Document Detail

Effects of combined exercise training on body composition and metabolic syndrome factors.
Jump to Full Text
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23113220     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MS) is emerging as a serious public health problem in Korea. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 12 weeks of combined exercise training on body composition and MS factors in obese Korean female college students.
METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to exercise (n = 7) and control (n = 9) groups. The exercise group trained for 80 min/day, for 3 day/week for 12 weeks. Each exercise session comprised 3 phases: warm-up for 10 min, main exercise for 60 min (consisting of aerobic exercise for 30 min and resistance exercise for 30 min), and cool down for 10 min.
RESULTS: The exercise intensity for aerobic exercise was 60-80% of the heart rate reserve (HRR) for 30 min, while the resistance exercises were 10-15 repetitions maximum (RM) for 30 min. Two-way repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for statistical analysis. There were no interaction effects (time × group) on the MS-related factors of blood lipid composition such as triglycerides (TGs), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), glucose, total cholesterol (TC), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). However, interaction effects were observed (time × group) on percent body fat (P = 0.006), waist circumference (WC; P < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (SBP; P = 0.010), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; P = 0.007).
CONCLUSIONS: A 12-week supervised combined exercise program could effectively reduce percent body fat, WC, SBP, and DBP. However, it was not effective on MS-related factors of blood lipid composition such as TG, HDL, glucose, TC, and LDL in a sample population of obese Korean female college students.
Chang-Ho Ha; Wi-Young So
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-08-31
Journal Detail:
Title:  Iranian journal of public health     Volume:  41     ISSN:  2251-6085     ISO Abbreviation:  Iran. J. Public Health     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-31     Completed Date:  2012-11-01     Revised Date:  2013-05-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505531     Medline TA:  Iran J Public Health     Country:  Iran    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  20-6     Citation Subset:  -    
Dept. of Human Performance & Leisure Studies, North Carolina A&T State University, USA.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Full Text
Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Iran J Public Health
Journal ID (iso-abbrev): Iran. J. Public Health
Journal ID (publisher-id): IJPH
ISSN: 2251-6085
ISSN: 2251-6093
Publisher: Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Article Information
Download PDF
Copyright © Iranian Public Health Association & Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Received Day: 10 Month: 3 Year: 2012
Accepted Day: 19 Month: 6 Year: 2012
Electronic publication date: Day: 31 Month: 8 Year: 2012
collection publication date: Year: 2012
Volume: 41 Issue: 8
First Page: 20 Last Page: 26
PubMed Id: 23113220
ID: 3469031
Publisher Id: ijph-41-20

Effects of Combined Exercise Training on Body Composition and Metabolic Syndrome Factors
Chang-Ho Ha1
Wi-Young So2*
1.Dept. of Human Performance & Leisure Studies, North Carolina A&T State University, USA
2.Dept. of Human Movement Science, Seoul Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
*Corresponding Author: fax +82-2-970-5980 E-mail:


Reaven (1988) was the first to report the concept of X syndrome for the cardiovascular (CV) disease risk factor cluster that includes factors such as impaired glucose tolerance, HDL deficiency, hypertriglyceridemia, and hypertension (1). This cluster of risk factors has been recently reported as insulin resistance syndrome, metabolic syndrome (MS), or CV syndrome (24).

Based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted in the United States from 2003 to 2006, and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)/Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines, an estimated 34% of adults aged >20 years met the criteria for MS (5). The prevalence of MS in Korea has a pattern similar to that in the United States (67). For this reason, the prevalence of MS has emerged as a serious public health problem in Korea with time.

The therapeutic goals reported for MS management are reduced levels of abdominal obesity, sedentary lifestyle, atherogenic diet, smoking, pharmacotherapy (anti-obesity agents), and control of elevated blood pressure (8). Furthermore, interestingly, increasing physical activity and fitness are considered to reduce the risk of MS and constitute important components of MS prevention (8).

Many studies have recommended aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking, golfing, yoga, and team sports for preventing MS (810); furthermore, resistance exercise was also recommended (11). The results of many studies have confirmed that exercise is a good method for preventing MS as it increases muscle mass, decreases percent body fat and body weight, controls diabetes, reduces blood pressure, and reduces overall CV risk factors; however, only a few studies have examined the effects of combined exercise (12). Moreover, to our knowledge, none of the studies have focused on obese college students in Korea for the purpose of MS prevention. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 12 weeks of combined exercise, consisting of aerobic and resistance exercises, on body composition and MS-related factors in a sample population of obese Korean female college students.

Materials and Methods

Based on the 2 × 2 repeated ANOVA measures design and an anticipated statistical power of 0.80 (alpha error probability of 0.05) with an effect size of 0.4, it was determined that a sample size consisting of 16 subjects would be necessary (G-power program 3.1.3, Germany). We used a sample size consisting of 20 subjects to factor in the subjects who would be dropped from the analysis. The subjects were randomly classified into 2 groups: exercise (n = 10) and control (n = 10) groups. The subjects were obese female college students aged 20–26 years, who had >30% body fat, and exercised at the Dongguk University fitness center in Gyeong-Ju, Gyeongsangbuk-Do, Korea. They did not exercise regularly, and had not been previously diagnosed with abnormal glucose metabolism, or other health problems. The subjects were instructed to maintain a typical diet and a particular activity pattern throughout the study, and compliance with this instruction was assessed via physical activity and food frequency questionnaires administered at the beginning, and end of the study (13,14). However, 3 subjects from the exercise group were excluded because they attended only part of the exercise program, and 1 from the control group was excluded because she did not participate in the test conducted at the end of the study. Thus, 7 subjects from the exercise group and 9 from the control group completed the pre- and post-study assessments.

All the subjects submitted a written consent form, and all the study procedures were approved by the Human Care and Use Committee of the Society of Sport Research Institute at Dongguk University. The characteristics of the subjects are shown in Table 1.

Experimental procedures

The exercise group participated in a 12 week supervised combined aerobic and resistance exercise program. The exercise group trained for 80 min/day, and the program was composed of 3 steps: warm-up for 10 min, combined exercises for 60 min, and cool down for 10 min. The exercise group trained for 3 day/week for 12 weeks, while the control group was asked to maintain their normal sedentary activities. All the variables pertaining to the parameters were measured 2 days before, and 2 days after the study: body composition (weight, body mass index [BMI], fat free mass [FFM], and percent body fat), MS-related factors (waist circumference [WC], triglyceride [TG] levels, high-density lipoprotein [HDL] levels, systolic blood pressure [SBP], diastolic blood pressure [DBP], and glucose levels), and other blood lipid components (total cholesterol [TC] and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] levels).

Body composition

The BMI (kg/m2) of each subject was calculated on the basis of their weight and height, and body composition (weight, FFM, and percent body fat) was assessed using an 8 polar bioelectrical impedance instrument (InBody 3.0, Biospace, Seoul, Korea).

This instrument measures the resistance of the arms, trunk, and legs at frequencies of 5, 50, 250, and 500 kHz and uses 8 tactile electrodes, 1 each in contact with the palm and thumb of each hand and with the anterior and posterior aspects of the sole of each foot (15).

Subjects were prohibited from consuming food/liquids for 4 h, performing exercises for 12 h, and urinating just before the impedance measurement. They were recommended to wear light clothing and to remove all metallic items, which could interrupt the electric current during the measurement. All the methods used for assessing body composition followed the recommendations from the book, Applied Body Composition Assessment (16).

MS-related factors and other blood lipid components

The WC was measured in the region of the trunk that is midway between the lower costal margin (bottom of the lower rib) and the iliac crest (top of the pelvic bone), while the subject stood with her feet placed ∼25–30 cm apart. The person recording the measurements carefully wrapped the tape around the subject’s trunk without compressing any underlying soft tissues. The circumference was measured at the end of a normal expiration and rounded off to the nearest 0.5 cm (17).

The TG, HDL, LDL, TC, and glucose concentrations were measured using the ADVIA 1650 automated analyzer (Bayer HealthCare Ltd. Tarrytown, NY, USA), with the Pureauto S TG-N (Daiichi, Japan), Cholestest N-HDL (Daiichi, Japan), Cholestest N-LDL (Daiichi, Japan), Pureauto S CHO-N (Daiichi, Japan), and Hexokinase (Daiichi, Japan) kits, respectively.

The subjects rested for over 10 min in a sitting position. A specialist nurse then measured SBP and DBP at the right brachial artery by using a mercury sphygmomanometer (Alpk, Japan). Blood pressure was measured thrice separately over a 2-min interval. The specialist nurse determined the average blood pressure value (18).

Exercise program

All the subjects in the exercise group were asked to stretch their entire body before (warm up, 10 min) and after (cool down, 10 min) each training session. They performed a 60 min main exercise program, which consisted of treadmill running for 30 min at an intensity of 60–80% of their heart rate reserve (HRR), followed by resistance training for 30 min, which included the leg press, leg curl, chest press, lat-pull down, shoulder press, biceps curl, and sit-ups. The resistance exercise session consisted of 3 sets of 10–15 repetitions maximum (RM) for each of the exercises. Exercise intensity was monitored during the training sessions by using a Polar real time system (Polar S610, Finland).

Statistical analysis

All the descriptive data were expressed in terms of mean ± standard deviation. Independent t-tests were used to examine the differences in subject characteristics between the groups at baseline. Two-way repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate significant changes in dependent variables in the exercise group before and after the exercise program and to compare these values with those for the control group before and after the study period. All the analyses were performed using SPSS version 12.0 (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA). The statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05.


The subjects’ characteristics did not significantly differ between the groups at the baseline (P > 0.05) (Table 1). The changes in body composition, MS-related factors, and other blood lipid components after combined exercise for 12 weeks are shown in Table 2 and 3. No interaction effects (time × group) were seen on MS-related factors of blood lipid composition such as TG, HDL, glucose, TC, and LDL levels (P > 0.05). However, interaction effects (time × group) were observed on percent body fat (P = 0.006), WC (P < 0.001), SBP (P = 0.010), and DBP (P = 0.007).


This study focused on the effectiveness of a 12 week combined aerobic and resistance exercise program on potential changes in MS-related factors and body composition. Significant improvements were observed in percent body fat, WC, and blood pressure, but not in any of the blood lipid components.

Traditionally, since aerobic exercise is associated with greater energy expenditure than resistance exercise, it is considered to be more effective in reducing body weight and fat mass (19). However, many studies have reported that resistance exercise is more effective in increasing FFM (20). In our study, combined exercise significantly decreased the percent body fat and WC, but did not increase the FFM.

Malina (2007) reported that young college students show a high correlation between BMI and FFM (21). Although the obese subjects in this study had high BMI, they also had higher FFM than that reported for adults. We felt that this was responsible for the observation that combined exercise did not affect their FFM. However, since combined exercise also represented increased energy expenditure, the percent body fat and WC decreased.

In a meta-analysis study by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the results showed that regular physical activity and exercise decreased SBP by 6 mm Hg and DBP by 5 mm Hg (22). Interestingly, our study also shows significant decrease in blood pressure; this result is supported by that from the ACSM report despite the subjects in our study being younger.

In our study, the MS-related factors of blood lipid composition were not affected. Obesity and MS have been known to be common and important clinical markers for early detection of CV disease and type 2 diabetes (23). Risk factors for MS include higher TG levels (≥150 mg/dl), lower HDL levels (<50 mg/dl for women), high blood pressure (≥130/80 mm Hg), high fasting blood glucose levels (≥100 mg/dl), and a large WC (≥88 cm for women) (24).

Several previous studies have reported that combined exercise significantly improves MS-related factors of blood lipid composition (12, 25). We agree with the results of the previous studies in which the subjects were middle-aged, or older adults. However, younger individuals are in better health compared to adults, and do not develop severe health conditions due to MS. Therefore, we believe that while combined exercise is effective in preventing MS in middle-aged and older adults, it might not be as effective in young adults. Furthermore, well-designed studies are required for comparing the effectiveness of combined aerobic and resistance exercise on young adults and middle-aged or older adults.

This study has a few limitations. Since the subjects were recruited from only 1 university at Gyeong-Ju, Gyeongsangbuk-Do, Korea, and included only female students, the study population does not represent the entire Korean population. Furthermore, it comprised of a small number of students (N = 16). Our results show that combined exercise significantly decreases the percent body fat and WC, but does not increase FFM. This could be a result of our small study sample. Nevertheless, interaction effects (time × group) were observed, with boundary statistical level significance on FFM (P = 0.099). Moreover, this study has an advantage in that it focuses on a young adult population, in contrast to previous studies that focused on middle-aged or older adults. Further studies are required to determine the effects of combined exercise on FFM.

We conclude that a 12 week supervised combined exercise program is effective in reducing percent body fat, WC, SBP, and DBP. However, it did not affect MS-related factors of blood lipid composition such as TG, HDL, glucose, TC, and LDL, in a sample population of obese Korean female college students.

Ethical considerations

Ethical issues (Including plagiarism, Informed Consent, misconduct, data fabrication and/or falsification, double publication and/or submission, redundancy, etc) have been completely observed by the authors

This work was supported by a special research grant from Seoul Women’s University (2012). The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

1.. Reaven GM. Year: 1988Role of insulin resistance in human diseaseDiabetes37159516073056758
2.. DeFronzo R,Ferrannini E. Year: 1991Insulin resistance. A multifacet syndrome responsible for NIDDM, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseDiabetes Care141731942044434
3.. Eckel RH,Scott MG,Zimmet P. Year: 2005The metabolic syndromeLancet3651415142815836891
4.. Ferrannini E,Haffner SM,Mitchell BD,Stern MP. Year: 1991Hyperinsulinemia: the key feature of a cardiovascular and metabolic syndromeDiabetologia344164221884900
5.. Ervin RB. Year: 2009Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adults 20 years of age and over, by sex, age, race and ethnicity, and body mass index: United States, 2003–2006Natl Health Stat Report5131719634296
6.. Park HS,Park CY,Oh SW,Yoo HJ. Year: 2008Prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome in Korean adultsObes Rev9210410717986177
7.. Lim S,Park KS,Lee HK,Cho SI,Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination SurveysYear: 2005Changes in the characteristics of metabolic syndrome in Korea over the period 1998–2001as determined by Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination SurveysDiabetes Care2871810181215983345
8.. Deedwania PC,Gupta R. Year: 2006Management issues in the metabolic syndromeJ Assoc Physicians India5479781017214277
9.. Grundy SM,Cleeman JI,Daniels SR,Donato KA,Eckel RH,Franklin BA,Gordon DJ,Krauss RM,Savage PJ,Smith SC Jr,Spertus JA,Costa F,American Heart AssociationNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteYear: 2005Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Scientific StatementCirculation112172735275216157765
10.. Damodaran A,Malathi A,Patil N,Shah N,Suryavansihi,Marathe S. Year: 2002Therapeutic potential of yoga practices in modifying cardiovascular risk profileJ Assoc Physicians India5063364012186115
11.. Strasser B,Siebert U,Schobersberger W. Year: 2010Resistance training in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of resistance training on metabolic clustering in patients with abnormal glucose metabolismSports Med40539741520433212
12.. Seo DI,Jun TW,Park KS,Chang H,So WY,Song W. Year: 201012 weeks of combined exercise is better than aerobic exercise for increasing growth hormone in middle-aged womenInt J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab201212620190348
13.. Thompson FE,Subar AF,Smith AF,Midthune D,Radimer KL,Kahle LL,Kipnis V. Year: 2002Fruit and vegetable assessment: performance of 2 new short instruments and a food frequency questionnaireJ Am Diet Assoc1021764772
14.. Craig CL,Marshall AL,Sjöström M,Bauman AE,Booth ML,Ainsworth BE,Pratt M,Ekelund U,Yngve A,Sallis JF,Oja P. Year: 2003International physical activity questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validityMed Sci Sports Exerc3581381139512900694
15.. Jensky-Squires NE,Dieli-Conwright CM,Rossuello A,Erceg DN,McCauley S,Schroeder ET. Year: 2008Validity and reliability of body composition analysers in children and adultsBr J Nutr100485986518346304
16.. Heyward VH,Wagner DR. Year: 2004Applied body composition assessment2nd edHuman Kinetics
17.. World Health OrganizationYear: 1999Report of a WHO Consultation on obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemicGeneva
18.. Lynn SB,Peter GS. Year: 2007Bates’ guide to physical examination and history taking9th edPhiladelphiaLippincott Williams & Wilkins
19.. Church T. Year: 2011Exercise in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetesProg Cardiovasc Dis53641241821545927
20.. Strasser B,Schobersberger W. Year: 2011Evidence for resistance training as a treatment therapy in obesityJ Obes, pii482564
21.. Malina RM. Year: 2007Body composition in athletes: assessment and estimated fatnessClinical Journal of Sport Medicine2613768
22.. American College of Sports MedicinYear: 2010ACSM’s resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription6th edMc BaltimoreLippincott Williams & Wilkins
23.. Gale EA. Year: 2008Should we dump the metabolic syndrome? YesBMJ336764564018356231
24.. Gupta A,Gupta V. Year: 2010Metabolic syndrome: What are the risks for humans?BioScience Trends45202212
25.. Seo DI,So WY,Ha S,Yoo EJ,Kim D,Singh H,Fahs CA,Rossow L,Bemben DA,Bemben MG,Kim EH. Year: 2011Effects of 12 weeks of combined exercise training on visfatin and metabolic syndrome factors in obese middle-aged womenJournal of Sports Science and Medicine10222226

Article Categories:
  • Original Article

Keywords: Body composition, College student, Metabolic syndrome, Obesity, Korea.

Previous Document:  Iron, iodine and vitamin a in the middle East; a systematic review of deficiency and food fortificat...
Next Document:  Prevalence of elder abuse and neglect in seniors with psychiatric morbidity - example from central m...