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A Massey University master’s student hopes to find out if obese but active people are better off than those who are slim but inactive.
James Stewart, based at the School of Sport and Exercise at the Wellington campus, is looking for male participants from the Wellington region for his study.
“We are comparing exercise economy between obese-fit and normal weight-unfit males,” Mr Stewart says. “Exercise economy is a measure of efficiency during exercise and a predictor of overall exercise performance.”
“It’s an exercise study that will require the participants to use a treadmill to test their fitness,” he says. “It will test them up to 85 per cent of capacity, so won’t be too difficult.”
As well as the exercise test, participants will also get a full analysis of their health history and an exercise assessment and prescription, for no cost.
“We work up a complete risk factor assessment for each participant that includes blood pressure, a cholesterol test, glucose levels and an electrocardiography assessment,” he says.
From the scientific health assessment an exercise programme could be developed for each participant, that they could then use to boost fitness, working at a level that suited their current fitness level.
Two groups are needed for the study, unfit-normal-weight males with a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.99 kg·m2 and fit-obese males between 30 and 39.99 kg·m2.
“Current research suggests those individuals who are overweight but active are of a higher level of fitness and have better health than those people who may be an ideal weight, but don’t exercise,” Mr Stewart says. “I want to test that theory further.
“We hope to find further evidence to support the importance of cardiovascular fitness and maintaining an active lifestyle.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the study can contact: J.A.Stewart@massey.ac.nz.