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Table 2 Intervention characteristics of included studies

From: Effect of exercise and/or reduced calorie dietary interventions on breast cancer-related endogenous sex hormones in healthy postmenopausal women

Study Intervention Start intervention Duration of program Frequency and duration of sessions Intensity Adherence Control group
SHAPE-2 [18], 2015 Ex + D
4–6 week run-in period. Standardized diet to maintain stable weight and to achieve a comparable diet composition among all participants 4–6 run period + 16 week intervention 4 h/week, two 1-h group sessions of combined strength and endurance, two 1-h sessions of Nordic walking
Two individual consultations of 30 min with dietician. Five 1-h group sessions spread over the study period
20–25 min of endurance training (60–90% of HRR), 25 min strength training, 5–10 min WU/CD, caloric restriction was 1750 kcal/week. Moderate to vigorous Nordic walking (60–65% of HRR)
Diet group was prescribed a caloric restriction of 3500 kcal/week (or 500 kcal/day)
Group sessions were supervised. Participants kept an exercise log that the physiotherapist regularly checked
Telephone calls every other week
The control group was asked to maintain a stable weight by continuing the standardized diet and their habitual physical activity patterns. After study completion the control group was offered a weight loss intervention
NEW trial [17],
Ex + D
  A 10% reduction in body weight at 6 months with maintenance thereafter to 12 months 5 days/225 min per week for 12 months.
Weekly group meetings with a dietician for the first 6 months, thereafter dieticians contacted participants twice a month, including one face to face contact and one additional phone call or e-mail.
Women in the diet + exercise group received both interventions
Exercise started with a 15 min session at 60–70% of MHR and progressed to 70–85% of MHR for 45 min by the 7th week where it was maintained for the rest of the study.
The dietary intervention comprised a modification of the dietary component of the dietary prevention program and Look Ahead lifestyle intervention programs, with the following goals: total daily energy intake of 1200–2000 kcal/day based on baseline weight, less than 30% daily intake from fat, and a 10% reduction in bodyweight,
Women in the diet + exercise group received both interventions
Participants attended at least three supervised sessions per week. In home sessions they recorded mode and duration of the exercise. Women were asked to record all food eaten daily for at least 6 months. Journaling, weekly weighing, and sessions attendance were tracked to promote adherence The control group was asked not to change their diet or exercise habits. After study completion the control group was offered a weight loss intervention
ALPHA trial [24], 2010 Ex Started with three sessions per week of 15 to 20 min During the first 3 months the frequency, duration and intensity increased and maintained for 9 more months 5 days per week of at least 45 min of aerobic exercise During the first 3 months frequency, duration and intensity were increased from three sessions a week of 15 to 20 min in duration at an intensity of 50 to 60% of HRR to five sessions per week of at least 45 min at 70–80% of HRR Three sessions per week were facility based. Adherence was monitored through weekly participant- and trainer- administered exercise logs Controls were asked to maintain their inactive lifestyle. All participants were instructed not to change their usual diet
SHAPE-1 [3], 2009 Ex   12 months Twice per week a 1-h exercise intervention, once per week home-based exercise 10 min WU, 25 min moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise at 60–85% of MHR, 25 min strength training, 5 min CD. Home-based exercise session contained 30 min of brisk walking or cycling with an intensity of moderate to vigorous intensity (60–80% of MHR) Sport instructors register the attendance of the subjects. Study coordinator performed visits per exercise group to control adherence of the protocol Controls were requested to retain their habitual exercise pattern
Orsatti et al. [25], 2008 Ex Before training, subjects in the exercise group attended a 4-week adaptation period to become familiarized with the protocol 16 weeks 3 weekly session on nonconsecutive days, under supervision. Initially lighter loads were used and subjects performed 1 set of 15 repetitions at 40–50% of 1-RM, progression was gradual till 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions at 60–80% of 1-RM were performed. Protocol consisted of dynamic exercises for both lower and upper limbs for a total of 50–60 min. Loads were periodically adjusted at the end of each month Attendance was recorded by the trainers Controls were advised to keep their habitual diets and asked not to change their exercise habits
PATH trial [22, 23], 2004 Ex   12 months At least 45 min of moderate-intensity exercise, 5 days/week for 12 months The training program started at 40% of observed MHR for 16 min/session and gradually increased to 60–75% of MHR for 45 min/session by week 8 Participants were required to attend the three offered supervised sessions/week during months 1–3 and to exercise on 2 days/week at home. For months 4–12, they were required to attend at least one of the three offered sessions/week at a study facility and to exercise 4 days per week at home or at the facility Control participants attended 1 weekly 45-min stretching session for 12 months and were asked not to change other exercise habits. Both groups were asked to maintain their usual diet
  1. 1-RM one-repetition maximum, ALPHA Alberta Physical Activity and Breast Cancer, CD cooling down, D reduced calorie diet, Ex exercise, HRR heart rate reserve, MHR maximal heart rate, NEW Nutrition and Exercise for Woman, PATH Physical Activity for Total Health, SHAPE Sex Hormone and Physical Exercise, WU warming-up