The Effect of Equipment-Based Pilates (Reformer) Exercises on Body Composition, Some Physical Parameters, and Body Blood Parameters of Medical Interns

Cureus. 2022 Apr 12;14(4):e24078. doi: 10.7759/cureus.24078. eCollection 2022 Apr.


Background: Pilates is a type of exercise that exerts positive effects on body composition and general health. This study set out to investigate the effects of equipment-based Pilates (reformer) exercise on body composition, some physical parameters, and blood parameters of medical interns showing a tendency toward sedentary life.

Materials and methods: The experimental group (EG) comprising 22 healthy internship students in the medical faculty performed Pilates reformer exercises for nine weeks. The control group (CG) consisted of 18 students who did not engage in any exercise program. The baseline and final parameters of all the participants were measured.

Results: The mean age of the experimental group (EG) was 23.68±1.29 years, while that of the control group (CG) was 24.78±3.44 (p=0.089). A significant difference was evident between the performance pre-test and post-test scores of the EG (p<0.05). However, a significant positive difference was noted only between the waist pre-test and post-test results in the body composition measurements (p<0.05). A significant rise in HDL and fasting blood sugar levels and a decrease in insulin levels was observed in the post-exercise biochemical parameters measured in the EG (p=0.05). When the EG and CG were compared, a significant difference was found only in HDL cholesterol values in relation to the differences between the pre-test and the post-test groups (p=0.024).

Conclusion: The positive data from performance tests, especially with its HDL-increasing and insulin-lowering effects in the EG, implicate that Pilates reformer exercises can produce a favorable effect on the healthy living standards of medical interns.

Keywords: body composition; equipment-based pilates; exercise; fitness; medical intern; reformer.