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Table 3 Selected studies of physical activity and urinary incontinence

From: Recent evidence exploring the associations between physical activity and menopausal symptoms in midlife women: perceived risks and possible health benefits

Reference Sample Physical activity measure Menopausal symptom measure Other measures Main findings Summarized findings: observed association
Null Positive Negative Mixed
Cross-sectional studies  
Aydin et al. 2014 [34] 1071 Islamic postmenopausal women (of 1328 women that expressed interest) who attended an outpatient clinic from 2005–12 Questionnaire included an item on regular exercise, defined as 30-min for ≥2 times per week (yes/no) Validated questionnaire assessing genitourinary symptoms, including presence or absence of urinary symptoms (dysuria, frequency, urgency, nocturia, and incontinence) Sociodemographic factors, health behaviors, anthropometrics, length of menopausal status (months) There was no significant difference in urinary symptoms in regular exercisers versus non-exercisers x    
Prospective cohort studies  
de Azevedo Guimaraes et al. 2011 [45] 120 Brazilian women aged 45–59 years old volunteered for the 12-week study (recruited through work or other institutions) Habitual PA was assessed through the short form of the International PA Questionnaire (IPAQ); Participants were classified as: maintained <30 min/day, maintained or increased to 30–60 min/day, or maintained or increased to >60 min/day Urinary complaints (exertion-induced urinary incontinence or difficult micturition) assessed using the Kupperman Menopausal Index Sociodemographic factors, anthropometrics, menopausal status and symptoms, and QOL Women classified in the highest active group (maintained or increased to 60 min per day) had reported significantly less instances of leaking urine    x  
104 women completed the 12-week study
Non-randomized intervention studies  
Karacan, 2010 [50]a 112 women aged 46–55. The analytic sample included 65 participants that regularly participated in the 3- and 6-month exercise program The 6-month exercise program included aerobic activity (75–80 % heart rate capacity) with calisthenics for 3 days a week for 55 min each session The menopause rating scale (MRS) was composed of 11 items assessing menopausal symptoms divided into three groups: psychological, somatic-vegetative and urogenital Physical characteristics (height, weight, and age at menopause), resting heart rate and blood pressure, lower back flexibility, hand grip strength, and body composition (skin folds) There was a significant reduction in urinary symptoms from baseline to 6-months    x  
Randomized controlled studies  
Moilanen et al. 2012 [53]a 176 Finnish white women were recruited for the study by newspaper advertisements. The analytic sample included 154 inactive participants were randomly assigned to the exercise (n = 74) or control group (n = 77) that completed the 6-month study protocol Exercise Group: Unsupervised aerobic training intervention; 4 × per week at 64-80 % maximal heart rate for 50 min each time The frequency of urinary symptoms were collected 2 × per day using a mobile phone- administered questionnaire Socio-demographic factors, anthropometrics, and menopausal symptoms There was no change in urinary symptoms as a result of the exercise intervention x    
  1. aPhysical activity dose reflective of 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans [3]