Physical Fitness and Physical Activity in Swedish Women before and one Year after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Malin Wiklunda, *, Monika F. Olséna, Torsten Olbersb, Åsa Cidera
a Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology/Physiotherapy, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
b Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

© 2014 Wiklund et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Physiotherapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden; Tel: 0046 31 3421195; Fax: 0046 31 342 43 41; E-mail:



Obesity is associated with a sedentary life style, which has a negative impact on physical fitness.


To investigate physical fitness, physical activity level and time spent sitting in Swedish women before and one year after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery (LRYGB).


Thirty-seven women (age: 41.2±9.6 years and Body Mass Index (BMI): 42±6.5 kg/m2) were tested before and one year after LRYGB. (BMI: 30.5±5.8 kg/m2). Physical fitness was assessed using the six minute walk test (6MWT), and three muscular endurance and one handgrip test. Physical activity level and sitting time were assessed using the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ).


One year after surgery the mean distance walked during 6MWT increased from 532 m to 599 m (p=<0.001) and the muscular endurance was significantly improved (p≤0.016), while no statistical significant difference was found in grip force compared to pre-operatively. After surgery, the women walked significantly more minutes/week (p=0.018) and increased their level of moderate (p=0.039) and vigorous (p=0.033) physical activity, but there were no significant differences in sitting time (p=0.206) compared to preoperatively.


The physical activity level as well as physical fitness increased while grip strength remained same in Swedish women one year after LRYGB, compared to before surgery. The improved physical fitness and the considerable weight loss are important factors in reducing the risk of developing lifestyle associated diseases and risk of premature death in this group of women. But even if both physical activity and physical fitness increased at group level one year after LRYGB, some individuals still needed to be more physically active and to enhance the physical fitness level. These patients might benefit from physiotherapy to be able to be more physically active.

Keywords: Gastric bypass surgery, muscular endurance, muscular strength, obesity, physical activity, physical fitness.