Movement Sciences' Vella and Scruggs Receive Grant to Study Exercise and Disease Risk

Wednesday, July 30 2014

Chantal Vella, associate professor in the College of Education and director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, along with Philip Scruggs, Department of Movement Sciences chair, received a $82,500 grant from the Mountain West Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Network, a National Institute of Health funded research consortium.

Vella is serving as primary investigator and Scruggs as collaborator. The study will explore the effects of different deliveries of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk factor reduction and enjoyment in young overweight and obese adults.

Emerging research suggests that inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. One of the most significant inflammatory markers, c-reactive protein (CRP), has been shown to be an independent predictor of the risk of future cardiovascular events in both younger and older adults. Despite the strong association, effective therapies to reduce inflammation and CRP levels have not been well-established. Thus, understanding therapies effective at reducing CRP are of growing importance, particularly in at-risk young adults for the prevention of cardiovascular disease later in life.

The objective of the study is to understand whether regular aerobic exercise reduces levels of CRP, the optimal delivery of exercise for reducing CRP, and whether the delivery of exercise affects enjoyment of and adherence to exercise in young overweight and obese adults.

The research may provide important information for determining which delivery of exercise may be used as an effective strategy for promoting exercise adherence and risk factor reduction in young adults. Early intervention with at-risk young adults may have a tremendous impact on quality of life, improved health outcomes and overall public health.