisure time physical activity 4 x 50 minutes per week (of which two times had to be walking or Nordic walking) and to take part in lectures about health and exercise. The intervention and control group reported in a questionnaire their perceived physical work ability. Maximal oxygen consumption was measured with UKK-Institute’s 2 km walk test for both groups at baseline, immediately after and four-years after the intervention. After the six months of physical exercise the intervention group increased the maximal oxygen consumption more than the control group, the changes between the groups where almost statistically significant (p=0.057). After four years the VO2max had decreased and where on about the same level in both groups. There were no statistically significant changes in perceived physical work ability between the groups after neither six months nor after four years. It was concluded that the physical exercise intervention had only minor short-term effects on physical capacity but no long-term effects on either physical capacity nor physical work ability of the middle aged women. ...
perceived physical work ability randomized controlled trial fyysinen toimintakyky naiset keski-ikäiset maksimaalinen hapenotto terveysliikunta työkyky fyysinen aktiivisuus physical functioning women middle-aged persons maximal oxygen uptake health enhancing physical activity ability to work physical activeness
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