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Prev Med. 2007 May;44(5):377-85. Epub 2006 Dec 24.

The effect of walking on fitness, fatness and resting blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised, controlled trials.

Author information

  • 1Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT37 0QB, UK. mh.murphy@ulster.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this review was to perform a meta-analysis on walking intervention studies in order to quantify the magnitude and direction of walking-induced changes that may alter selected cardiovascular risk factors.

METHOD:

Twenty-four randomised controlled trials of walking were assessed for quality on a three-point scale. Data from these studies were pooled and treatment effects (TEs) were calculated for six traditional cardiovascular risk variables: body weight, body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat, aerobic fitness (V(O(2) )max in ml kg(-1) min(-1)) and resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Weighted TEs were analysed using a random effects model with weights obtained using the inverse of the individual TE variances. Random effects models were used to investigate the influence of both study quality and exercise volume (<150 vs. > or =150 min week(-1)).

RESULTS:

Random effects modelling showed that walking interventions increased V(O(2) )max and decreased body weight, BMI, percent body fat and resting diastolic blood pressure in previously sedentary adults (p<0.05 for all).

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study provide evidence that healthy but sedentary individuals who take up a programme of regular brisk walking improves several known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

PMID:
17275896
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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