What women want? Exercise preferences of menopausal women
Background: Many menopausal women are keen to find alternatives to HRT; exercise might be useful in this regard but more trial evidence is required. Before we conduct such trials however, it is important to understand the exercise preference of these women so that appropriate exercise interventions can be developed for inclusion in such trials. Aim: To investigate the exercise preferences of menopausal women and to examine the association between exercise levels, BMI, and hot flushes/night sweats in this population. Method: Participants were women aged 46-55 years from eight diverse general practices in Birmingham. A postal questionnaire containing items about demographics, lifestyle behaviours, weight, height, menopausal status, frequency of hot flushes/night sweats and preferences for exercise was sent to all eligible women. Results: 1693/2776 (61.0%) of women replied. The majority (75.9%) of respondents stated that exercise was an acceptable intervention. The most commonly chosen option for delivery of exercise interventions was by one-to-one consultations with a fitness advisor, followed by DVD sent by post. Telephone based interventions and e-Health interventions (i.e. Internet and mobile phone text messages) were the interventions least chosen. There was also an overwhelming choice for walking as a mode of exercise. A series of two factor analyses of covariance indicated exercise participation and BMI were not significantly related to frequency of hot flushes/night sweats in symptomatic menopausal women. Conclusion: Menopausal women have strong preferences to receive exercise interventions that involve one-to-one contact with a fitness advisor or by exercise DVD. The use of more recent technology to deliver exercise interventions was highly unpopular. These findings should be considered in future studies when planning exercise interventions with this population. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.