Public Health Article

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

Review Quality Rating: 6 (moderate)

Citation: Murphy, M.H., Nevill, A.M., Murtagh, E.M., & Holder, R.L. (2007). The effect of walking on fitness, fatness and resting blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomised, controlled trials. Preventive Medicine, 44(5), 377-385.

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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. >/=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. Copyright (C) 2007 by Elsevier Inc


Adults (20-64 years), Behaviour Modification (e.g., provision of item/tool, incentives, goal setting), Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Diseases, Community, Female, Home, Male, Meta-analysis, Physical Activity, Seniors (60+ years)

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