There’s been a lot of news recently on the benefits
of walking. Here’s some updated and noteworthy abstracts I compiled on why you
may want to consider walking your way into better health and the importance of
considering the individual.
Movement & Health-Related Quality of Life
This study reported on the positive relationship of
total physical activity (TPA) and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in 1,904
women aged 50-55 years who experienced depression symptoms in 2001.
were 1,904 women born in 1946−1951 who completed mailed surveys for the Australian
Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health in 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2010, and
reported depressive symptoms in 2001. At each time point, they reported their
weekly minutes of walking, moderate PA, and vigorous PA. A summary TPA score
was created that accounted for differences in energy expenditure among the
three PA types. Mixed models were used to examine associations between TPA and
HRQL (short form-36 [SF-36] component and subscale scores) and between walking
and HRQL, for women who reported walking as their only PA. Analyses were
conducted in 2013−2014.
Results Concurrently, higher levels of TPA and walking were
associated with better HRQL (p<0.05).
The strongest associations were found for physical functioning, vitality, and
social functioning subscales. In prospective models, associations were
attenuated, yet compared with women doing no TPA or walking, women doing
“sufficient” TPA or walking had significantly better HRQL over time for most
Conclusions This study extends previous work by demonstrating
trends between both TPA and walking and HRQL in women reporting depressive
Lunchtime Walks At Work May Help Mood & Enthusiasm
activity may regulate affective experiences at work, but controlled studies are
needed and there has been a reliance on retrospective accounts of experience.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of lunchtime walks
on momentary work affect at the individual and group levels. Physically
inactive employees (N = 56; M age = 47.68;
92.86% female) from a large university in the UK were randomized to immediate
treatment or delayed treatment (DT). The DT participants completed both a
control and intervention period. During the intervention period, participants
partook in three weekly 30-min lunchtime group-led walks for 10 weeks. They
completed twice daily affective reports at work (morning and afternoon) using
mobile phones on two randomly chosen days per week. Multilevel modeling was
used to analyze the data. Lunchtime walks improved enthusiasm, relaxation, and
nervousness at work, although the pattern of results differed depending on
whether between-group or within-person analyses were conducted. The
intervention was effective in changing some affective states and may have
broader implications for public health and workplace performance. (2)
The relationship between body mass index, sex, smoking, and genetics was linked
to adherence to interval walking training (IWT)
This complicated-to-read study abstract showed that
a lower body mass index and male gender were determinants to sticking with the
benefits of interval training:
long-term exercise training regimen with high adherence and effectiveness in
middle-aged and older people is broadly available in the field. We assessed the
adherence to, and effects of, our long-term training program comprising an
interval walking training (IWT) and an information technology network system
and the factors affecting adherence. Middle-aged and older men and women [n =
696, aged 65 ± 7(SD) yr] underwent IWT. The subjects were instructed to repeat
five or more sets of fast and slow walking for 3 min each at ≥70 and 40% peak
aerobic capacity for walking (V̇o2peak), respectively, per day ≥4 days/wk for 22 mo.
Adherence was assessed as training days accomplished relative to the target of
4 days/wk over 22 mo. The effects on the V̇o2peak and
lifestyle-related disease score were evaluated every 6 mo. The independent
factors affecting adherence were assessed by multiple-regression analysis after
adjustment for baseline physical characteristics and other possible covariates,
including vasopressin V1a receptor polymorphisms. The adherence over 22 mo
averaged 70% and was highly correlated with a 13% reduction in the
lifestyle-related disease score (R(2) = 0.94, P = 0.006) and with a 12%
increase in V̇o2peak (R(2) = 0.94, P = 0.006). The major
determinant of higher adherence was lower baseline body mass index (BMI) (P
< 0.0001) and male sex (P < 0.0001). For men, in addition to BMI,
nonsmokers (P = 0.031) and V1a receptor polymorphisms (P = 0.033) were
independent determinants of higher adherence. Thus the long-term IWT program is
an effective regimen. Moreover, baseline BMI and sex for all subjects, and
smoking and V1a receptor polymorphisms for men, were associated with adherence.
Walk Or HIT?
The evidence for high-intensity interval training
(HIT) includes reducing blood sugar, promoting fat burning, and assisting with
energy metabolism. (4) However, as with the efficacy of anything, the results
one gets with exercise may be related to ones personal genetics and starting
As the previous article demonstrated, this 2013 study
had similar conclusions on individualizing exercise for the individual:
viewpoint debates the state-of-the-art research focusing on the optimal
intensity of the exercise programs for inducing a sustained weight or fat-mass
loss in overweight/obese people. In our demanding society, the most attractive
messages in the popular press are those promising the best results in a short
time. This might explain the emphasis given by media to those scientific
articles that report the efficacy on weight loss of exercise programs by their
shorter duration and higher intensity. However, in the literature on overweight
or obese people, there is little conclusive evidence for more favorable effects
with high-intensity training than with continuous moderate-intensity exercise
on body weight or fat mass loss. Since both exercise protocols have been
demonstrated as useful to reduce body weight, the decision on the intensity of
exercise prescription should be individualized and based on outcomes different
from fat or weight loss. In this regard, there are pro and contra arguments for
the prescription of high-intensity aerobic exercise in obese people. Among the
pro arguments, is the demonstration that, in several studies, high-intensity
training appears to induce superior improvements in aerobic fitness. Among the
contra arguments to prescribe high-intensity exercise is the demonstration that
prescribing a higher-intensity exercise decreases adherence and results in the
completion of less exercise. Thus, a successful exercise program should be
proposed at a moderate intensity and a low perceived effort because obese
subjects who have low self-efficacy, poor mood status, and are not familiar
with high-intensity workouts could easily drop out. (5)
In other words, perhaps it’s best to start with
walking for those out of shape and then “HIT it” as one gets into shape and
feels more confident with their exercise program.
Want to learn more, check out my latest blog on more wellness news here.
1.Heesch KC, Gellecum YR, Burton NW, Uffelen, JGZ,
Brown WJ. Physical Activity, Walking, and Quality of Life in Women with
Depressive Symptoms. American Journal of
Preventative Medicine. March 2015; 48(3): 281-29.
2.Thøgersen-Ntoumani C1, Loughren EA, Kinnafick FE, Taylor IM, Duda JL, Fox KR.
Changes in work affect in response to lunchtime walking in previously
physically inactive employees: A randomized trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Jan 6. doi: 10.1111/sms.12398. [Epub
ahead of print]
3.Masuki S1, Mori M2, Tabara Y3, Sakurai A4, Hashimoto
S5, Morikawa M6, Miyagawa K6, Sumiyoshi E7, Miki T8, Higuchi K2, Nose H. The
factors affecting adherence to a long-term interval walking training program in
middle-aged and older people. J Appl
Physiol (1985). 2015 Mar
1;118(5):595-603. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00819.2014. Epub 2014 Dec 24.
4.Little JP, Gillen JB, Percival ME, Safdar A,
Tarnopolsky MA, Punthakee Z, Jung ME, Gibala MJ. Low-volume high-intensity
interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial
capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Journal of Applied Physiology .1985; 111(6): 1554-60.
5.De Feo P1. Is high-intensity exercise
better than moderate-intensity exercise for weight loss? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Nov;23(11):1037-42. doi:
10.1016/j.numecd.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Oct 9.