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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6169890, 22 pages
Review Article

The Impact of Long-Term Physical Activity Interventions for Overweight/Obese Postmenopausal Women on Adiposity Indicators, Physical Capacity, and Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review

1School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, 136 Jean-Jacques Lussier Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
2Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 40 Ruskin Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4W7

Received 27 November 2015; Revised 25 March 2016; Accepted 14 April 2016

Academic Editor: Kavita D. Chandwani

Copyright © 2016 Amanda Baker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Physical activity interventions have recently become a popular strategy to help postmenopausal women prevent and manage obesity. The current systematic review evaluates the efficacy of physical activity interventions among overweight and obese postmenopausal women and sheds light on the behavioral change techniques that were employed in order to direct future research. Method. Five electronic databases were searched to identify all prospective RCT studies that examine the impact of physical activity on adiposity indicators, physical capacity, and/or mental health outcomes among healthy, sedentary overweight, and obese postmenopausal women in North America. The behavior change technique taxonomy was used to identify the various strategies applied in the programs. Results. Five RCTs met the inclusion criteria. The findings showed that adiposity indicators and physical capacity outcomes significantly improved following long-term interventions; however, mental health outcomes showed nonsignificant changes. Furthermore, 17 behavior change techniques were identified with the taxonomy across all trials. The intrapersonal-level techniques were the most common. Conclusion. Physical activity interventions had a positive effect on adiposity measures and physical capacity. Future research should focus on testing the effectiveness of physical activity interventions on mental health and incorporate strategies at the individual and environmental level to maximize the health impact on the population.