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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2009 March;62(1):69-79

language: English, Italian

Fat mass, fitness and health in undergraduate male university students

Di Blasio A. 1, Berchicci M. 1,3, Bertollo M. 2,3, Ripari P. 1,4

1 Department of Human Movement Science, Chieti-Pescara University, Chieti, Italy
2 Department of Basic and Applied Medical Science, Chieti-Pescara University, Chieti, Italy
3 Behavioural Imaging and Neural Dynamics Centre, Chieti-Pescara University, Chieti, Italy
4 University Centre of Sports Medicine, Chieti-Pescara University, Chieti, Italy


Aim. Physical exercise prevents and reduces android obesity and its related health diseases, through both weight loss and fitness level improvement. In fact, even in the absence of weight loss, an high fitness level is associated with a lower waist circumference (WC) for a given BMI. Aim of this study was to compare the cardio-circulatory status of over-weight or moderately obese trained (OT), over-weight or moderately obese sedentary (OS), and normal-weight sedentary (NS) men.
Methods. Resting heart rate (rHR), blood pressure, simple anthropometric parameters, body composition, and fitness level were assessed in 130 male undergraduate university students (21.43±2.39 yrs). Information on physical exercise practice were also collected.
Results. Statistical analysis were performed on 29 NS, 45 OT and 35 OS. Pairwise comparison between groups showed a best rHR in OT compared to NS (P=0.004); blood pressure and fitness level were equal. Comparing OT and OS matched for fat mass, we found that OT had lower rHR (P=0.004) and systolic blood pressure (P=0.004), while fitness level (P=0.003) was higher than OS. OT had lower direct correlation among WC, fat mass and fitness level than OS and NS.
Conclusion. Exercise practice increases health of over-weight or moderately obese men through the reduction of some cardiovascular risk factors.

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