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Minimal Exercise Benefits Overweight Postmenopausal Women
Date:3/13/2008

Just 10-30 minutes a day showed significant improvement in social functioning

THURSDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Just 10 minutes to 30 minutes of exercise a day can improve the quality of life for sedentary, overweight or obese women, American researchers suggest.

The analysis studied hundreds of women, average age 57, who took part in the Dose Response to Exercise in postmenopausal Women (DREW) study, first reported in 2007. These newly released secondary results focused on quality of life among 430 women who were randomly assigned to four groups -- three groups did various amounts of exercise (70, 135, or 190 minutes per week), while the fourth group did no exercise.

Most of the exercise was divided into three or four sessions per week. When they weren't doing the organized exercise sessions, the women wore pedometers.

All the women in the exercise groups reported a statistically significant improvement in social functioning compared to women in the non-exercise group, according to the study authors. In addition, women who did more exercise also showed improvements in general health, vitality and mental health.

The women who did more exercise also showed improvements in physical functioning and fewer limitations in work or other activities due to physical problems and fewer limitations due to emotional problems. There was no statistical improvement in pain.

Specifically, after six months of exercise, the women improved almost 7 percent in physical function and general health, 16.6 percent in vitality, 11.5 percent in performing work or other activities, 11.6 percent in emotional health, and more than 5 percent in social functioning.

"This has not been shown in a large controlled study before," principal investigator Dr. Timothy S. Church, researcher director at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, said in a prepared statement. "This is the first large controlled study of post
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