Researchers are seeking females with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who want to improve their physical activity and nutrition behaviours.

Victoria University, in partnership with the Centre for Research Excellence in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(external link)(CREPCOS), has been studying the effect of exercise in women with PCOS since 2016.

The study is improving knowledge on the health benefits of high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) compared with standard exercise recommendations or lifestyle advice. It investigates the mechanisms of insulin resistance in PCOS and the impact of different exercise intensities, which are known to improve the symptoms of this complex condition.

The study involves attending information sessions, testing sessions and supervised exercise training at Victoria University Footscray Park Campus over 16 weeks.

To date, eight participants have taken part and are showing some really promising results with improved fitness, insulin sensitivity and reproductive health.

Participants are randomly allocated into one of three lifestyle programs (HIIT, standard exercise program or lifestyle advice) and have the following tests:

  • body composition analysis and DEXA scans
  • blood sampling
  • hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp (used to determine insulin sensitivity)
  • muscle and fat sampling
  • exercise testing
  • lifestyle questionnaires focusing on nutrition, quality of life and physical activity
  • physical activity monitoring via accelerometer and FitBit FlexTM
  • 12 weeks of exercise and lifestyle intervention or lifestyle advice.

Benefits

There are several benefits to participants in this study, including:

  • access to professional exercise testing and exercise training by experienced exercise physiologists
  • potential benefits of increased physical activity such as increased energy and improved metabolic and reproductive health
  • information on healthy eating, women’s health issues and the role of exercise in a healthy lifestyle
  • up to $150 in Coles/Myer vouchers
  • a FitBit FlexTM
  • free exercise and body composition testing, which carry a commercial value of $200-$300.

Eligibility

Women who are interested in participating in this study must:

  • Be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 (you can use this online BMI calculator(external link))
  • Not be taking oral contraceptives, insulin sensitisers or lipid lowering medications
  • Not smoke
  • Not be pregnant
  • Not have diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Please note, there is a more detailed inclusion/exclusion criteria, please contact the researchers for more information.

 

(Source: Victoria University)