Physical training decreases waist circumference in postmenopausal borderline overweight women

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2009;88(3):308-13. doi: 10.1080/00016340802695942.


Objective: To examine if healthy borderline overweight postmenopausal women with osteoporosis can improve their waist circumference and lipid profile with a moderate physical training program.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: One hundred and twelve postmenopausal women were randomized to normal sedentary life or one year of physical training consisting of three brisk walks and 1-2 aerobic exercises/week.

Main outcome measures: Waist circumference reduction, waist circumference reduction in relation to observed level of participation in physical intervention and changes in cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoproteins B and A1 and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).

Results: At start the mean (SD) waist circumference was 83.6 (7.7) and 81.8 (7.5) cm in the control and training groups, respectively. In relation to baseline, the 12 months intervention led to a waist reduction of 0.3 cm (2.7) (p=0.36) and 1.6 cm (4.7) (p=0.02) in the respective groups but the inter-group comparison was not significant in an intention-to-treat analysis (p=0.09). The ninety-two women completing the study intervention were analyzed per protocol. A tendency for better waist reduction in relation to the women's observed physical intensity level was observed (p=0.07, ANOVA for linear trend across training intensity levels). Training women improved their waist circumference 1.7 cm (p=0.01) compared to baseline and was borderline significantly better than controls (p=0.059). No significant changes in response to the intervention were observed for blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoproteins and hs-CRP.

Conclusions: A moderate physical exercise program for healthy postmenopausal women during one year reduced the waist circumference in a training intensity dependent manner.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / blood
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Waist Circumference / physiology*


  • Lipids