"Physically active transport is probably our best bet for helping populations at risk of heart disease and diabetes to increase physical activity levels, since we have to spend time getting to and from work anyway," says Dr Erik Hemmingsson, who led the research.
The study was carried out at the Obesity Unit at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and lasted 18 months. It involved 120 obese and unfit women between the ages of 30 and 60 with a waist circumference of at least 88 centimetres (34.6 inches). The subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, a control group that focused on walking and an intervention group that focused on cycling.
The control group was given pedometers and attended two two-hour group meetings, at which they were encouraged to walk to and from work to attain a daily step count of 10,000. The cycling group received the same support plus three individual consultations with a physician, who provided each women with a Physical activity on Prescription (PaP) specifically encouraging them to cycle to and from work. They also attended two additional group meetings and were lent a new ladies' bicycle during the 18 months.
The results show that a larger proportion of the women in the intervention group (39%) cycled two kilometres or more per day than the women in the control group (9%).
"Bearing in mind that many of the women in the cycling group hadn't been on a bike since they were children, it was gratifying to see that so many of them actually managed to cycle regularly to work," says Dr Hemmingsson.
Roughly the same proportion of women in both groups achieved the goal of 10,000 steps a day which suggests that cycling does not have to detract from daily walks.
"The support programme given to the intervention group was deliberately not particularly expensive since we wanted the programme to be a feasible option for primary care," adds Dr Hemmingsson. "A positive side-effect was that car-driving dropped by 34 per cent."Publication:
International Journal of Obesity, online 5 May 2009, DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2009.77.
Katarina Sternudd | EurekAlert!
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy