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Physical Activity Tends To Increase After Weight Loss Surgery

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People who undergo bariatric surgery tend to be more physically active and able to walk further in the first 12 months following the operation, according to a new study conducted by University of Leicester researchers.

For this study, researchers examined how the procedure impacted physical activity after the operation. Patients in the study whose stomachs were reduced during the procedure were able to move about more often and easier just one year following the surgery. They also walked further despite lower levels of exertion in the weeks following the procedure.

"We found evidence demonstrating that objective and self-reported physical activity improved by 12 months after bariatric surgery,” said Professor Melanie Davies, lead director of the study. “Walking, musculoskeletal and self-reported physical function all improved by 12 months."

Weight loss surgery

Researchers believe that bariatric surgery can be a positive treatment for overweight patients who are also suffereing from high blood sugar, cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. The procedure is often recommended when patients have these critical health issues and need to lose weight quickly.

Previous studies have shown that bariatric surgery has resulted in tremendous weight loss at a rapid pace, which makes exercise much more possible than pre-surgery.

"Vigorous activity and an increase in step count at three to six months indicated a shift towards a greater amount of lower intensity physical activity within the first six months after surgery,” said Davies.

Despite these promising initial findings, researchers claim that more studies are needed to fully comprehend the effects of exercise on post-surgical patients.

"Although physical activity performed after bariatric surgery was associated with better weight loss outcomes, there is limited information on patients' physical activity behaviour in this context,” said fellow researcher Dr. Louisa Herring. “More studies assessing physical activity, physical function and weight loss would help understand the role of physical activity in optimising post-operative weight and functional outcomes."

Source: University of Leicester