Sample Research Paper on Exercise and Obesity

Exercise and Obesity                     

Obesity and overweight are among the leading health concerns today. General concern for obesity and overweight stem from the risk the two carry in relation to fatal cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure as well as other chronic diseases. Additionally, the increasing number of obese adults in the U.S. gives credence for the concern (Villareal et al., 2011). For this reason, medical experts have suggested interventions including physical exercise and dietary interventions as remediation to obesity and overweight. In a bid to understand the effect of exercise on obesity, AyseSarsan, Fu sun Ardic¸, MerihOzgen, OyaTopuzand YurdaerSermez conducted a study on the effect of aerobic and resistance exercises among obese women termed “The effects of aerobic and resistance exercises in obese women.”Previous studies on exercise have largely focused on its effect on blood pressure and general mood, with the conclusion that exercise not only elevates general mood, but also has positive effect on psychological behavior (Sarsan et al., 2016). In conducting the study, therefore, the authors set out to investigate the effects of aerobic and resistance exercises among obese women following inconclusive/insufficient evidence on the effect of exercise-induced weight loss on reductions in abdominal fat (Sarsan et al., 2016). With studies reporting minimal evidence of reduced waist circumference due to resistance exercises, the authors therefore set out to investigate the effect of  a combination of resistance and aerobic exercises on obese women hoping to find a correlation between the two (resistance and aerobic exercises) and reduction in weight.

In conducting the study, AyseSarsan, Fu sun Ardic¸, MerihOzgen, OyaTopuz and YurdaerSermez’s initial objective was to carry out a comparison on the effects of aerobic and resistance exercise on weight, muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure and mood among obese women. Additionally, these women should not have been on any energy-restricted diet (Sarsan et al., 2016). Studies into the effect of resistance exercises informed the objectives of the study. According to Sarsan et al. (2016), researchers of several studies had reported increased muscular strength from resistance exercises, even as other researchers also reported increased muscular strength from a combination of resistance and aerobic exercises. The objectives of the study are in line with other studies including Koolhaas et al. (2017) in their study of the effects of physical activity on overweight and obesity, who concluded increased physical activity among women with increased BMI greatly reduced the risk of coronary heart disease.

AyseSarsan, Fu sun Ardic¸, MerihOzgen, OyaTopuzand YurdaerSermez do not provide a literature review for the research. They, however, provide an introduction that draws from a wide range of research studies on the same subject. The authors utilize papers and research studies on subjects related to exercise and their effect on weight loss, muscle strength and general mood. They (research studies) therefore prepare the ground for the author’s research results, knowing that they draw from similar background, but with a bias on the effects of aerobic and resistance exercises in obese women not undertaking energy-restricted diet (Sarsan et al., 2016). Indeed, the authors point out that to the best of their knowledge, no research has investigated their subject matter.  

AyseSarsan, Fu sun Ardic¸, MerihOzgen, OyaTopuz and YurdaerSermez is current not only in the year of publication, but also in the subject matter that it covers. Obesity and overweight are among the most common of health problems in the recent times. Part of the reason for the relevance of the research today is the recent change in lifestyles, where most people lead sedentary lifestyles, putting them at risk of putting on more weight and eventually being obese. Koolhaas et al.’s research is among the most recent (published in 2017) and highlights the risks that come with overweight and obesity. The authors (Koolhaas et al., 2017) argue that overweight and obesity are not only on the increase in the US, but are also associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, in the New England Medical Journal, Villareal et al. (2011) posited that 20 percent of the American adult population was obese. Chances are that the number has recently increased, making AyseSarsan, Fu sun Ardic¸, MerihOzgen, OyaTopuzand YurdaerSermez’s research not only current, but also tackling a serious health concern in recent times.

Sarsan et al.’s study was outright experimental given that they had a control group as well as two other groups for resistance exercise and aerobic exercises. Moreover, the authors chose all the participants after careful consideration, and observed them over a 12-week training period essentially making it experimental (Sarsan et al., 2016). Moreover, the researchers used randomized selection of participants to the different groups (control, resistance training and aerobic exercise), which is the hallmark of all experimental research designs.

The researchers’ subjects were obese female patients in an endocrinology and metabolic department of a hospital and undergoing rehabilitative intervention (Sarsan et al., 2016). From the obese women, the researchers chose 82 between the ages of 20 and 60, with BMI of 30kg/m2 and above. Ultimately, the researchers ended up with a sample size of 60 from the initial 80 due to exclusion and dropping out of some participants, midway into the study. Thus, the sample used was 20 in the control group, 20 in resistance training and 20 in aerobic exercise. By randomly selecting the 60 obese women to participate in the study, the researchers were especially right and unbiased, given that the purpose of the study was to find out the effect of the exercises on obese women.

Further, in selecting resistance and aerobic exercises, the researchers were especially right in their choice of exercise. Resistance and aerobic exercise are practical and many people participate in them (Koolhaas, 2017;Villareal et al., 2011). Both resistance and aerobic training have been in use in correcting medical and psychological issues, with medical practitioners prescribing them. Further, the age range (20-60 years) used by the researchers is especially interesting as the results can provide questions for further research such as investigations into the best training for particular age groups.

The results of the research showed reduced depression, increased muscle strength, as well as improvement in the general mood. In their opinion, the researchers believe that the results of the study could apply to not only obese women, but others as well in facilitating weight loss and improving psychological behavior such as the improvement of the general mood (Sarsan et al., 2016). The results of the study and the conclusion on its application are not only applicable to obese women. It is also possible to apply the same results to overweight and normal-weighted people in improvement of general physical fitness and mood.

The study exclusively uses aerobic and resistance exercises in its experimentation. While this is appropriate given the research objectives, using other forms of exercises would have improved the study. Many other forms of exercise, aside from aerobic and resistance exercises could have perhaps better results. Balance, flexibility training, yoga and Tai Chi are all other forms of exercise with research proven results of positive effect in the management of diseases such as diabetes (Armstrong, Colberg & Sigal, 2015). Further, the research uses the exercises (aerobic and resistance) separately, yet research evidence shows that a combination of the two could present better results. According to Armstrong, Colberg and Sigal (2015), “The combination of aerobic and resistance exercise improves glycemic control and reduces several cardiovascular risk factors more than either type of exercise alone” (p. 16). Moreover, the study should have made some follow-up on the participants to investigate the effects of the study on the participants such as change in eating behavior as well as the participants’ uptake of exercise as part of their lifestyle.

While the writing of the research is straightforward and understandable throughout the presentation of the study results, it is important to note that there is room for further research on the subject. Apart from the possibility of conducting long-term follow-up research on the effectiveness of exercise without dietary limitations, the study is essentially biased towards women eliminating any generalization to men. This leaves room for further research on men for a comparison of the research results on women.  As aforementioned, further research can also focus on a combination of exercise and the effect on both men and women. Additionally, further research could look into the possibility of the effects of the exercise on people of different races, given the effectiveness of some intervention measure on some races.

The authors’ work has largely been on the effect of resistance training and aerobic exercises on obese women, with conclusions drawing on improved muscle strength and general mood. Especially absent in the authors’ results and conclusion is the effect of the exercises on the weight of the participants. Studies on exercise in relation to obesity and overweight have largely focused on exercise’s ability to reduce the BMI. Moreover, given the difference in metabolic nature of the male and female bodies, the bias on women alone does not exude any confidence in generalizing the results of the study of males with similar health problems.  Such gaps and bias therefore leave room for further research especially in relation to the effect of exercise on men and more specifically on the BMI.


Armstorng, M., J., Colberg, S., R., & Sigal, R., J. (2015). Moving Beyond Cardio: The Value of Resistance Training, Balance Training, and Other Forms of Exercise in the Management of Diabetes. Diabetes Spectrum, 28(1), 14-23. Retrieved from

Koolhaas, C., M. at al. (2017).Impact of physical activity on the association of overweight and obesity with cardiovascular disease: The Rotterdam Study. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 24(9), 933–940.  

Sarsan, A. et al. (2016).The effects of aerobic and resistance exercises in
obese women. Clinical Rehabilitation, 20, 773-782.

Villareal, D., T. et al. (2011). Weight Loss, Exercise, or Both and Physical
Function in Obese Older Adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 364, 1218-29.