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Latest Nordic Walking Research

Nordic walking improves daily physical activities in COPD

Nordic walking improves daily physical activities in COPD: a randomised controlled trial

ABSTRACT In patients with COPD progressive dyspnoea leads to a sedentary lifestyle. To date, no studies exist investigating the effects of Nordic Walking in patients with COPD. Therefore, the aim was to determine the feasibility of Nordic Walking in COPD patients at different disease stages. Furthermore we aimed to determine the short- and long-term effects of Nordic Walking on COPD patients' daily physical activity pattern as well as on patients exercise capacity.

Sixty COPD patients were randomised to either Nordic Walking or to a control group. Patients of the Nordic Walking group (n = 30; age: 62 +/- 9 years; FEV1: 48 +/- 19% predicted) underwent a three-month outdoor Nordic Walking exercise program consisting of one hour walking at 75% of their initial maximum heart rate three times per week, whereas controls had no exercise intervention. Primary endpoint: daily physical activities (measured by a validated tri-axial accelerometer); secondary endpoint: functional exercise capacity (measured by the six-minute walking distance; 6MWD). Assessment time points in both groups: baseline, after three, six and nine months.
After three month training period, in the Nordic Walking group time spent walking and standing as well as intensity of walking increased (Delta walking time: +14.9 +/- 1.9 min/day; Delta standing time: +129 +/- 26 min/day; Delta movement intensity: +0.40 +/- 0.14 m/s2) while time spent sitting decreased (Delta sitting time: -128 +/- 15 min/day) compared to baseline (all: p < 0.01) as well as compared to controls (all: p < 0.01). Furthermore, 6MWD significantly increased compared to baseline (Delta 6MWD: +79 +/- 28 meters) as well as compared to controls (both: p < 0.01). These significant improvements were sustained six and nine months after baseline. In contrast, controls showed unchanged daily physical activities and 6MWD compared to baseline for all time points.

Nordic Walking is a feasible, simple and effective physical training modality in COPD. In addition, Nordic Walking has proven to positively impact the daily physical activity pattern of COPD patients under short- and long-term observation.

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology, Otto Wagner Hospital, Sanatoriumstreet 2, 1140 Vienna, Austria.
Respiratory research (Impact Factor: 3.36). 01/2010; 11:112. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-11-112
Source: PubMed

Nordic walking versus ordinary walking for people with Parkinson's Disease


This single case repeated measures mixed methods design tested the feasibility of protocols for a larger investigation of the effect of Nordic and ordinary walking on physical function and wellbeing in people with Parkinson’s disease.

There were five six week phases (ABACA); A = baseline/washout, B = ordinary walking, C = Nordic walking. A 64 year old female with an 11 year history of Parkinson’s disease participated. Physical function was measured weekly with the six-minute walk test, Timed Up and Go test, and 10-metre walk test. The mobility and activities of daily living subscales of the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire were answered at the beginning of the study and end of each phase.

At the end of the study the participant was interviewed about her experiences of the walking and the physical and psychological effects. Repeated measures analysis of variance analysed the statistical physical function data and the transcribed interview data were analysed using content analysis. No significant results occurred in the expected direction for the physical function analyses. Interview analysis revealed the participant considered Nordic walking more beneficial than ordinary walking; her general health improved, and she coped better with daily activities.

 Future similar research should include objective measures of daily functional activities and aerobic fitness.

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Randomized Trial of Nordic Walking in Patients With Moderate to Severe Heart Failure


Patients with heart failure are a growing population within cardiac rehabilitation. The purpose of this study was to compare, through a single-centre, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial, the effects of Nordic walking and standard cardiac rehabilitation care on functional capacity and other outcomes in patients with moderate to severe heart failure.


Between 2008 and 2009, 54 patients (aged 62.4 ± 11.4 years) with heart failure (mean ejection fraction = 26.9% ± 5.0%) were randomly assigned to standard cardiac rehabilitation care (n = 27) or Nordic walking (n = 27); both groups performed 200 to 400 minutes of exercise per week for 12 weeks. The primary outcome, measured after 12 weeks, was functional capacity assessed by a 6-minute walk test (6MWT).


Compared with standard care, Nordic walking led to higher functional capacity (? 125.6 ± 59.4 m vs ? 57.0 ± 71.3 m travelled during 6MWT; P = 0.001), greater self-reported physical activity (? 158.5 ± 118.5 minutes vs ? 155.5 ± 125.6 minutes; P = 0.049), increased right grip strength (? 2.3 ± 3.5 kg vs ? 0.3 ± 3.1 kg; P = 0.026), and fewer depressive symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score = ? ?1.7 ± 2.4 vs ? ?0.8 ± 3.1; P = 0.014). No significant differences were found for peak aerobic capacity, left-hand grip strength, body weight, waist circumference, or symptoms of anxiety.


Nordic walking was superior to standard cardiac rehabilitation care in improving functional capacity and other important outcomes in patients with heart failure. This exercise modality is a promising alternative for this population.


Effects of Nordic Walking on Body Composition, Muscle Strength, and Lipid Profile in Elderly Women


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Nordic walking on body composition, 
muscle strength, and lipid pro?le in elderly women.


Sixty-seven women were assigned to the Nordic walking group (n ¼ 21), the normal walking 
group (n ¼ 21), and the control group (n ¼ 25). Nordic walking and normal walking were performed three times a week for 12 weeks. Body weight, body mass index, total body water, skeletal muscle mass, percent body fat, grip strength, sit to stand, arm curl, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were measured before and after the program. A Chi-square test, one way analysis of variance, paired t test and repeated-measure two-factor analysis were used with the SAS program for data analysis.

There was a signi?cant difference in the weight (F ¼ 8.07, p < .001), grip strength (F ¼ 10.30, 
p < .001), sit to stand (F ¼ 16.84, p < .001), arm curl (F ¼ 41.16, p < .001), and total cholesterol (F ¼ 5.14, p ¼ .009) measurements between the groups. In addition, arm curl was signi?cantly increased in the Nordic walking group compared to the normal walking group and the control group.

The results indicate that Nordic walking was more effective than normal walking in 
improving upper extremity strength.

Improvements in functional capacity from Nordic Walking

Improvements in functional capacity from Nordic walking: a randomized-controlled trial among elderly people


This study examined the effects of an instructed structured Nordic walking (NW) exercise program on the functional capacity of older sedentary people. Volunteers were randomly assigned to an NW group (68.2 ± 3.8 yr old) or control group (69.9 ± 3.0 yr old). Before and at the end of the 9-wk intervention, functional tests and 2-dimensional ground-reaction-force (GRF) patterns of normal (1.40 m/s) and fast (1.94 m/s) walking speeds were measured. The intervention included a 60-min supervised NW session on an inside track twice a week for 9 wk. The mean changes in functional tests differed between groups significantly. Gait analyses showed no significant differences between the groups on any GRF parameters for walking speed either before or after the intervention. The study showed that NW has favorable effects on functional capacity in older people and is a suitable form of exercise for them.

Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
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