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Perspectives on exercise intensity, volume, step characteristics and health outcomes in walking for transport
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health. The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment, Department of Physical Activity and Health, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3547-425X
The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment, Department of Physical Activity and Health, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Stockholm, Sweden.
The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment, Department of Physical Activity and Health, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Stockholm, Sweden.
The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment, Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Stockholm, Sweden.
2022 (English)In: Frontiers In Public Health, ISSN 2296-2565, Vol. 10, article id 911863Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Quantification of movement intensity and energy utilization, together with frequency of trips, duration, distance, step counts and cadence, is essential for interpreting the character of habitual walking for transport, and its potential support of health. The purpose of the study is to illuminate this with valid methods and novel perspectives, and to thereby provide a new basis for characterizing and interpreting walking in relation to health outcomes.

Methods: Habitual middle-aged commuting pedestrians (males = 10, females = 10) were investigated in the laboratory at rest and with maximal treadmill and cycle ergometer tests. Thereafter, levels of oxygen uptake, energy expenditure, ventilation, heart rate, blood lactate, rated perceived exertion, cadence, number of steps, duration, distance, and speed were recorded during the normal walking commute of each participant in Greater Stockholm, Sweden. The number of commutes per week over the year was self-reported.

Results: Walking in the field demanded about 30% more energy per km compared to level treadmill walking. For both sexes, the walking intensity in field was about 46% of maximal oxygen uptake, and energy expenditure amounted to 0.96 kcal · kg−1 · km−1. The MET values (males: 6.2; females: 6.5) mirrored similar levels of walking speed (males: 5.7; females: 5.9 km · h−1) and levels of oxygen uptake (males: 18.6; females: 19.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1). The average number of MET-hours per week in a typical month was 22 for males and 20 for females. This resulted in a total weekly energy expenditure of ~1,570 and 1,040 kcal for males and females, respectively. Over the year, the number of walking commutes and their accumulated distance was ~385 trips and 800 km for both sexes.

Conclusion: Walking in naturalistic field settings demands its own studies. When males and females walk to work, their relative aerobic intensities and absolute energy demands for a given distance are similar. It is equivalent to the lower part of the moderate relative intensity domain. The combination of oxygen uptake, trip duration and frequency leads to high and sustained levels of MET-hours as well as energy expenditure per week over the year, with a clear health enhancing potential. Based on this study we recommend 6000 transport steps per day, or equivalent, during five weekdays, over the year, in order to reach optimal health gains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2022. Vol. 10, article id 911863
Keywords [en]
commuter walking, cycling, energy expenditure, exercise intensity, metabolic equivalent of task, rated perceived exertion, trip duration, trip frequency
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Physiotherapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-201202DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.911863ISI: 000883082900001PubMedID: 36339183Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85141381582OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-201202DiVA, id: diva2:1715048
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, 2017/63917-6522Swedish Transport Administration, 2020/119325Available from: 2022-12-01 Created: 2022-12-01 Last updated: 2023-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Schantz, Peter

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