Seasonal influence on adherence to and effects of an interval walking training program on sedentary female college students in Japan
Habitual exercise training is recommended to young people for their health promotion, but adherence may be influenced by atmospheric temperature (T a ) if performed outdoors. We compared the adherence to and the effects of a home-based interval walking training (IWT) program on sedentary female college students between winter and summer. For summer training over 176 days, 48 subjects (18–22 years old) were randomly divided into two groups: the control group (CNTsummer, n = 24), which maintained a sedentary lifestyle as before, and the IWT group (IWTsummer, n = 24), which performed IWT while energy expenditure was monitored by accelerometry. For winter training over 133 days, another group of 47 subjects (18–24 years old) was randomly divided into CNTwinter (n = 24) and IWTwinter (n = 23), as in summer. The peak T a per day was 26 ± 6 °C (SD) (range of 9–35 °C) in summer, much higher than 7 ± 5 °C (range of − 3–20 °C) in winter (P < 0.001). During a ~ 50-day vacation period, participants walked 2.1 ± 0.3 (SE) days/week in IWTsummer, less than 4.2 ± 0.3 days/week in IWTwinter (P < 0.001), with half of the energy expenditure/week for fast walking during the winter vacation (P < 0.02), whereas both IWT groups walked ~ 2 days/week during a school period (P > 0.8). After training, the peak aerobic capacity and knee flexion force increased in IWTwinter (P < 0.01) but not in CNTwinter (P > 0.3). Conversely, these parameters decreased in the summer groups. Thus, the adherence to and effects of IWT on sedentary female college students in Japan decreased in summer at least partially due to a high T a .
KeywordsInterval walking training Sedentary female college students Adherence Seasonal influence
A.T., S.M., and H.N. conception and design of research; A.T, S.M., and K.N. performed experiments; A.T., S.M., and H.N. analyzed data; A.T., S.M., and H.N. interpreted results of experiments; A.T., S.M., and H.N. prepared figures; A.T., S.M., and H.N. drafted the manuscript; A.T., S.M., and H.N. edited and revised the manuscript; A.T., S.M., K.N., and H.N. approved the final version of the manuscript.
This study was supported by grants from the Japan Society for the promotion of Science (24240089 and 15H01830).
Compliance with ethical standards
The procedure of this study was approved by the Institutional Review Board on Human Experiments, Matsumoto University.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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