Regular physical activity is efficacious for improving metabolic health in overweight and obese individuals, yet, many adults lead sedentary lives. Most exercise interventions have targeted leisure time, but physical activity also takes place in other domains of everyday life. Active commuting represents a promising alternative to increase physical activity, but it has yet to be established whether active commuting conveys health benefits on par with leisure time physical activity (LTPA). A 6-month randomized controlled trial was designed to investigate the effects of increased physical activity in transport (bicycling) or leisure time domains (moderate or vigorous intensity endurance exercise). We included 188 overweight and class 1 obese sedentary women and men (20-45years) of which 130 were randomized to either sedentary controls (n=18), active commuting (n=35) or moderate (n=39) or vigorous (n=38) intensity LTPA. At baseline and after 3 and 6months, participants underwent a rigorous 3-day biomedical test regimen followed by free-living measurements. In a sub-sample, physical activity level and energy expenditure were monitored by means of personal assistive technology and the doubly labeled water technique. Additionally, the delivery, reception and routinization of the exercise regimens were investigated by ethnological fieldwork. One year after termination of the intervention, participants will be invited for a follow-up visit to investigate sustained health effects and continuous physical activity adherence. By combining biomedical, technological and humanistic approaches, we aim to understand the health benefits of physical activity in different domains of everyday life, as well as how to improve adherence to physical activity.
- Metabolic health