Adding strength training, push-ups or crunches to your weekly
exercise routine could decrease your likelihood of obesity by
Using data on 1.7 million adults, University of Southern
Queensland (USQ) research found that doing muscle-strengthening
activities twice a week was just as effective for obesity reduction
as the current recommended amount of aerobic exercise.
In fact, the research showed that combining the two forms of
exercise halved the odds of obesity. The findings were published on
November 11 in the journal Obesity.
Lead author, Dr Jason Bennie who is a Senior Research Fellow at
USQ's Physically Active Lifestyles Research Group, said the study
provided the strongest evidence to date of the best amount of
physical activity required to combat or prevent obesity.
"It is estimated that almost 40 per cent of Australian adults
are obese, and this condition can lead to increased risk of health
conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and
depression," Dr Bennie said.
"Until now most population-level evidence on physical activity
for reducing the risk of, or preventing obesity is based on aerobic
exercise, such as walking, cycling and jogging, but few studies
have previously examined the associations between combining aerobic
exercise and muscle-strengthening activities with obesity.
"From the data we analysed, it's great news for people who find
it hard to get out and exercise, but can potentially do some
strength training at home.
"The findings will greatly extend our understanding of the
complex relationship between physical activity and obesity, and
potentially lead to better health outcomes."
Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
recommend 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical
activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical
activity each week. The Guidelines also recommend doing
muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.
Dr Bennie hoped the results from the study would be good
motivation for people to move more.
"Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated or
time-consuming," he said.
"Doing any physical activity is better than none and making some
changes to your daily routine can make a big difference like body
weight exercises such as squats, sit-ups, or push-ups at home; or
join a gym to do weights."