Fit Over 45 - a Health Promotion Project for Inactive Female Hospital Staff Age 45+ From the University Hospital of Zürich

University of Zurich (UZH) logo

University of Zurich (UZH)






Behavioral: Exercise and Nutrition Education

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Background: Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, 64% of the Swiss population do not fulfill the public health recommendation of physical activity. A survey of female staff members over 45 years of age from the University Hospital Zurich at the end of 2003 showed that physical inactivity is also prevalent in this population. Aim: To assess whether inactive women working at a large hospital centre prefer Nordic Walking (NW) or a Jogging (J) as a health promotion strategy. (2) To test whether the method chosen by the majority improves physical performance, physical activity, body weight and composition, and bone mineral density. Methods: The investigators will send out a questionnaire to all female staff members at a large hospital centre age 45 and older, ask whether they are inactive, and whether they prefer Nordic Walking or Jogging as a health promotion strategy. Depending on the preference of the majority of the women, the investigators will then ask inactive female staff members age 45+ to participate in a 12-months randomized controlled trial comparing training plus nutrition education to nutrition education alone. The training will have a 3-month building-up phase followed up by an in part unsupervised training of 9 months. All participants will receive a lecture on healthy nutrition once a months for 12 months. The investigators will assess diet with a food frequency questionnaire at baseline and after 12 and 24 months. The primary endpoint is: physical performance, measured with the 12-minute Coopertest. The secondary endpoints are: level of physical activity, body mass index, body composition and bone mineral density at the spine and the hip. Importance: This project will address the questions which physical activities are preferred by inactive women and whether the preferred training improves physical performance, physical activity, body mass index, body composition and bone mineral density. In addition, our study will explore whether those women who changed their diet in addition to being randomized to the training group have an enhanced benefit.


108 patients




45 to 65 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

USZ-staff, at least 45 years old, insufficiently active according to the Swiss recommendation of health enhancing physical activity (neither 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days in the week nor 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity at least two times per week) and written informed consent.

Exclusion criteria

Acute osteoporotic fracture (<3 month), disability of the musculoskeletal system or cardiovascular diseases which do not allow an endurance training.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

Trial contacts and locations



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