Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

Research News

Prescribing Exercise for Health

Associate Professor Brett Gordon researches how to prescribe safe, effective exercise for people with underlying health conditions, like diabetes and pre-diabetes, obesity and cardiac conditions. He wants to develop ways people can manage their conditions through exercise, safely, effectively and at low or no cost to themselves and the community.

Physical activity and exercise guidelines are fairly broad – 150-300 mins of moderate exercise per week, and 2 bouts of resistance training per week. Brett wants to narrow down these recommendations for people living with chronic conditions. He has three major studies underway.

Exercise frequency and cardio

The first study is the impact of exercise frequency on cardiac rehabilitation. Brett and his team worked with Bendigo Health to modify their approach to cardiac rehab. They found it was more effective if they increased the frequency and reduced the duration. Now they are following up to see if the long term benefits are still there, but all the evidence that we have suggests that they are.

Increase frequency and reduce duration: two exercise sessions per week for six weeks were just as effective as one exercise session a week for twelve weeks

Exercise and blood glucose levels

Brett’s second long-term study is on the impact of exercise intensity and frequency on blood glucose levels in people who are overweight and not exercising and at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Here, the team found that intensity of exercise doesn’t matter. Even moderate exercise, like walking or stair-climbing, lowers the amount of blood glucose.

Three times a day: ten minutes of exercise after each of the three main meals has more impact than one bout of thirty minutes exercise after dinner.

Resistance training

Brett’s third study focuses on the impact of resistance training. Historically, resistance training has meant travelling to a dedicated fitness centre but he is now starting to look at ways to implement resistance training just using people’s own body weight or with things they might have sitting around at home.

Resistance training reduces fatigue: build short bouts of resistance training in with walking exercise with people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to double up on the health advantage.

Want to learn more?

You can read the published article here.

Holsworth Research initiative aims

Brett is using the Holsworth Research Initiative funding to further his mission, in support of the Holsworth Research Initiative aims to:

  • optimise function and performance for all individuals, and
  • address the global challenges of inactivity and chronic disease

We look forward to bringing you more updates on Brett’s research. Stay tuned to this space!