Sedentary behavior and compensatory mechanisms in response to different doses of exercise—a randomized controlled trial in overweight and obese adults

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To examine compensatory changes in sedentary behavior (SB) and light-intensity physical activities (LIPA) in response to a 22-week exercise training program in overweight/obese adults; and to determine if different forms of exercise training and physical activity recommendations interact with these compensatory changes.


Eighty-nine overweight and obese individuals (body mass index (BMI): 25-34.9 kg/m2, 48% males), aged 18-50 years, were randomized into four intervention groups (strength, endurance, combined strength + endurance and physical activity recommendations) with a 25-30% caloric restriction of total daily energy expenditure for 22 weeks. Energy expenditure was measured by accelerometry before, during and after the program.


LIPA increased significantly (P<0.001) after three months and at the end of intervention compared to baseline (pre: 281 ± 9 min; 3 months: 303 ± 9 min; post: 312 ± 8 min). SB percentage decreased by 5.3 at the end of the intervention (P = 0.002). No interactions were observed between groups or sexes. Significant correlations were found between SB and body weight, fat mass, android fat mass and lean body mass before and after the intervention (P<0.05). LIPA was also significantly correlated with all these body composition variables in the pre-intervention, but only correlated with body weight at the end of intervention.


There were no compensatory changes after a combined exercise and diet program; where minutes in LIPA increased and %SB decreased after the program, without differences among exercise modes. Greater physical activity levels can contribute to a better percentage and distribution of body tissues.

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