If you are obese, remain able to work by exercising for 30 minutes per week

A recent study shows: Almost 30 minutes of physical activity per week in the form of a new type of interval endurance training can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in heavily obese employees and improve their ability to work and the quality of life.

Better work ability and quality of life through new interval endurance training

A current study by the Hector Center for Nutrition, Exercise and Sport at the Medical Clinic 1 – Gastroenterology, Pneumology and Endocrinology of the University Hospital Erlangen shows: Almost 30 minutes of physical activity per week in the form of a new type of interval endurance training can put heavily obese employees at risk – Reduce circulatory diseases and improve work ability and quality of life.

Obesity, the most pronounced form of overweight, is associated with an increased risk of numerous secondary diseases – for example type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer. Obesity has also been shown to lead to more frequent absenteeism and reduced work performance. A healthy diet that is tailored to your needs and a sufficient level of regular physical activity are important cornerstones in the prevention and treatment of obesity. “In an environment characterized by increasing technology, only very few professionals manage to exercise the generally recommended 150 minutes a week,” explains Dr. Dejan Reljic, who led the new study at the Erlangen Hector Center. “Severely overweight people are often no longer able to carry out this kind of activity due to physical limitations,” adds Prof. Dr. Yurdagül Zopf, head of the Hector Center and spokeswoman for the Obesity Center at the University Hospital Erlangen. “One of our main research areas is therefore to develop innovative movement concepts that are both effective and have health benefits, but which can also be used by patients with chronic diseases,” said Dr. Reljic.

Twice 14 minutes improve health

In the current study by the Hector Center, 36 heavily obese employees with an average body mass index of 40 kg / m2 completed a twice a week from Dr. Reljic has developed a new, extremely efficient interval endurance training that only lasts 14 minutes per training unit. In addition, the study participants received nutritional advice to support weight loss. After the 12-week training phase, the study participants were not only able to significantly reduce their body weight, but also achieve amazing improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors, for example a reduction in systolic blood pressure by an average of 12 mmHg, as well as a clinically relevant increase in cardiovascular disease. Power. In addition, at the end of the program, the test subjects reported significantly improved subjective work ability and quality of life. “Already two 14 minutes twice – that is, almost 30 minutes of targeted exercise per week – paired with a healthier, reduced-calorie diet can make a decisive contribution to better health, greater wellbeing and better performance,” the study director summarizes.

Dr. Reljic and Prof. Zopf now hope that these results will also help motivate employers to invest more in programs to promote health through exercise and a balanced diet in the future – especially for the high-risk groups among employees. Such measures do not have to be time consuming, as the current study shows.

Reljic, D., Frenk, F., Herrmann, H.J. et al. Low-volume high-intensity interval training improves cardiometabolic health, work ability and well-being in severely obese individuals: a randomized-controlled trial sub-study. J Transl Med 18, 419 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02592-6

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