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Internal News - 04 October 2007

Volunteers needed for project on benefits of walking

Researchers in the School for Health are about to investigate whether a six-week individually-tailored walking programme has any effect on risk factors for heart disease and well-being compared to your usual lifestyle.

They are currently looking for men aged between 30-45 years who do not smoke and do not participate in any structured physical activity.

“Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of premature death in the UK,” said Tom Loney, the PhD student behind the research.

“Research shows that regular bouts of structured exercise, such as running and swimming, can improve the health of your heart and enhance well-being.

“However, we are not sure whether daily lifestyle activities, such as walking, protect against heart disease and this is what we plan to find out."

Dr Martyn Standage, from the Sport & Exercise Science group at the University, said: “It is vital to see whether different markers related to heart disease and health are stable over time when individuals maintain their normal lifestyle.

“The only way to show this conclusively is to ask a group of men to take part in a regular walking programme and to monitor their progress over time in comparison to a group who maintain their normal lifestyle.”

“This will help us work out what effect a personalised walking programme might have on cardiovascular risk factors and wellbeing, and will enable us to give better advice about appropriate exercise behaviour,” said Tom.

At the end of the study volunteers will receive personalised feedback on their:

There are two recruitment phases for the study. The first phase runs from now until 17 December 2007, and the second phase is between 7 January and the 7 April 2008. Those who are interested in finding out more information about the project should contact Tom Loney on extension 4323.