Feasibility and impacts of supervised exercise training in subjects with obesity awaiting bariatric surgery: a pilot study

Obes Surg. 2013 Jul;23(7):882-91. doi: 10.1007/s11695-013-0875-5.


Background: To optimize bariatric surgery results, experts recommend regular practice of physical activity. However, no precise recommendations are available for the pre-surgical period. We aimed to evaluate, in this pilot study, the feasibility of a supervised Pre-Surgical Exercise Training (PreSET) and its short-term clinical impacts in subjects awaiting bariatric surgery.

Methods: In addition to the usual interdisciplinary lifestyle management, eight women and four men [40.8 (37.6-47.5) years old, BMI = 51.4 (43.8-53.1) kg/m(2)] underwent the PreSET, which combined both endurance and strength training. They were instructed to perform three physical activity sessions per week during 12 weeks, with at least two sessions per week on site and the possibility to complete missed sessions at home. Before and after the PreSET, anthropometric measures, body composition, physical fitness, quality of life, and physical exercise beliefs were assessed.

Results: The subjects participated in 57.3 % of the total supervised exercise sessions proposed and presented high satisfaction rates. Our program resulted in a significant improvement in weight (p = 0.007), physical fitness (p ≤ 0.05), and quality of life score (p = 0.012) as well as for the emotions, social interactions, and sexual life subscales (p < 0.03). Fear of injury (p = 0.028) and embarrassment during physical activity (p = 0.028) were significantly decreased, whereas no significant change in confidence in athletic ability and in beliefs in exercise benefits were noticed after the program.

Conclusions: PreSET is feasible in subjects awaiting bariatric surgery and, combined with an interdisciplinary management, results in several short-term benefits.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology
  • Obesity, Morbid / therapy*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Pilot Projects
  • Preoperative Period*
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Self Care
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss