Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013 , Vol 59 , Num 2

The Effect of Aerobic Exercise Program on Pulmonary Function and Cardiorespiratory Capacity in Obese Wome

Ayşe Sarsan 1 ,Hakan Alkan 1 ,Sevin Başer 2 ,Necmettin Yıldız 1 ,Merih Özgen 3 ,Füsun Ardıç 4
1 Pamukkale Üniversitesi Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Denizli, Türkiye
2 Pamukkale Üniversitesi Göğüs Hastalıkları Anabilim Dalı, Denizli, Türkiye
3 Osmangazi Üniversitesi Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Eskişehir, Türkiye
4 Pamukkale Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Denizli, Türkiye
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.26986

Objective: To examine the effects of a six-month aerobic exercise program on pulmonary function and cardiorespiratory capacity in obese women.


Materials and Methods: A total of 50 subjects - 25 obese women who neither did regular exercise nor applied a special diet program, and 25 healthy controls - were included in the study. Body mass index (BMI), maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and pulmonary function tests (PFT) values were measured as evaluation parameters in both groups. Obese women were enrolled to a supervised hospital-based bicycle aerobic exercise program for six months at an individualized target heart rate range (50-85% of heart reserve), with an increasing frequency and duration. Evaluation parameters were reevaluated after the exercise program and were compared with the pre-exercise values.


Results: VO2max, forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at first second (FEV1), FEV1/FVC, and maximum mid-expiratory flow rate (FEF25-75) were significantly lower in obese women (p<0.05). There was a statistically significant decrease at BMI and statistically significant increase at VO2max, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and FEF25-75 among obese women after completing the 6-month exercise program.


Conclusion: It was shown that obese women had lower cardiopulmonary capacity and PFTs when compared to non-obese ones and, aerobic exercise could improve cardiopulmonary capacity and PFTs in obese women. 

Keywords : Obesity, aerobic exercise, pulmonary function test