PURPOSE: Sedentary habits are strongly associated with increase of cardiovascular risk factors. The present study aimed to verify the role of accelerometry in identifying sedentary behavior, and the possible short term positive effect of this intervention on some anthropometric variables in a group of patients with cardiovascular risks factors. METHODS: To quantify daily Spontaneous Motor Activity (SMA) levels and identify sedentary behavior, an accelerometer was employed, in addition to a simple questionnaire, in a group of overweight, hypertensive subjects. A personalized unsupervised 3 month long physical exercise program was planned. After this time, acceleroometry was again undertaken to analyze the impact of the intervention on some life style parameters, including the number of the steps taken daily, and Physical Activity Level (PAL). In addition, body water balance, weight, and Body Mass Index (BMI) were also evaluated. RESULTS: Assessment of physical activity by accelerometry identifies sedentary behaviors in a larger number of individuals. After three months of regular unsupervised aerobic exercise, PAL improved from 1.56 ±0.1 to 1.68±0.2 with P<0.005, weight (kg) reduced from 85.13 ± 20 to 83.10 ± 19 (P<0.05), BMI from 29.58 to 28.7 (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Accelerometry allows to objectify PAL, and can be used to monitor improvement of variables strongly related to cardiovascular risk.
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