Home exercise equipment increased weight-loss success in study

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Overweight women using home exercise equipment as part of their exercise regimen lost twice as much weight as their peers who did not have that option but were instructed to do the same type and amount of exercise, according to a recent study by Brown University researchers.

Women with home exercise equipment lost eight more pounds on average than women without the equipment--16.3 pounds compared to 8.1 pounds--over the course of the 18-month study. Participants with home exercise equipment also maintained a higher level of exercise throughout the final months of the study.

Although all 115 participants, aged 25 to 45, were instructed to do the same amount of brisk walking for exercise each day, only about one-third had the option of using treadmills installed in their homes. The study was published in the Oct. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"The equipment made the activity easier to adopt because it allowed people more flexibility in their exercise regimen," said John M. Jakicic, lead author of the study and assistant research professor of psychiatry and human behavior in the Brown University School of Medicine.

For example, people may be more inclined to use the treadmill when it is raining instead of skipping a walk because they do not want to go outside. Or, Jakicic said, someone who must exercise at night may be more inclined to use the treadmill instead of walking on dark streets.

The treadmills also acted as a visual reminder of exercise for those in the study group who had the equipment.

However, the mere presence of home exercise equipment is not enough to make people lose weight, Jakicic said. It was useful i

Contact: Kristen Cole
Brown University

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