This study reports on the effects of a 10-week university fitness programme on health-related fitness variables. Twenty-one male exercisers, aged 37.0(10.3) years (mean(s.d.); range 21-58), and 22 male controls, aged 38.6(7.9) years (mean(s.d.); range 17-54), volunteered to take part. Two sample t-tests and 95% confidence intervals were used to determine if the exercise group demonstrated a greater average improvement than the control group and the average improvement in both groups separately. The exercise group showed a greater average improvement over the controls from Test 1 (before fitness programme) to Test 2 (after) in the following: steady-state heart rate (beats min-1) 95% confidence intervals (-7.8, -16.2); predicted VO2max (ml kg-1 min-1): 95% confidence intervals (3.2, 6.6); sit-ups (repetitions): 95% confidence intervals (3.1, 7.0); flexibility (cm): 95% confidence intervals (3.3, 6.9). There was no significant difference between the exercise group and control group in body weight, percentage body fat, blood pressure, total plasma cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides. The exercise programme improved aerobic fitness, local muscular endurance and flexibility. However, the increase in aerobic fitness did not coincide with beneficial changes in the coronary risk profile.
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