BS in Kinesiology
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in ‘Western Civilization.’ Lifestyle modification (ie regular exercise and healthy diet) greatly reduces the risk for CVD. It is unclear whether faculty at Cal Poly, who are exposed to positive benefits of lifestyle modification are at risk for CVD. The purpose of this study was to assess Cal Poly’s faculties’ cardiovascular health status, as specified by the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) seven cardiovascular disease risk factors. Both the researchers and participants benefit from this study because awareness of CVD risk factors may help prevent progression of risk factors and may improve quality of life. Twelve faculty (7 Men, 5 Women) at Cal Poly participated in this study. Height, body weight, and body fat assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis were measured. Participants completed a health history questionnaire, and then a fasting blood sample was taken to assess a lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL) and glucose concentrations. Each subject completed a sub-maximal treadmill (Treadwalk Test), using three successive speeds and grades to achieve steady state heart rate to estimate VO2 peak. Using the mean of all seven risk factors (body mass index, blood pressure, glucose concentrations, lipid profile, estimated oxidative capacity), the Cal Poly faculty were classified at low risk for CVD. However, individual data showed that two subjects were at high risk for CVD evidenced by high glucose concentrations, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia. These data suggest that Cal Poly faculty, who are exposed and aware of the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet, are at low risk for cardiovascular disease. Future studies should focus on identifying members of the Cal Poly community at high risk for cardiovascular disease, and providing a behavioral intervention to lower the risk for CVD in those individuals.