Date of Conferral





Health Services


Katie Callahan-Myrick


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep apnea that is common, complicated, and a major contributor to cardiovascular diseases, neurocognitive impairment, and mortality. This disease has additional negative impacts on patients' lives by contributing to daytime sleepiness and low productivity at work as well as absenteeism and work-related injuries. Several studies have been conducted to assess the relationship between cardiovascular exercises and OSA; however, a definite conclusion is lacking. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to assess the relationship between cardiovascular exercise participation and OSA by examining the relationship between total cardiovascular exercise participation per week and OSA as well as the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and OSA among adults over normal weight in the United States. Secondary data from the National Sleep Research Resource (NSRR) were used for analyses. Logistic regression was used to test the hypotheses. The Social-Ecological Model (SEM) guided the study. The findings of the study suggested that doing moderate cardiovascular exercise participation per week (0.1 and 200 minutes) had no relationship with OSA while doing higher cardiovascular exercise participation (>200 minutes) per week had relationship with OSA by increasing the odds (AOR = 2.1, CI: 1.048-4.060) of having severe OSA. BMI had no relationship with OSA. Individuals with OSA and a higher BMI could use the findings of this study to participate in an exercise program that might benefit their health and decrease the risk of exacerbated symptoms which could lead to an improved quality of life and decreased burden associated with OSA.