The effectiveness of a ten-week exercise intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk factors amongst young male Qatari adults

Zsuzsanna Kneffel, Ruben Goebel, Ahmad Alkhatib

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Rapid development in Qatar in the recent years has led to numerous changes, particularly the increased prevalence of lifestyle related health risks, with almost 50% obesity rates amongst Qataris of all ages. We investigated the effects of a ten-week exercise training program aimed at young Qatari male adults, on a number of cardiovascular risk factors (CVR). With institutional approval, we screened 89 Qatari young adult male volunteers from Qatar University for CVR factors of hypertension indicated by systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure, overweight and obesity indicated by body fat percentage (%BF), body weight (BW) and body mass index (BMI). 20 participants (23% of total number) were identified with one or more risk factors (hypertension and overweight), and were enrolled to follow a ten-week recreational-type exercise training program. The training involved 30-40 min of either walking, cycling, jogging and swimming at an exercise intensity corresponding to 50-85% of each participant’s maximum heart rate, on 3-5 times/week. The intervention significantly reduced BW (93.4±14.1 vs. 86.7±14.5, p<0.05), BMI (31.0±3.6 vs. 28.8±3.9, p<0.05) and BF% (31.2±9.0 vs. 21.2±4.4, p<0.05). Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure (83.4±5.3 vs. 76.0±9.2 mmHg, p<0.05), and a non-significant reduction in (133.8±10.7 vs. 130.5±9.1 mmHg, p=0.516). This recreational-type exercise intervention was effective in substantially reducing the CVR indices. However, the alarmingly high prevalence of sedentary-related CVR amongst Qatari young adult males, especially those related to obesity, overweight and hypertension necessitate further public health interventions in this age-group as an early prevention strategy
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2015
EventInternational Conference on Sports Medicine and Fitness 2015 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 23 Mar 201525 Mar 2015


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