Posts tagged Walking

High-intensity interval walk training associated with decreased disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

A recent study has shown exciting new benefits associated with exercise for people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

image of someone on a treadmill

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with hallmark symptoms of inflammation and resulting pain. It is a disease process (like cancer or diabetes) where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy joints. It is a relatively common disease – approximately 300,000 or 1 in 100 Canadians get it – and is often devastating to a person’s body if not treated properly.

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina found that 10 weeks of high-intensity interval walk training was associated with decreased disease activity and improved immune function for adults with RA. High-intensity interval walk training refers to a popular form of exercise that includes short bursts of fast-paced walking at maximum effort followed by less intense recovery periods.

The study included twelve physically inactive adults over the age of 55, with a confirmed diagnosis of RA. Participants completed a 10-week program consisting of 3x 30-minute sessions a week of supervised treadmill walking. This Included a 5-minute warm up and 5-minute cool down. Within the training session, participants walked at 80-90% of their maximum effort in intervals of 60 to 90 seconds. These high-intensity intervals were followed by recovery intervals at 50-60% maximum effort. Speed and interval times varied for each person based on a cardiorespitory fitness test, but none exceeded walking pace. 

Disease activity was assessed by a rheumatologist through a count of swollen and tender joints, perceived general health and blood tests to measure inflammation. Cardiovascular fitness and immune functions were assessed using a variety of clinical and laboratory tests, as well as standardized questionnaires. At the end of the 10 weeks, the following outcomes were observed:

  • RA disease activity reduced by 38%, with a significant decrease in swollen joints, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and improved self-perceived health. An ESR blood test measures the rate at which red blood cells settle in the period of one hour, revealing inflammatory activity in the body. 
  • Improved immune functions suggesting a reduced infection risk and inflammatory potential 
  • Cardiorespitory fitness increased by 9%
  • Resting blood pressure and heart rate both reduced 

 There is a substantial amount of research on exercise and rheumatoid arthritis, but few studies have reported the actual lowering of disease activity scores. As stated by the researchers, this study suggests that,

“High intensity interval walking could be an efficient, tolerable, and highly effective intervention to augment disease activity and improve overall health in patients with RA.”

There are certain limitations to the study such as the small sample size and no control group, but the findings will hopefully encourage more research in the area. In addition, these findings add to a growing body of research on the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis. To learn more about the study, click here.


To learn more about physical activity and arthritis visit the following pages:

Public Health England urges middle-aged people to take a 10-minute brisk walk everyday

Officials at Public Health England are urging people ages 40 to 60 to start doing regular brisk walks. Walking briskly, as little as 10 minutes a day, can have a major impact, reducing the risk of early death by 15%.

According to Public Health England, four out of every 10 40 to 60-year-olds do not even manage a brisk 10-minute walk each month. Below are some health estimates from Public Health England, as summarized by the BBC News:

Picture of walking stats courtesy of the BBC

The government agency has created a free walking app called Active 10. The app monitors the amount of brisk walking an individual does and provide tips on how to incorporate more into the daily routine. The app is available in England only but if you are in Canada, we welcome you to download the free Walk10Blocks app (currently available for iPhones or iPod touch with iOS 9.0 or later). The two apps, though originating in two different countries, are apples to oranges – similar, yet unique.

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The impact of walking and texting for the head down generation

Woman with cell walk and text

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ever since the technology boom, people born in the 80s and onwards have been coined the head down generation. According to KTSW News, the head down generation is a term used to describe people who constantly have their face buried in technology and letting the world just pass them by.

The typical mobile subscriber now sends and receives more texts than phone calls. Informate Mobile Intelligence published findings from a report that tracked and measured consumer use of smartphones in 12 countries. “Our data reveals that most Americans love texting and would rather send a text than make a call,” said Informate CEO Will Hodgman. “While, in many Asia Pacific and Latin American countries, the data reveals a strong preference for chat apps like WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger.”

The report found that the average American makes or answers six phone calls per day, sends and receives 32 texts (equivalent to about 26 minutes in a day), and spends 14 minutes on chat/VOIP. People in the United States have the highest average rate of monthly data consumption, at 19 gigabytes (across cellular and Wi-Fi).

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