Introduction and hypothesis: The effect of exercise in relation to overweight and overactive bladder (OAB) in young women has not been sufficiently supported by studies. The objective of our study was to reduce symptoms of OAB through a 3-month exercise programme in young overweight women with OAB. The sample consisted of 70 women (mean age 26.7 ± 4.8 years), 36 being treated and 34 in the control group.
Methods: We used a body composition analyser with the assessment of skeletal muscle mass (SMM) (kg), body fat mass (BFM) (kg), body fat percentage (BFP) (%), visceral fat area (VFA) (cm²/level) and the waist/hip circumference index (WHR). OAB symptoms were evaluated using a voiding diary, the overactive bladder questionnaire (OAB-q) and the Patient Perception of Intensity of Urgency Scale (PPIUS). The intervention was a programme for the reduction of abdominal fat (PRAF), with elements of aerobic training, strengthening of the abdominal muscles and stretching.
Results: In the OAB symptoms assessed through the voiding diary (number of voidings per 24 h, nocturia, mean voided volume) as well as in the OAB-q and PPIUS scales after training, significant differences were reported in favour of the treatment group [number of voidings per 24 h: treatment vs. control group, baseline 9.1 ± 0.3 vs. 8.6 ± 0.3, final 6.9 ± 0.2 vs. 8.1 ± 0.2, p < 0.0001; mean voided volume per 24 h (ml): treatment vs. control group, baseline 154.2 ± 9.1 vs. 162.2 ± 9.3, final 201.3 ± 9.3 vs. 164.1 ± 9.6, p < 0.0001] with a large effect size (ES). In the body composition analysis after training, significant differences were also reported in favour of the treatment group in the reduction of body mass index (BMI), BFP and VFA (p < 0.0001), with a large ES.
Conclusions: Body composition analysis confirmed a reduction of BMI, body weight, body fat percentage, visceral abdominal fat, the WHR index and waist circumference in favour of the treatment group after the 12-week PRAF exercise programme. A reduction in OAB symptoms was also objectively confirmed following the PRAF exercise programme.