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Wendy Hens, Jan Taeymans, Justien Cornelis, Jan Gielen, Luc Van Gaal and Dirk Vissers


Reduction of ectopic fat accumulation plays an important role in the prevention of insulin resistance in people with overweight or obesity. This systematic review and meta-analysis summarizes the current evidence for the use of noninvasive weight loss interventions (exercise or diet) on ectopic fat.


A systematic literature search was performed according to the PRISMA statement. Clinical trials in PubMed, PEDro, and the Cochrane database were searched.


All 33 included studies described the effect of lifestyle interventions on ectopic fat storage in internal organs (liver, heart, and pancreas) and intramyocellular lipids (IMCL), hereby including 1146, 157, 87, and 336 participants. Overall, a significant decrease of ectopic fat was found in liver (−0.53 Hedges’ g, P < .001), heart (−0.72 Hedges’ g, P < .001) and pancreas (–0.55 Hedges’ g, P = .098) respectively. A trend toward decrease in IMCL was also observed. Meta-regression indicated a dose-response relationship between BMI reduction and decreased hepatic adiposity. Exercise alone decreased ectopic fat but the effect was greater when combined with diet.


Lifestyle interventions can reduce ectopic fat accumulation in the internal organs of overweight and obese adults. The results on IMCL should be interpreted with care, keeping the ‘athlete’s paradox’ in mind.

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Emmanuel Jacobs, Nathalie Roussel, Ine Van Caekenberghe, Edith Cassiers, Luc Van den Dries, Jonas Rutgeerts, Jan Gielen and Ann Hallemans

This cross-sectional study aimed at developing a biomechanical method to objectify voluntary and unpredictable movements, using an automated three-dimensional motion capture system and surface electromyography. Fourteen experienced theater performers were tested while executing the old man exercise, wherein they have to walk like an old man, building up a sustained high intensive muscular activity and tremor. Less experienced performed showed a different kinematics of movement, a slower speed of progression and more variable EMG signals at higher intensity. Female performers also differed from males in movement kinematics and muscular activity. The number of the trial only influenced the speed of progression. The performers showed results which could be well placed within the stages of learning and the degrees of freedom problem.

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Emmanuel Jacobs, Ann Hallemans, Jan Gielen, Luc Van den Dries, Annouk Van Moorsel, Jonas Rutgeerts and Nathalie A. Roussel

Theater performers, more than common actors, experience high physical loadings. This study aimed at analyzing the motor behavior of novice performers (dancers/actors who were introduced to the acting method of Jan Fabre) by investigating the kinematics of a physical acting exercise in a prospective study. Two measurement sessions were organized: before and after the novice performers (N = 13) took part in seven workshops. Total body kinematics were registered using a three-dimensional motion capture system. Using a principal component analysis, six factors were disseminated out of 30 kinematic parameters: Pelvic Motion, Speed of Progression, Lower Limb Position, Foot Motion, Lower Limb Motion, and Trunk Posture. Although no main effect of training was found for any of the factors (.429 < p < .964), Trunk Posture showed a higher consistency after the workshops. This study succeeded in providing insights in the motor behavior of theater performers and revealed recognizable features of motor learning.