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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, such as increased body fat, dyslipidemia, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are intensified in postmenopausal women. CRP has been reported as an independent indicator of risk for cardiovascular events. CRP is affected by multiple factors such as age, race, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity level. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of an exercise intervention on traditional (BMI, percent body fat, waist circumference, physical activity level) and non-traditional (CRP) risk factors for cardiovascular disease to a dietary intervention program in sedentary, postmenopausal women. Twenty apparently healthy postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to a diet intervention group (DI) or an exercise intervention group (EXI) for a period of 9 weeks. DI participants reported once a week for a body weight measurement and EXI participants were asked to attend 3 exercise sessions per week that were 45-55 minute sessions (cardiovascular and resistance training exercises). There were no significant effects of time or treatment intervention, or a time x treatment interaction on CRP levels (p=0.077, p<0.05). However, there was a significant change (-4.45 kg) in body weight (p=0.000, p< 0.05) and (-1.1 kg) change in fat free mass (p=0.041, p<0.05) in the DI group. Body weight, FFM, and waist circumference all decreased significantly in the DI group; however, decreases in these variables did not appear to precipitate significant changes in CRP. It is possible that a greater degree of weight loss (over a longer duration) may be necessary to decrease CRP levels. There was no significance between EXI and dependant variables, including CRP, also suggesting that greater intensity or longer intervention duration may be necessary to affect dependant variables through exercise.

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