Owen Nobles, Dillon G. Gooch, Robert S. Bowen, Jeremiah G. Lukers. Truett McConnell University, Cleveland, GA.

BACKGROUND: Body composition and blood cholesterol levels may undergo physiological changes when participating in the 30-day push-up challenge. The purpose of the study was to examine changes in percent body fat (%BF) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (HDL). METHODS: A convenience sample of twenty-four students and faculty/staff (n=24) volunteered for the study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Truett McConnell University. Participants of the study performed 100 push-ups a day in a specific time period (60 minutes for males and 90 minutes for females) for 30 consecutive days. Body composition (% body fat-%BF) was measured by InBody 770 (Seoul, SK). A baseline measurement of muscular endurance was performed by completing a 1-minute push-up test. Participants were instructed on proper push-up form and were allowed the option to complete either a modified or regular push-up. Participants had blood drawn (vial of 10 ml) at pre- and post-test periods to assess cardiovascular health changes through an HDL cholesterol (mg/dL) screening (catalog number MAK045) (Sigma-Aldrich, MO, USA). Blood draw was facilitated by the nursing faculty at Truett McConnell University. RESULTS: Fifteen participants (n=15) completed post-testing session, while having nine participants (n=9) withdraw. Initial measurements revealed a mean ± SD for regular push-up endurance (34.36 ± 12.69); post-test measurement revealed a mean ± SD (53.91 ± 13.25). Initial measurements for modified push-up endurance revealed a mean ± SD (37 ± 13.09); post-test measurement revealed a mean ± SD (47 ± 26.73). The initial measurement of pre- %BF revealed a mean ± SD (22.78 ± 9.40); post- %BF revealed a mean ± SD (22.09 ± 8.69). The initial measurement of pre- HDL screening revealed a mean ± SD (27.76 mg/dL ± 19.99 mg/dL); post- HDL screening revealed a mean ± SD (40.53 mg/dL ± 12.32 mg/dL). A paired t-test was run for data analysis. There was a significant difference between pre- and post-%BF change at p=0.018. There was a significant difference in pre- and post-regular push-ups at p=0.0002. However, there was no significant change in pre- and post-modified push-ups. Pre- and post-HDL cholesterol change showed a significant difference at p=0.004 CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that a 30-day push-up challenge may cause a decrease in %BF and improve HDL cholesterol levels.

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