The effect of walking on fitness, fatness and resting blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomised, controlled trials
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AbstractObjective. 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 (VO2 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. ≥150 min week−1). Results. Random effects modelling showed that walking interventions increased VO2 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.
CitationPreventive Medicine, 44(5): 377–385
PublisherElsevier Science Direct