Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Exercise Science Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Steven Gaskill

Commitee Members

Charles Palmer, Reed Humphrey


body mass index, cardiovascular disease, electrocardiogram, fasted blood glucose, high-density lipoprotein, individualized exercise prescription, low-density lipoprotein, pedometer-base program, quality of life, rating of perceived exertion, systolic bloo


University of Montana


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A majority of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are modifiable through drug therapy, diet, and exercise. Purpose: To determine if the student-run stress testing and exercise prescription program 1) resulted in subsequent lifestyle changes and in reduced CVD risk, 2) if the addition of pedometer-base exercise prescription in conjunction with weekly phone calls added to the student prescription would differentially reduce CVD risk, and 3) to determine if either of these interventions in middle-aged adults improves quality of life (QOL). Methods: Forty-two participants (21 males, 21 females) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Both groups received individualized exercise prescription interventions designed from a student-led 12-lead ECG exercise stress test, strength testing, body composition testing, and flexibility testing. One-half of the participants additionally received a pedometer-base program (PBP) that tracked daily step totals and included a weekly phone call. Results: In the 19 participants who completed the 6 month study, overall HDL cholesterol increased (54.6 to 62.8 mg/dL), LDL cholesterol decreased (121.5 to 104.2 mg/dL), and resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased (126.7-120.2 mmHg) at an alpha level of < 0.05. Heart rate, body mass index, fasted blood glucose, and rating of perceived exertion did not significantly change from baseline values (p < 0.05). Subjects reported improvements in physical limitations, emotional well-being, and overall QOL was improved (p < 0.05). There were some differences between the two exercise interventions, but the small sample size who completed the testing limited the power of the analysis. Conclusion: Blood lipids, resting SBP, and QOL were significantly improved. The improvements in cardiac risk profiles, QOL, and participant evaluation forms suggest that positive lifestyle changes were made as a result of the intervention.



© Copyright 2011 Bret James Ralston