Athens, Ga. Sedentary people who regularly complain of fatigue can increase their energy levels by 20 percent and decrease their fatigue by 65 percent by engaging in regular, low intensity exercise, according to a new University of Georgia study.
Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out especially when we are already feeling fatigued, said researcher Tim Puetz, who recently completed his doctorate at UGA and is the lead author of the study. However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy particularly in sedentary individuals.
Puetz co-authored the study with professor Patrick OConnor, co-director of the UGA Exercise Psychology Laboratory, and former UGA student Sara Flowers. The teams results appear in the February issue of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
OConnor said previous studies including one that he and Puetz co-authored in 2006 have shown that exercise can significantly improve energy levels and decrease fatigue. Those studies, however, primarily looked at patients with medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease and mental health problems. In this latest study, the researchers studied volunteers who had fatigue that was persistent yet didnt meet the criteria for a medical condition such as chronic fatigue syndrome. OConnor said about 25 percent of the general population experiences such fatigue.
A lot of people are overworked and not sleeping enough, OConnor said. Exercise is a way for people to feel more energetic. Theres a scientific basis for it, and there are advantages to it compared to things like caffeine and energy drinks.
The researchers recruited 36 volunteers who did not exercise regularly and had reported persistent fatigue based on a commonly used health survey. The volunteers were divided into three groups: The first engaged in 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times a
|Contact: Sam Fahmy|
University of Georgia