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Menopause. 2016 Aug;23(8):928-34. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000627.

Effects of walking on body composition in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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1Department of Clinical Medicine Laboratory, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou, China 2School of Nursing, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China 3Binzhou Medical University, Binzhou, China.



The aim of the study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of walking on body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.


Two authors identified randomized controlled trials of interventions at least 4 weeks in duration that included at least one group with walking as the only treatment and a no-exercise control group. Participants were inactive at baseline. Weighted mean differences were calculated using the fixed-effects and random-effects models. Heterogeneity among trials was examined using the Q statistic and I methods. Potential publication bias was assessed through funnel plot inspection.


Eight studies met the study inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis results showed statistically significant reductions in mean differences for BMI (-0.33 kg/m, 95% CI -0.62 to -0.04 kg/m), body weight (-1.14 kg, 95% CI -1.86 to -0.42 kg), and body fat percentage (-2.36%, 95% CI -3.21% to -1.52%). The results were consistent in showing effects of walking on BMI (I = 11%), body weight (I = 20%), and body fat percentage (I = 0%). Funnel plots showed asymmetry for body composition.


Walking interventions improved body composition in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, which underscores the central role of walking as a physical activity for health promotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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