n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Effects of 16 weeks aerobic and weight training on body mass index promotion, fitness and wellness - : health promotion, fitness and wellness

Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Body Mass Index (BMI) or the Quetelet index is used to assess weight relative to height and is commonly used as an inexpensive and accepted reliable method to determine levels or risk for developing obesity. The aim of this study was to determine the most effective mode of exercise in decreasing BMI in sedentary male smokers. A group of 50 sedentary male smokers aged between 20 and 35 years were randomly assigned into a non-exercising group (n = 12), weight training group (n = 13), aerobic training group (n = 12) or combination training group (n = 13). The subjects took part in their respective programmes over a 16-week period, three times per week. Weight training resulted in a significant undesirable 2.3% increase in BMI while aerobic training significantly favourably decreased BMI by 3.1%. BMI was not significantly altered in the combination training and non-exercising groups. The Partial r-test indicated significantly correlations with body mass (r = 0.986), lean mass (r = 0.630) and fat mass (r = 0.320). In conclusion, aerobic training is an effective training modality to decrease BMI and as such associated disease risk. It is recommended that caution should be taken when assessing the BMI of individuals with an increased lean mass as is expected following long-term weight training.

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