Turning Walking into Total Body Exercise SINCE 1988!
Studies

The following are a quick summary of published clinical trials and observational studies conducted on the positive impact of walking poles. For more detailed information feel free to contact us.

 

Nordic Walking – a new form of exercise in rehabilitation

 Piotr Kocur, Magorzata Wilk, Department of Cardiac Rehabilitation, AWF (University School of Physical Education) in Pozna?, Poland, Received: 13. 06.2006; accepted: 18.07.2006

 Abstract

 Nordic Walking (NW) has become a popular form of physical activity. NW is a form of outdoor physical activity based on marching with use of poles adapted from cross–country skiing. The main goal of using the poles is to involve muscles, which are not used during normal walking. This enables performing high intensity exercises with a relatively low level of perceived exertion. The history, methodology and technique of Nordic Walking were presented in this paper. Moreover, possible role of Nordic Walking in physical rehabilitation, in particular in early cardiac rehabilitation, was discussed. This paper is based on the available data from the literature and on our own experience concerning the application of Nordic Walking in rehabilitation of patients early after a myocardial infarction. This study was performed in patients admitted to the Centre of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Kiekrz. NW is added as an additional training to standard rehabilitation program comprising ergometer endurance training and callisthenics. The literature review focused mainly on the usefulness of Nordic Walking in rehabilitation of various groups of patients, such as the elderly, patients with pain, and patients with neurological or cardiovascular disorders. The available evidence suggests that Nordic Walking is a natural and safe, yet intensive, form of physical activity that can be widely used in physical rehabilitation.

 

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

* A study published at the University of Northern Colorado measured the effects of Walking Pole use on shoulder function in Breast Cancer Survivors. The data suggests that using walking poles for eight weeks significantly improved muscular endurance of the upper body in breast cancer patients following treatment.

Lisa K. Sprod, MS, Scott N. Drum, MS, Ann T. Bentz, PhD, Susan D. Carter, MD, and Carole M. Schneider, PhD at the University of Northern Colorado

The Effects of Walking Poles on Shoulder Function in Breast Cancer Survivors
Integrative Cancer Therapies, Vol. 4, No. 4, 287-293 (2005)

......to determine the effects of walking pole use on shoulder function in female breast cancer survivors......

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Kinetic Analysis of Telescope-Style Walking Poles on Elderly Gait

 

Sukhoon Yoon1, Jiseon Ryu2 and Young-Hoo Kwon1, 1Biomechanics Laboratory, Texas Woman’s University. Denton, TX 76205-5647, 2Biomechnaics Laboratory, Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea, email: , web: www.twu.edu/biom

 INTRODUCTION

 Walking has often been considered as a good exercise for the elderly because the risk of injury is relatively low and the activity increases caloric expenditure. Although walking, compared to running or other type of exercises, is excellent activity with low impact and load on the lower extremities, it is still difficult for some elderly individuals who have problems in their lower extremities to walk without the aid of assistive device. Assistive walking devices (AWDs) such as crutches, canes, poles, and walkers have demonstrated to be beneficial (i.e., reduced lower extremity loading and improved gait/dynamics stability) as well as adverse effect (i.e., increased burden on the shoulder) for elderly gait. Recently, a newly-designed walking pole, termed telescope-style poles (T-poles) which has distinctive functional properties that can potentially change the mechanics of walking and reduce the burden on the shoulder compared with AWDs has been introduced [2, 3]. To date very few studies have investigated the effects of T-poles on elderly gait.

 Moreover, none of the studies have focused on the effects of T-poles on lower and upper extremity joints.

 The purpose of this study was to comprehensively investigate and describe the kinetics of T-pole walking in the elderly. It was hypothesized that walking with T-poles would a) significantly decrease the loads on lower extremity joints, and b) result in only a minor increase in upper extremity joint loading

 METHODS

 Subjects were medically screened and cleared by a doctor to participate in the study. Eleven volunteers, age 65 years and older (74.2 ± 5.5 yrs), who have sufficient walking experiences with T-poles were recruited for the study. Each participant was asked to walk across the laboratory under two different walking conditions: walking with T-poles (PW) and normal walking without the poles (NPW). Each condition was performed at participants’ preferred walking speed. Three successful trials were collected for each walking condition. The three trials were averaged prior to data analysis. All conditions were balanced and randomized in order. A three dimensional motion analysis were performed with eight 60-Hz video camcorders (Panasonic DVC-15), using Kwon3D XP (version 4.0) motion analysis Suite (Visol,

 Inc., Seoul, Korea). A fourteen-segment, rigid-link human body model was used in this study. A paired t-test was employed for this study to determine the significances between two movements (α <.05).

 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

 PW showed significantly longer support time than NPW (0.65 ± 0.09s and 0.62 ± 0.08s, p <.05). All peak GRFs and average vertical GRFs decreased significantly in PW than NPW (3.7% to 10.4%, p <.05). The reduction in average vertical GRF were caused mainly by reduction in peak forces than the increase in support time since the most impulse measures also showed significant decrease (5.9% to 15.2%, p <.05) due to the use of T-poles. All lower body resultant joint torques showed significant decreases in PW than NPW (5.7% to 18%, Table 1) while all upper body ones showed inversely (Table 1). Hinrichs[1] reported that the magnitudes of the elbow and shoulder peak flexion torques ranged from 8 to 11 N·m and from 7 to 14 N·m, respectively during running with 4.5 m/s running speed. Our data were normalized by BW but their actual peak torque values were ranged between 4 and 11 N·m, and 12 and 17 N·m at elbow and shoulder joint, respectively. Running speed of 4.5 m/s is relatively slow speed. Upper extremities burden found from our study is comparable in magnitude to those reported by Hinrichs [1]. This finding indicates that T-poles users have as little as risks on upper extremities during walking with T-poles.

 CONCLUSIONS

 In conclusion, the findings of this study revealed: (a) the use of T-poles decrease the loads on lower extremities mainly by reducing the foot-ground interaction; (b) the degree of burden on upper extremities in pole-walking increased but it is as little as a normal activity such as a slow running.

 

Cardio-Respiratory Health Benefits

* Studies by Hendrickson (1993), Pocari (1997), Robaidek (1989), Church (2002) and Laukkanen (1998) have shown that Nordic walking causes heart rates to increase over normal walking. In addition, oxygen consumption is increased by, on average, 20%, with some participants going as high as 46%.

Porcari JP, Hendrickson TL, Walter PR, Terry L, Walsko G.

The physiological responses to walking with and without Power Poles on treadmill exercise.
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 1997 Jun; 68(2): 161-6

"Power Poles can increase the intensity of walking at any given speed and, thus, may provide additional training benefits to walkers."......

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Rodgers CD, VanHeest JL, Schachter CL. Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science, Michigan State University,

Energy expenditure during submaximal walking with Exerstriders.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Apr;27(4):607-11

...... Exerstriding provides a means to increase caloric expenditure during submaximal walking......

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Walter PR, Porcari JP, Brice G, Terry L., LaCrosse Exercise and Health Program, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse

Acute responses to using walking poles in patients with coronary artery disease.

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, (J Cardiopulm Rehabil., 1996 Jul-Aug; 16(4): 245-50

*...... "Cardiac rehabilitation patients can safely use 1lb walking poles to safely increase the intensity of walking exercise in Phase III/IV at a given speed." ......

A. Karawan, J.P. Porcari, N.K. Butts, A.M. Postmus, L. Stoughton, & J. Larkin. La Crosse Exercise and Health Program, UW-La Crosse and Lutheran Hospital, La Crosse, WI

Effects Of 12 Weeks Of Walking Or Exerstriding On Upper Body Strength And Endurance

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Supplement to VOL. 24, NO.5, May 1992

*...... Exerstriding can result in substantial increases in muscular endurance......

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K. Williams, R. Landsman, R.M. Otto, FACSM, and J. Wygand Human Performance Lab Adelphi University “ Garden City, NY

 

The Metabolic And Hemodynamic Response To The Use Of Exerstriders Vs Handweights During Walking.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise - May 1997, Volume 29, Issue 5

 

*...... Exerstriders or handweights requires approximately 20% greater calorie expenditure compared to standard walking......

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Calorie Expenditure

* The Cooper Institute of Dallas conducted a study which showed that caloric expenditure increased 20% when Nordic walking compared to regular walking.

T. Church, C. Earnest, G. Morss

Effects Of 12 Weeks Of Walking Or Exerstriding On Upper Body Strength And Endurance

The Cooper Institute, RQES, vol 73, No.3, pp. 296-300, September 2002

...... "Some individuals increased as much as 46% in oxygen consumption and just about the same in caloric expenditure."......

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Less Stress On Knees

* According to a study by Wilson in 2001, the use of walking poles enabled subjects to walk at a faster speed with reduced vertical ground reaction forces, vertical knee joint reaction forces and supported movement.

WILLSON, JOHN; TORRY, MICHAEL R.; DECKER, MICHAEL J.; KERNOZEK, THOMAS; STEADMAN, J. R.

Effects of walking poles on lower extremity gait mechanics.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 33(1):142-147, January 2001.

...... determine whether walking with poles reduces loading to the lower extremity during level over ground walking. ......

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Young-Hoo Kwon, Lori R. Bolt, and Jaekun Shim Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA

Mechanics of Pole Running in Subjects with Chronic Knee Problems

...... "the use of the telescope-style poles significantly reduced the knee flexion during the swing phase and significantly increased maximum hyperextension of the hip." .....

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Bert H. Jacobson, Jennifer Kaloupek, and Doug B. Smith Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, Oklahoma USA

Load Carriage Force Production Comparison Between Standard and Anti-shock Trekking Poles

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Supplement to VOL. 24, NO.5, May 1992
......

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Posture Improvements

* A study by Afman, yet to be published, showed that participants in Nordic walking sessions had improved stability, mobility, and posture.

Psychological Benefits

Journal of Exercise Physiology, Volume 11 Number 3 June 2008

 The effect of hiking poles on oxygen uptake, Perceived exertion and mood state during a One hour uphill walk, MICHAEL DUNCAN1, MARK LYONS1, 1Human Performance Laboratory/ Department of Physical Education and Sports Studies/ Newman University College, Birmingham, England, B32 3NT

 ABSTRACT

 Duncan MJ, Lyons M. The effect of hiking poles on oxygen uptake, perceived exertion and mood state during a one hour uphill walk.  JEPonline 2008;11(3):20-25. This study assessed changes in oxygen uptake, perceived exertion and mood state during a one hour uphill walk with and without hiking poles. Six males and one female with hill walking experience (Mean age ± SD = 24.2 ± 4.7 years) completed two, one hour walking trials in a counterbalanced order (one with hiking poles, one without) and separated by 48-72 hours, on a treadmill inclined at 5%. Treadmill velocity was established a priori such that the subject’s heart rate was between 55-65% of their maximum, using the Karvonen formula. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected at 10- minute intervals. Oxygen uptake (ml·kg-1·min-1) was assessed continuously and averaged over 10-minute periods and mood state was assessed pre and post each condition. Results indicated that oxygen uptake was significantly greater (P = 0.001) during the poles condition compared to the no poles condition. RPE was not significantly different across conditions (P = 0.07). In addition, there was a significantly greater change in mood state (pre to post) in the no poles condition compared to the poles condition (P = 0.03). These results indicate that the use of hiking poles may have a psychological benefit to hill walkers despite increased physiological load associated with their use.

 

 

 

STOUGHTON, L.J. Psychological profiles before and after 12 weeks of walking or Exerstrider training in adult women.  MS in Human Performance, 1992 83pp. (N.K. Butts)

 87 sedentary women between 20 and 50 years of age (x = 37 yrs) volunteered to participate in a 12-week training program.  They were randomly placed in a walking (W = 29), Exerstriding (E = 30), or control group (C = 28).  The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire and the Body-Cathexis Scale were administered at the beginning and the end of the 12-week training period.

 Both the W and E trained for 30-45 min per day, 4 days per week, at 70-85% of their maximal HR.  The E walked 0.2 mph slower and 0.2 miles less than the W which were significantly (p <.05) different among the two groups.  However, both groups’ durations, frequencies, and intensities were not significantly (p >.05) different from each other throughout the 12 weeks of training.  In addition, the E used “walking poles” throughout all their training sessions.  There were no significant (p > 0.5) changes in any of the variables measured for the control group.  The E showed significant (p < 0.5) improvements in depression, anger, vigor, fatigue, total mood disturbances, and total body-cathexis scores. Only tension and confusion were not significantly (p > 0.5) altered in E.  In contrast, W showed significant (p, 0.5) improvements only in vigor and on total body-cathexis.  It was speculated that the E may have felt more unique and special because of their opportunity to do a “new” and more enjoyable method of walking.

 Also, during Exerstriding, the use of both arms and legs working in opposition to each other (cross-patterning) may have stimulated a greater number of nerves and muscles, creating a more rhythmical and tranquil exercise.  Using Exerstrider poles as a supplement with walking may enhance self-acceptance and result in participants developing a more favorable attitudes toward exercise than walking alone.

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Arterial Disease

* A study in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise looked showed that people with arterial disease who Nordic walked benefited from increased cardiovascular fitness, increased exercise tolerance, lower perceived leg pain during moderate-intensity walking, improved skeletal muscle strength and endurance, and better weight control. Patients with favorable responses in 4 to 8 weeks would be maintained on an exercise program, thus potentially avoiding the need for surgery. (Collins et. al, 2003).

COLLINS, E. G., W. E. LANGBEIN, C. OREBAUGH, C. BAMMERT, K. HANSON, D. REDA, L. C. EDWARDS, and F. N. LITTOOY

PoleStriding Exercise and Vitamin E for Management of Peripheral Vascular Disease

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 35(3):384-393, March 2003.

...... PoleStriding effectively improved the exercise tolerance and perceived QOL of patients with PAD .....

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Parkinson's Disease

* Published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery, a study on pole striding with patients afflicted Parkinson's Disease showed significant positive effect in terms of exercise tolerance, perceived functional independence and quality of life (Baatile et. al, 2000).  See You Tube video (which talks about Exerstriders, but shows other poles).

 

Wheel Chair Users

* Tom Rutlin of Exerstrider & James Rimmer, Ph.D., (Director National Research Center on Physical Activity) are also studying how walking poles can offer both an alternative means of propelling their WCs and an effective way of exercising large core strength upper body muscles.