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For information on taking part in the project contact:

Adam Lund
01225 383566
07919 102596

or Dr Dylan Thompson
01225 383177

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Internal News - 21 March 2007

I’m fit and active, can I take a break now please?

Researchers at the University of Bath are looking for volunteers to help them investigate whether being physically active protects against changes to risk factors for heart disease when taking a short (one week) ‘holiday’ from exercise.

They are interested in hearing from men aged between 45 - 65 who do not smoke and spend on average over three hours exercising each week.

“The vast majority of complications from cardiovascular disease are attributable to the build-up of plaque within arteries,” said Dr Dylan Thompson from the Sport & Exercise Science group in the School for Health.

“It is thought that one of the reasons why regular physical activity is so good for you is because it helps to directly reduce the processes that cause this plaque build-up.

“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.”

Researchers would like to know whether highly active individuals have built up a ‘tolerance’ to disruptions in physical activity and are therefore protected from changes in risk factors for heart disease.

Following initial tests, the researchers want the volunteers to perform two trials. One trial will involve monitoring a typical week and the other will involve taking a week off exercising.

By comparing the two trials, researchers will be able to determine if, and what, the differences are between an individual’s normal activity and when they take a week off exercise.

"This will help us better understand the mechanisms involved in protection from heart disease as a result of regular exercise and to provide better advice to people who want to capitalize on the health benefits of exercise," said Adam Lund, one of the researchers on the team..

"Volunteers for the project will receive personalised feedback on their current fitness levels, an analysis of their diet and changes in the biological markers (e.g. cholesterol) being tested in the research."

People interested in finding out more information should visit the project website (see related links) or contact one the researchers involved.