Research: Aerobics is effective for weight loss.

Research DefinitionResearch Definition

Aerobic exercise classes may assist with fat and weight loss.

Step Aerobics Class
Step Aerobics Class

Aerobics has long been an attractive type of aerobic exercise and can be considered as an appropriate intervention strategy for weight loss. Aerobic classes are a form of high-intensity training and they have long been used for weight loss and fitness. I can remember my mother doing exercise by VCR tape back in the 1980s. As a person who has tried just about every form of exercise, I can tell you that Aerobics is no joke. It can quickly get you winded and it takes high energy to complete.

Results of clinical trials are not consistent due to high variability in relation to the type of aerobics exercise and duration of intervention.  A new study from 2019 looked to use a review and analysis to remove this variability through inclusion of multiple studies​[1]​. The objective was to investigate the effect of aerobic exercise on weight and fat mass loss in adult women.  The effect would not expected to be different in men.

The researchers found a total number of 243 studies on aerobic exercise, but the final analysis included only seven clinical trials with a pooled sample size of 242 females subjects.  The average length of the intervention was only ten weeks,

The results confirmed a significant overall effect on weight loss with over 4 pounds of weight loss. A significant effect on the fat loss was not confirmed but the average subject lost 2.6% body fat. Longer interventions have a greater effect on reducing fat mass.

The bottom line: Aerobic exercise seems to be an effective intervention for weight loss and likely fat loss in women. A longer intervention needs to be performed and would likely allow the body fat loss to become significant. I would not expect gender to make a difference in the study. The type of aerobics and the duration of the intervention should be considered a significant variance of prior studies and likely contributed to conflicting results.


  1. [1]
    P. Hiklova and A. Gaba, “Effect of aerobics on weight and fat mass loss in adult women: Systematic review and meta-analysis,” Acta Gymnica, pp. 144–152, Sep. 2019, doi: 10.5507/ag.2019.013. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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