I am
Water-based exercise for heart disease
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Water-based exercise for heart disease

Professor Andrew Maiorana, Institution: Curtin University

2016 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2017-2020


Regular exercise is important for people with heart disease to optimise physical function and quality of life and prevent further health complications. Unfortunately, many people with heart disease are not sufficiently active to achieve health benefits. A common reason is other health conditions, such as arthritis or obesity, which make conventional land-based exercise difficult. Water-based exercise may be an effective alternative because it minimizes joint stress and preliminary studies indicate it may be more beneficial to vascular health compared to land-based exercise due to the unique physiological stimulus on the cardiovascular system of exercising in water. However, this has not previously been assessed in people with heart disease.

This study will investigate the effects of exercising in the water for people with heart disease. Participants will be randomised to 12 weeks of matched moderate intensity water-based or gym-based exercise, or a control group where they maintain their usual activities.  The effects on blood vessel health and function, brain blood flow, fitness, strength, body composition and blood test parameters will be compared before and after the intervention period. It is anticipated this study will provide health care professionals with important information about the effects of water-based exercise in people with heart disease, providing an evidence-based option to increase their engagement with regular exercise.

You might also be interested in

Research Directory

Research Directory

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

Professor Robyn Clark, Institution: Flinders University...

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Assistant Professor Neil Spratt, Institution: The University of Newcastle...

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Ms Joanne Luke, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Professor Amy Brodtmann, Institution: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health...

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Dr Costan Magnussen, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Dr Esther Ooi, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Professor Bruce Neal, Institution: University of New South Wales...

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Associate Professor Hayley Christian, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Information on how air pollution, heatwaves and bushfires can impact heart health, and what you can do to look after yourself. ...

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

NSW Cardiovascular Research Network

NSW Cardiovascular Research Network

NSW Cardiovascular Research Network

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW ...

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

Asian tofu rice salad

Asian tofu rice salad

Asian tofu rice salad

10 minutes
Serves 2

One pot green goodness pasta

One pot green goodness pasta

One pot green goodness pasta

15 minutes
Serves 2

Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them, can they be prevented or treated?

Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them, can they be prevented or treated?

Cardiac arrests in young people — what causes them, can they be prevented or treated?

Italian fish parcels

Italian fish parcels

Italian fish parcels

20 minutes
Serves 4

Spring back to heart-healthy eating with these delicious tips

Spring back to heart-healthy eating with these delicious tips

Spring back to heart-healthy eating with these delicious tips

With spring sprung, now is the time to get back to heart-healthy eating. ...

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti

Chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti

Chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti

15 minutes
Serves 2

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Get the facts on quitting and how it can help you recover. ...

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Media Release - 30 June 2020 ...

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Every dollar that you donate will help fund research, support and programs that help save lives....

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

1 hour
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Heart Week

Heart Week

Chicken chimichurri

Chicken chimichurri

Chicken chimichurri

15 minutes
Serves 4

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

What is plant-based eating

What is plant-based eating

What is plant-based eating

Learn about plant-based eating and its impact on heart health ...

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Find heart healthy festive recipes. ...

Australian Virtual Running Experience

Australian Virtual Running Experience

Australian Virtual Running Experience

If you’re looking for an opportunity to help support the Heart Foundation, we have just the thing for you!...

Q&A with Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Q&A with Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Q&A with Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Policies for creating healthier food environments: increasing evidence and accountability for action ...

Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD or AICD)

Automated Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD or AICD)

This is a device inserted into your chest to return abnormal heart rhythms to normal using electrical impulses. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit – Post-use evaluation survey

Heart Health Check Toolkit – Post-use evaluation survey

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

For professionals: Cardiovascular disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

For professionals: Cardiovascular disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

Recommendations for assessing Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ...

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....