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Could Exercising at Home be Just as Effective as a Trip to the Gym?

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With hundreds of people spending vast sums on gym membership in their New Year fitness drive, could we be getting the same effect by working out in our living room?

That’s the question a University of Worcester researcher is looking to answer in a study on the body’s response to high intensity workouts

Sports Scientist Alice Burgin wants volunteers to help her investigate whether the body’s reaction to gym-based high-intensity interval exercise can be replicated with no equipment at home.

She is encouraging women in the region to get involved, saying the results could be the catalyst for a new approach to how and where we exercise.

Miss Burgin said: “If the same effects can be seen from the convenience of your own home or anywhere outside of the gym, then we think this could prove a very useful and practical form of exercise for those who struggle to find the time to be as active as they’d like.”

In the second year of her PhD studies, Miss Burgin’s work focuses on approaches to physical activity and how people can regulate their energy and manage their weight effectively.

Her study compares the impact of two non-gym-based bouts of high-intensity interval exercise, namely stand-to-sit squat exercises and star jumps, with gym-based high-intensity interval cycling.

Miss Burgin will look at the effects on the body during and immediately after exercise, measuring acute heart rate responses, metabolism in the blood and other markers of exercise intensity.

She wants to see if the non-gym exercise is hard enough, for instance, it is able to get the heart rate up to a similar level, as on the gym-based exercise.

Miss Burgin said: “High-intensity interval exercise is recently becoming a more popular mode of training based on its time-efficiency compared with traditional, continuous and moderate-intensity exercise.

“However, the time-efficiency becomes questionable if a time-consuming visit to the gym is required in order to undertake this training.

“I am looking to investigate some non-gym based bouts of high-intensity interval exercise that may make this type of training more accessible and time-efficient.”

For this study she needs women aged 18 to 50 who are non-smokers and currently exercising less than 150 minutes per week, but are otherwise healthy.

After initial tests, volunteers will come into the University on several occasions to do short but high intensity periods of gym and non-gym-based exercise, with their responses measured.

Each participant will be briefed at the end of the study, outlining their results.

Anyone interested should email a.burgin@worc.ac.uk.