Is Nordic Walking more Effective than Walking without Poles Treating Overweight and Obesity in Adolescents

Vyginta Plungytė, Vilma Dudonienė, Lina Varnienė


Research background. Obesity is rampantly increasing throughout the world and needs to be detected and treated early to prevent non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. Obesity in Lithuania has not reached epidemic proportions in comparison with other countries, but it is becoming a growing problem. Different exercise programs are used for obesity treatment. The research aim was to determine and compare the effect of Nordic walking and walking without poles on body composition and exercise tolerance in overweight and obese adolescents. Methods: 40 adolescents (20 boys, and 20 girls) from 12 to 16 years of age with overweight (BMI > 85 percentile) or obesity (BMI > 95 percentile) were randomly divided into two groups: experimental (Nordic walking) and control (walking without poles). Anthropometry, 6 min walk test were used, and VO2max was calculated. The study was carried out in a sanatorium where the duration of treatment was 3 weeks. All participants received hypocaloric diet controlled by dietitian. Results. After the intervention all measured indicators in Nordic walking and walk group got better respectively: body weight decreased by 2.91/2.32 kg, body mass index decreased by 0.99/0.84 kg/m², body fat percentage decreased by 2.03/1.51%, body muscle percentage increased by 0.80/0.54%, waist circumference decreased by 2.35/2.20 cm, hip circumference decreased by 1.85/1.60 cm, the 6-minute walk distance increased by 26.35/22.85 m, and maximum oxygen consumption increased by 0.74/0.64 ml/kg/min. Conclusions. After the intervention body mass index, body fat percentage, waist and hip circumference decreased signifcantly, body muscle percentage and exercise tolerance increased signifcantly in Nordic walk group as well as in walk group, but signifcant differences between these two groups were not observed. Nordic walking as well as walking without poles are effective means reducing body weight and increasing exercise tolerance, and can be used in obesity management.

Keywords: obesity, BMI, adolescents, Nordic walking.

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