Study aim: the objective was to assess and compare the energy expenditure (EE) and exercise heart rate (EHR) during Nordic Walking (NW), and conventional walking (W) in physical education and tourism/recreation university students.
Material and methods: a total of 53 women and 65 men, students at the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, and Polytechnic in Opole, in Poland, were investigated to assess the EE of Nordic Walking and conventional walking, and to measure the EHR, a uniaxial accelerometer – Caltrac Monitor, and a pulsometer – Polar RS 400 SD were used. After a standard warm-up, the participants (joined group) were marching with poles for 30 minutes, at a speed regulated by the group’s leader, who used footpod’s indications: 5.5–6.5 km/h – in Katowice, and 7.5–8.5 km/h – in Opole. After a break, during which the participants’ heart rate decreased below 100 bpm, the above actions and measurements were repeated, during normal walking.
Results: energy expenditure during Nordic Walking (EE NW), expressed in kcals and METs, was in women and in men, at both analyzed speeds, significantly higher (p < 0.05) than during conventional walking (EE W). EHR was higher during NW, compared to W, and the statistically significant differences were revealed both in female’s and male’s groups.
Conclusions: our study data have shown that EE and EHR during Nordic Walking, have been significantly higher than during conventional walking, regardless of the moving speed and gender. NW might present a useful modality in prevention of hypokinetic disorders.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.