Effects of Exercise Training Amount on Physical Activity Energy Expenditure

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We examined the effects of three exercise training interventions on total physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) or nonexercise PAEE in a randomized controlled trial where sedentary, overweight, and obese men and women were assigned to inactive control, low-amount/moderate-intensity, low-amount/vigorous-intensity, or high-amount/vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise.


To measure PAEE, triaxial RT3 accelerometers were worn by subjects for 7 d at the beginning and end of an 8-month exercise intervention. In total, 50 subjects (control, n = 8; two low-amount groups, n = 28; high-amount group, n = 14) had usable PAEE data collected at both time points.


At baseline, subjects had an average age of 53.2 yr, had a body mass index of 29.7 kg·m−2, and a relative peak V˙O2 of 28.7 mL·kg−1·min−1. There were no significant differences between groups at baseline. After the intervention, average change in total PAEE was 8.4 ± 20.9 kJ·h−1 for controls, 58.6 ± 20.9 kJ·h−1 for the two low-amount groups, and 138.1 ± 33.5 kJ·h−1 for the high-amount group (means ± SE). The high-amount group experienced a significantly greater increase in total PAEE compared with the controls (P = 0.02). As expected, total PAEE increased with increasing exercise volume. Average change in nonexercise PAEE was 8.4 ± 20.9 kJ·h−1 for control, 25.1 ± 20.9 kJ·h−1 for the low-amount groups combined, and 62.8 ± 29.3 kJ·h−1 for the high-amount group. There was no statistically significant difference in change of nonexercise PAEE among groups.


We conclude that in middle-aged overweight or obese subjects participating in an extended exercise intervention, total PAEE increased, and there was no compensatory decrease in nonexercise PAEE.

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