Nonexercise energy expenditure and physical activity in the midwest exercise trial 2

Erik A. Willis, Stephen D. Herrmann, Jeffery J. Honas, Jaehoon Lee, Joseph E. Donnelly, Richard A. Washburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aimed to examine compensatory changes in nonexercise energy expenditure (NEEx) and nonexercise physical activity (NEPA) in response to an aerobic exercise training program.

Methods: Ninety-two overweight/obese (body mass index, 25-39.9 kgIm-2) sedentary young adults (18-30 yr) completed a 10-month randomized clinical efficacy trial of aerobic exercise 5 dIwk-1 at either 400 kcal per session (n = 37), 600 kcal per session (n = 37), or control (n = 18). Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were measured at months 0 and 10. NEPA was measured by an accelerometer at months 0, 3.5, 7, and 10. NEEx was calculated by the following formula: [(total daily energy expenditure × 0.9) - RMR] - net EEEx (EEEx-RMR). Mixed modeling was used to examine differences between groups (group effect), within groups (time effect), and group-time interaction for NEEx and NEPA.

Results: Within the exercise groups, there were no significant effects (all P > 0.05) of group, time, or group-time interaction for NEPA. In addition, there were no significant within- or between-group differences for change in NEEx. However, activity counts per minute were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.001) in the 600-kcal-per-session group (346 ± 141 minId-1) versus controls (290 ± 106 minId-1) at month 7 and significantly higher (P ≤ 0.001) in both the 600-kcal-per-session (345 ± 163 minId-1) and 400-kcal-per-session groups (317 ± 146 minId-1) versus controls (277 ± 116 minId-1) at 10 months.

Conclusions: A 10-month aerobic exercise training program in previously sedentary, overweight and obese young adults was not associated with compensatory decreases in NEEx or NEPA. Results suggest that overweight and obese individuals do not become less physically active or spend more time in sedentary pursuits in response to exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2286-2294
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 10 2014


  • Accelerometer
  • Compensation
  • Doubly labeled water
  • Exercise
  • Obesity


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