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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Mar;27(3):351-358. doi: 10.1111/sms.12652. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

Effects of Nordic walking training on functional parameters in Parkinson's disease: a randomized controlled clinical trial.

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Exercise Research Laboratory, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Dança, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Sleep and Movement Disorders Clinics, Division of Neurology, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


We compare the effects of Nordic walking training (NW) and Free walk (FW) on functional parameters (motor symptoms, balance) and functional mobility (Timed Up and Go at Self-selected Speed - TUGSS, and at forced speed, TUGFS; Self-selected Walking Speed, SSW; locomotor rehabilitation index, LRI) of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The study included 33 patients with clinical diagnosis of idiopathic PD, and staging between 1 and 4 in the Hoehn and Yahr scale (H&Y) randomized into two groups: NW (N = 16) and FW (N = 17) for 6 weeks. Baseline characteristics were compared trough a one-way ANOVA. Outcomes were analyzed using the Generalized Estimation Equations (GEE) with a Bonferroni post-hoc. Data were analyzed using SPSS v.20.0. Improvements in UPDRS III (P < 0.001), balance scores (P < 0.035), TUGSS distance (P < 0.001), TUGFS distance (P < 0.001), SSW (P < 0.001), and LRI (P < 0.001) were found for both groups. However, the NW group showed significant differences (P < 0.001) when compared to the FW group for the functional mobility. We conclude the NW improves functional parameters and walking mobility demonstrating that NW is as effective as the FW, including benefits for FW on the functional mobility of people with PD.


Aerobic training; Nordic pole walking; Parkinson; gait speed; gross coordination; locomotion; locomotor rehabilitation index; self-selected walking speed

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