"How much is enough?"
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 21, 2014) - For 30 years, Robert Buresh worked as a broadcast technician for an…
Georgia (Feb 24, 2014) —
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 21, 2014) - For 30 years, Robert Buresh worked as a broadcast technician for an ABC affiliate in Nebraska. Today, the associate professor of exercise science studies the correlation between exercise and diabetes.
“When my kids both started school, I took my first college course at age 30,” Buresh said. “In the early ’90s, it was becoming apparent broadcast news was changing, and I was worried about security in that job. At that time, the only real interest I had was exercise.”
It took him seven years to complete his bachelor’s degree in exercise science at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, where he also earned his master’s degree. For his graduate degree research, Buresh used his own experience as a runner to answer a question he had: What role does body weight play in altering or affecting endurance performance?
“The answer is body weight explains about 40 percent of weight-bearing endurance performance,” he said. “Forty percent of variability in running time is based solely on body weight, so if you lose 10 pounds, you’ll see a noticeable change in what you can achieve in a 10K race.”
Needing his Ph.D. research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center to be funded, Buresh began studying the effects of exercise on diabetes – specifically, what the effect of four days of moderate exercise a week would have on the markers of prediabetes. His dissertation was funded by a $40,000 Nebraska Health Grant.
“What we found was four days a week, 30 minutes on a treadmill, didn’t change any of the clinical markers in this population,” he said. “Their aerobic fitness improved, and their waist circumference was reduced, so their fitness levels got better, but we didn’t see any difference in glucose tolerance tests, fasting insulin levels or fasting glucose tests.”
A member of the Kennesaw State faculty since 2008, Buresh recently applied for an $80,000 grant from the American Diabetes Association. His most recent research suggests that a given dose of exercise split into two sessions may be more effective than one longer session for regulating blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes. Buresh will be presenting the results of this pilot program in May at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.
“The point is how much exercise does it really take, and that question isn’t entirely answered yet,” he said.