Impact of short-term water exercise programs on weight, body composition, metabolic profile and quality of life of obese women


  • Fernanda Rodrigues Oliveira Penaforte Federal University of “Triângulo Mineiro”, Brazil
  • Renata Calhau University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Gustavo R. Mota Federal University of “Triângulo Mineiro”, Brazil
  • Paula G. Chiarello University of São Paulo, Brazil



Water gym, Obesity, Quality of life, Weight loss


Physical exercises performed in water, such as water aerobics, have a minimal impact on the joints and are frequently indicated to help obese individuals to lose weight.  The objective of this study was to compare the effects of two water programs (continuous vs intermittent) on the body composition, resting energy expenditure (REE), metabolic profile, and quality of life of obese women without nutritional intervention. Twenty-seven sedentary female volunteers (mean age and BMI of 42.8±7.4 years and 36.1±6.3kg.m-2, respectively) were selected and allocated randomly into two groups: continuous water exercise (CON) and intermittent water exercise (INT). Both programs lasted two months with 3 weekly sessions of 60 minutes each. The following evaluations were performed before and after the intervention: anthropometry (weight and body circumferences), body composition (fat mass and fat-free mass), metabolic profile (glycemia and lipid profile), REE (indirect calorimetry), and quality of life (SF-36 Questionnaire).Comparisons between groups and times (initial and final) were performed using the nonparametric Wilcoxon test. The groups did not differ in any of the variables analyzed at the initial time (Ti) and at the final time (Tf). Comparison of Ti vs f revealed significant reductions of weight (-0.6 kg), BMI(-0.3 kg.m-2), fat mass (-0.6 kg), arm circumference (-1.8cm) and hip circumference (-4.0cm) for CON group and significant reductions of only fat mass (-0.6kg)and arm circumference (-2.0cm) for INT group. Regarding quality of life, improvement in social and vitality aspects was observed in CON group and improvement in vitality and health status in INT group. Short-term water exercise programs not associated with nutritional monitoring have a modest impact on the weight, body composition and metabolic profile of obese women, with better results for programs with continuous characteristics. However, the improvement of quality of life aspects should not be overlooked.


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How to Cite

Penaforte, F. R. O., Calhau, R., Mota, G. R., & Chiarello, P. G. (2016). Impact of short-term water exercise programs on weight, body composition, metabolic profile and quality of life of obese women. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 10(4), 915–926.



Sport Medicine, Nutrition & Health