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For more information contact:
Adam Lund
01225 383566
or 07919 102596.

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Sport and Exercise Science

Press Release - 14 August 2006

Volunteers needed to take a break from exercise

Researchers in the School for Health are about to investigate whether a one-week “holiday” from exercise alters biological markers and risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

They are currently looking for volunteers to help them with their study.


Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of premature death in the United Kingdom. One of the most important risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease is living a sedentary lifestyle.

The vast majority of complications from cardiovascular disease are attributable to the build-up of plaque within arteries. This plaque build-up is largely due to the actions of the immune system (low level inflammation). Regular physical activity is associated with reduced inflammation and this has been postulated as one mechanism that explains why regular physical activity protects people against cardiovascular disease.

From an evolutionary perspective our genes evolved to function in an environment where they expected to “experience” physical activity on a regular basis in the procurement of food. However, in Western societies today, such levels of physically activity might only be seen in highly active individuals. The discordance between what our genes expect and what they experience is theorised to be at the heart of today’s health problems.

However, even those individuals that are highly active will regularly experience times in their life when they are unable to exercise due to work commitments or holidays.

We know that some adaptations to regular exercise (e.g., cholesterol metabolism) are quickly lost within a few days following cessation of regular exercise but it is not known whether changes to the immune system are also lost this quickly. It is important to establish the effects that these breaks might have on these pathways so that clinicians and researchers can better understand how quickly the adaptations to regular exercise are lost when people stop exercising.

Who can take part?

In order to investigate the response of individuals to a short one-week cessation of exercise training we are looking to recruit the following individuals:

What are the benefits of taking part?

If you are interested in finding out more information then please do not hesitate to read the Participant Information Sheet available on the project web site (see related links section) or contact Adam Lund on 01225 383566 or 07919 102596.

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