• cardiovascular disease;
  • physical activity;
  • postmenopausal period;
  • women

Aim:  This study aimed to determine whether cardiovascular-related physiological differences existed among postmenopausal women in relation to their physical activity levels.

Methods:  Participants were postmenopausal women (n= 101) resident in North Queensland. A self-report questionnaire determined recent exercise history. Anthropometric and physiological measures were obtained. Participants also performed a six-minute graded exercise test to determine cardiorespiratory fitness.

Results:  Compared with the women who exercised, those women who did not exercise had a lower level of cardiorespiratory fitness (P= 0.00) and higher resting diastolic blood pressure (P= 0.01), BMI (P= 0.00) and WHR (P= 0.02). Discriminant function analysis found that a combination of BMI and cardiorespiratory fitness discriminated between the two groups.

Conclusions:  Postmenopausal women who performed moderate-intensity physical activity had more favourable cardiovascular-related physiological characteristics. Health professionals should encourage more postmenopausal women to participate in moderate-intensity activity to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.