Original Research: Food

A comparison between the cardio-stress indices of an active and a sedentary population

Peet Du Toit, Paola Wood, Catherina C. Grant, Evangeline Nortje, Michael Kleynhans, Lizelle Fletcher, Pieter E. Krüger, Annie M. Joubert, Justin J. Kennedy, Ronél Ferreira, Abert van Schoor, Fourie Joubert, Gerda Gericke
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 32, No 1 | a769 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v32i1.769 | © 2013 Peet Du Toit, Paola Wood, Catherina C. Grant, Evangeline Nortje, Michael Kleynhans, Lizelle Fletcher, Pieter E. Krüger, Annie M. Joubert, Justin J. Kennedy, Ronél Ferreira, Abert van Schoor, Fourie Joubert, Gerda Gericke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 August 2013 | Published: 02 December 2013

About the author(s)

Peet Du Toit, Department of Human Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Paola Wood, Department of Biokinetics, Sport and Leisure Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Catherina C. Grant, Section Sports Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Evangeline Nortje, Department of Human Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Michael Kleynhans, Department of Human Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Lizelle Fletcher, Department of Statistics, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Pieter E. Krüger, Department of Biokinetics, Sport and Leisure Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Annie M. Joubert, Department of Human Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Justin J. Kennedy, UGSM-Monarch Business School, Switzerland
Ronél Ferreira, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Abert van Schoor, Department of Anatomy, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Fourie Joubert, Department of Biochemistry, University of Pretoriac, South Africa
Gerda Gericke, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Our modern lifestyle often results in the importance of physical exercise being overlooked. The increasingly passive way of life has resulted in a notable increase in the prevalence of lifestyle disorders, such as hypertension and some forms of vascular pathology. This study compares the cardio-stress indices (CSIs) of active and sedentary individuals to provide insight into the impact of the significant changes that have taken place in the modernised society. The active population consisted of 217 military recruits who had completed 20 weeks of basic military training. The sedentary population (n = 126) was sourced from a traditional tertiary institution where the focus is on attending lectures. Participants from both populations were required to attend three testing sessions, which were held during Week 1, Week 12 and Week 20. Subjects underwent a non-invasive ViportTM test to measure their CSI, heart rate and QRS duration. The results showed that although baseline readings for CSI, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were initially higher among the active population, the commencement of the physical training programme resulted in a steady decline in respect of these three factors to approach healthier margins. However, the CSI for neither population reached the normal range, indicating that although physical activity reduces physiological stress levels, other key factors, namely lifestyle stress levels, must also be taken into account. The study supports the notion that increased physical activity has the potential to reduce the predisposition of an individual to cardiovascular disorders and contributes towards establishing the effect of training on heart health by using CSI as a means of measurement.

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