Impact of walking on eating behaviors and quality of life of premenopausal and early postmenopausal obese women.

Division of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6.
Menopause (New York, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 2.81). 03/2010; 17(3):529-38. DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181d12361
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aerobic exercise is known to improve health-related quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a 16-week walking program on eating behaviors and QoL between late premenopausal and early postmenopausal obese and sedentary women, once chronological aging is taken into account.
Sixteen women 49 +/- 2 years old and 14 women 53 +/- 2 years old, whose body mass index ranged between 29 and 35 kg/m, were subjected to three sessions per week of 45-minute walking at 60% of their heart rate reserve. Fat mass and lean mass (bioelectrical impedance), cardiorespiratory fitness estimated by maximum oxygen consumption (2-km walking test), eating behaviors (Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire), and QoL, estimated by the Short Form-36 Health Survey, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Perceived Stress Scale-10 questionnaires, were recorded before and after exercise.
With the exception of a higher attitude of self-regulation in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women (P = 0.05), no between-group differences were observed in body composition, eating behaviors, and QoL at baseline. In all participants, body weight and fat mass decreased, whereas cardiorespiratory fitness increased after walking (0.001 < P < 0.0001). Situational susceptibility was the only eating behavior reduced after training in all women (P = 0.02). Neither the sleep quality index nor the perceived stress score changed in response to endurance exercise. Finally, in all women, Short Form-36 physical and mental scores increased after walking (0.001 < P < 0.05).
Despite modest body weight and fat mass losses, a 16-week walking program seems to be sufficient to improve physical and mental well-being, irrespective of menopause status.