Four Day Marches 2015 Study

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Since 2007, Prof. Maria Hopman and her team annually perform a scientific study during the International Nijmegen Four Days Marches. Initial studies focussed on the assessment of physiological demands of prolonged walking (such as thermoregulation, fluid balance and cardiac burden), as major health problems occurred during the 2006 Nijmegen Marches. The PhD thesis of Dr Thijs Eijsvogels revealed that maintaining a proper fluid balance is the largest challenge for the participants, as 25% of the population is dehydrated after the first walking day. Furthermore, core body temperature was regulated well and heart rate data classified the level of walking intensity as moderate.

The physiologists continued to study the Nijmegen Marches population and sought collaboration with Prof. André Verbeek of the Department of Health Evidence in 2011, resulting in the launch of the Nijmegen Exercise Study. This population-based study examines the impact of a physically active lifestyle on health, quality of life, and the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. Currently, more than 10,000 participants are enrolled and completed an online questionnaire about demographic characteristics, anthropometric measures, lifestyle factors, lifelong physical activity levels, cardiovascular health status, and family history of cardiovascular diseases.

During the Four Day Marches 2015 Study, the study team will further explore the relationship between habitual physical activity levels, food intake habits and micronutrient (vitamins/minerals) status. For this purpose, blood samples are collected in 1,000 participants of the Nijmegen Exercise Study. Volunteers from many departments of our hospital assist the research team in accomplishing this major challenge. More information of this study, and outcomes of previous studies can be found on the website

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