Senior Research Project
Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2013). A simple form of physical activity that improves health and also has a high adherence rate is walking (Dishman, 1994). Walking has been shown to lower fasting blood glucose, decrease total cholesterol, and reduce hypertension when introduced to college faculty and staff as part of a comprehensive wellness program (Haines, 2007). PURPOSE: To determine if a walking program would lower cardiovascular risk factors for faculty and staff who adhere to a faith based values lifestyle. METHODS: Forty seven non-smoking, non-drinking faculty and staff participated in this 12 week study (31 females, 16 males; mean age= 49). Measurements taken at the beginning and end of the program included the 1 mile Rockport walking test, waist circumference, resting blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol blood tests. Participants were required to walk for 30 minutes on at least 4 days of the week and log their exercise in a web based system. A Repeated Measures ANOVA was used to determine changes in the biometric measurements. RESULTS: While results trended toward improved biometric measurements, statistically significant improvement was only found in reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p > .05). The number of participants who showed improvements in systolic blood pressure was 91%, in diastolic blood pressure: 95%, in total cholesterol: 71%, in waist circumference: 80%, and in fasting blood glucose: 72%. CONCLUSION: While a 4 day a week walking program did show improvements in biometric risk factor measurements, it showed limited statistically significant changes in this group of participants. Results may be due to the faith based values lifestyle of the participants or the short length of the study.
Faculty and staff, health and wellness, walking program, cardiovascular risk, faith based
Albury, Annisa R.; Forsythe, Jacob D.; and Thorpe, Greggory M., "The Effects of an Exercise Program on Cardiovascular Risk Factors at a Faith Based University" (2014). Exercise Science Senior Research Projects. 1.
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