Motivating healthy adults to be more physically active improves their cardiorespiratory fitness

December 11, 2013, University of Missouri-Columbia

Fewer than half of adults in the United States meet the recommended physical activity guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Often physical inactivity may be associated with overweight and obese individuals, but even healthy, normal-weight Americans sometimes fail to meet physical activity guidelines. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that simply encouraging healthy adults to be more physically active can improve their cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

Jo-Ana Chase, a doctoral student in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, examined how CRF improved among healthy adults when they received motivational physical activity interventions, such as educational sessions, recommendations from health professionals or counseling.

"In this study, we examined the impact of these types of physical activity interventions among healthy people because this population still can be affected by chronic diseases as they age, and they will need to be reminded of how important physical activity is in chronic disease prevention," Chase said.

The interventions and the methods in which they were delivered varied; however, all the interventions were aimed at getting to be more active, which also helped individuals improve their CRF.

"Recommendations to be more active don't necessarily have to come from a fitness expert to improve CRF results and could easily come from a nurse or physician," Chase said. "Also, these interventions don't have to be time consuming. A quick conversation with clinician appeared to be as effective as a more intensive intervention, such as a day-long seminar on the benefits of increased endurance activity."

Chase also found that when healthcare professionals recommended endurance and resistance training as a way for individuals to get fit, CRF improved more than when patients were advised to do endurance exercise alone.

"We found that interventions that included recommendations for both endurance and resistance exercises, such as weight training, were more effective in improving CRF," Chase said. "These findings support the importance of adhering to the current national that promote both aerobic and resistance exercise."

Chase also believes that healthcare providers should recommend physical activity to all patients, healthy or not, as increased physical activity will lead to better CRF, which can lead to reduced risks for , such as diabetes and heart disease.

"These simple, low-cost, motivational interventions can help individuals increase their physical activity; however, more research needs to be done to determine exactly how often and how much individuals need to improve and maintain their CRF," Chase said.

Explore further: Physically active health-care providers more likely to give physical activity counseling

More information: Chase's study, which was co-authored by Vicki Conn, associate dean for research at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, was published in Nursing Research and was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

Related Stories

Physically active health-care providers more likely to give physical activity counseling

March 22, 2013
Physically active healthcare providers were more likely than their inactive counterparts to advise patients to lead an active lifestyle in a study presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, ...

Physical activity decreases sudden cardiac death risk in unfit men

September 1, 2013
Physical activity decreases the risk of sudden cardiac death in unfit men, reveals research presented at the ESC Congress today by Dr. Jari Laukkanen and Dr. Magnus Hagnas from Finland.

AHA statement: People with congenital heart disease need physical activity

April 29, 2013
A new scientific statement from the American Heart Associations reminds physicians and people with congenital heart disease that regular physical activity is still important and should be promoted.

Exercise 'potentially as effective' as many drugs for common diseases

October 1, 2013
Physical activity is potentially as effective as many drug interventions for patients with existing coronary heart disease and stroke, suggests a review of evidence published in BMJ today.

Telephone counseling plus physician advice key to motivating breast cancer survivors to exercise

June 11, 2013
Telephone-based counseling, when combined with physician advice, can help breast cancer survivors become more physically active, which can improve quality of life and lessen the side effects of cancer treatment, according ...

Total amount of exercise important, not frequency, research shows

June 20, 2013
A new study by Queen's University researchers has determined that adults who accumulated 150 minutes of exercise on a few days of the week were not any less healthy than adults who exercised more frequently throughout the ...

Recommended for you

Sweet, bitter, fat: New study reveals impact of genetics on how kids snack

February 22, 2018
Whether your child asks for crackers, cookies or veggies to snack on could be linked to genetics, according to new findings from the Guelph Family Health Study at the University of Guelph.

The good and bad health news about your exercise posts on social media

February 22, 2018
We all have that Facebook friend—or 10—who regularly posts photos of his or her fitness pursuits: on the elliptical at the gym, hiking through the wilderness, crossing a 10K finish line.

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.