Nordic Walking for Overweight and Obese People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Nordic walking (NW) is a potentially beneficial exercise strategy for overweight and obese people. To date, no reviews have synthesized the existing scientific evidence regarding the effects of NW on this population. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to identify the characteristics, methodological quality, and results of the investigations that have studied the effects of NW in overweight and obese individuals. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched up to June 2019 for studies that examined the effects of NW on people with a body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2. The methodological quality of the included randomized controlled trials was retrieved from the physiotherapy evidence database or evaluated using the physiotherapy evidence database scale. Results: Twelve studies were included in the review. The investigations were mostly good-to-fair methodological quality. NW groups had a significant improvement on parameters such as fasting plasma glucose, abdominal adiposity, and body fat compared with the baseline, but no significant improvements were found when compared with control groups. Conclusions: NW can potentially lead to improvements in parameters related to major health outcomes in overweight and obese people. The lack of control for confounding variables in the analyzed studies prevents further elaboration on its potential benefits.

Sanchez-Lastra, Martínez-Lemos, and Ayán are with the Galicia Sur Health Research Institute (IIS Galicia Sur) Sergas-UVIGO, Spain. Sanchez-Lastra is also with the HealthyFit Research Group, Department of Special Didactics, Faculty of Education and Sports Sciences, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain. Miller is with the School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University, Ballarat, VIC, Australia. Martínez-Lemos and Ayán are also with the Well-Move Research Group, Department of Special Didactics, Faculty of Education and Sports Sciences, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain. Giráldez is with the Department of Special Didactics, Faculty of Education and Sports Sciences, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain.

Sanchez-Lastra (misanchez@uvigo.es) is corresponding author.

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