exercise workplace wellness

Study Addresses Exercise, Weight-Loss Connections

A well-run workplace wellness program often helps members focus on exercise as well as weight management.

As we reported here, diet and exercise head the list of lifestyle interventions to help manage diabetes. We further reported on a study that examines: “While workplace physical exercise can help manage musculoskeletal disorders, less is known about psychosocial effects of such interventions. This aim of this study was to investigate the effect of workplace physical exercise on psychosocial factors among workers with chronic musculoskeletal pain.”

The study is titled “Psychosocial effects of workplace physical exercise among workers with chronic pain: Randomized controlled trial,” and is published in the journal Medicine.

Now the New York Times reports that “some types of exercise may be better than others at blunting appetite and potentially aiding in weight management, according to an interesting new study of workouts and hunger. It finds that pushing yourself during exercise affects appetite, sometimes in surprising ways.”

The piece is based on a study published by the Society for Endocrinology and titled “Acute effect of exercise intensity and duration on acylated ghrelin and hunger in men.” It notes that “Acute exercise transiently suppresses the orexigenic gut hormone acylated ghrelin, but the extent to which exercise intensity and duration determine this response is not fully understood.”

As the NYT notes: “The problem with exercise as a weight-loss strategy seems to be in large part that it can make you hungry, and many of us wind up consuming more calories after a workout than we torched during it, a biological response that has led some experts and frustrated exercisers to conclude that exercise by itself — without strict calorie reduction — is useless for shedding pounds.”

“But much of the past research into exercise and appetite has concentrated on walking or other types of relatively short or light activities. Some scientists have begun to wonder whether exercise that was physically taxing, either because it was prolonged or intense, might affect appetite differently than more easeful exercise.”

The study’s conclusion: “Exercise intensity, and to a lesser extent duration, are determinants of the acylated ghrelin response to acute exercise.”

Or, as the NYT states: “Over all, these findings reveal that our appetites certainly are strange, influenced by many factors besides exercise and acylated ghrelin levels. But the results also intimate that if we hope to have workouts reduce our appetite, we may wish to increase the intensity or, even more, the duration of each session.”