A new study at Victoria University is testing what works best in motivating young women to maintain healthier lifestyles.
Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living research assistant Verity Booth said many young and middle-aged women held negative views of physical activity due to bad experiences at school, or had body image issues that stop them joining gyms, sports clubs or doing other forms of exercise.
“This program is about teaching women the skills, confidence and strategies to eat and exercise in a way that is sustainable for their lifestyle and good for their health, rather than jumping from one diet or exercise fad to another which has been shown not to work,” Ms Booth said.
Women aged 18 to 40 are now being invited to participate in the 15 month lifestyle change study. It involves a supervised 3 month exercise and nutrition behaviour change program, followed by a 12 month monitoring period using a Fitbit wristband activity tracker.
Participants will be monitored remotely and have access to professional advice and support throughout the trial.
Ms Booth said they wanted to see whether those who joined a small group motivation and healthy living program fared better after the trial than those who individually consulted a health professional in a standard care model.
Volunteers for this study should be non-smokers who are relatively inactive and not diagnosed with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The program is based at Victoria University’s Footscray Park campus.
Reasearch Officer Dr Lauren Banting and leading expert in women’s exercise and fitness, Associate Professor Nigel Stepto are also involved in this research.
(Source: Victoria University)