Obesity Surgery

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 1739–1749 | Cite as

Impact of Aerobic Exercise Training on Heart Rate Variability and Functional Capacity in Obese Women After Gastric Bypass Surgery

  • Viviane Castello
  • Rodrigo Polaquini Simões
  • Daniela Bassi
  • Aparecida Maria Catai
  • Ross Arena
  • Audrey Borghi-Silva
Clinical Research



Obesity is a major public health concern on a global scale. Bariatric surgery is among the treatment options, resulting in significant and sustainable weight loss as well as amelioration of comorbidities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-week aerobic exercise program positively impacts heart rate variability (HRV) and functional capacity after gastric bypass surgery (GBS) in a female cohort.


Of the 52 patients initially recruited, 21 were randomized to a training group (TG) or control group and successfully completed the study. Patients were tested on two occasions: 1 week before GBS and 4 months after GBS. Anthropometric variables, body composition, record of heart rate and R-R intervals, and 6-min walk test (6MWT) were assessed at both time points. The TG underwent an aerobic exercise training program on a treadmill (1-h session, totaling 36 sessions over 12 weeks).


The main findings from this study were: (1) only the TG demonstrated a significant increase (p < 0.05) in all indexes of heart rate variability (HRV) after 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training and (2) only the TG demonstrated a significant increase (p < 0.05) in 6MWT distance and decrease in diastolic blood pressure after aerobic exercise training.


We conclude that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training improves cardiac autonomic modulation and functional capacity 4 months after GBS.


Bariatric surgery Autonomic nervous system Morbid obesity Severe obesity Body mass index Body composition Physical fitness Weight loss 



The authors would like to thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP-07/53202-9) and the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for providing both financial and material support. In addition, the authors also thank the medical gastroenterologists: Noé Carvalho Azambuja Jr and João do Nascimento Ortega. More importantly, however, the authors thank the patients for their effort and enthusiastic cooperation throughout the study.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to the article or the research described.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viviane Castello
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Polaquini Simões
    • 1
  • Daniela Bassi
    • 1
  • Aparecida Maria Catai
    • 1
  • Ross Arena
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Audrey Borghi-Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy Laboratory, Nucleus of Research in Physical ExerciseFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineVirginia Commonwealth University RichmondRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyVirginia Commonwealth University RichmondRichmondUSA
  4. 4.Department of Physical TherapyVirginia Commonwealth University RichmondRichmondUSA

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