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Leon Mabire, Ramakrishnan Mani, Lizhou Liu, Hilda Mulligan and David Baxter

Background:

Brisk walking is the most popular activity for obesity management for adults. We aimed to identify whether participant age, sex and body mass index (BMI) influenced the effectiveness of brisk walking.

Methods:

A search of 9 databases was conducted for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two investigators selected RCTs reporting on change in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, fat-free mass, and body fat percentage following a brisk walking intervention in obese adults.

Results:

Of the 5072 studies screened, 22 met the eligibility criteria. The pooled mean differences were: weight loss, –2.13 kg; BMI, –0.96 kg/m2; waist circumference, –2.83 cm; fat mass, –2.59 kg; fat-free mass, 0.29 kg; and body fat percentage, –1.38%. Meta-regression of baseline BMI showed no effect on changes.

Conclusions:

Brisk walking can create a clinically significant reduction in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, and fat mass for obese men and women aged under 50 years. Obese women aged over 50 years can achieve modest losses, but gains in fat-free mass reduce overall change in body weight. Further research is required for men aged over 50 years and on the influence of BMI for all ages and sexes.

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Hilda F. Mulligan, Leigh A. Hale, Lisa Whitehead and G. David Baxter

People with disability are insufficiently physically active for health. This study identified the volume, quality, and findings of research that exposes environmental and personal barriers of physical activity participation for people with neurological conditions. CINAHL, Sport Discus, EMBASE, Medline, and AMED were systematically searched between 1999 and week one 2010 for peer reviewed studies that fit the aim of the review. Identified barriers to physical activity participation were categorized into the World Health Organization’s ICF framework of domains. Of the 2,061 studies uncovered in the search, 29 met inclusion criteria and 28 met quality appraisal. Findings showed that barriers to physical activity participation arise from personal factors that, coupled with lack of motivational support from the environment, challenge perceptions of safety and confidence to exercise.