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Outdoor walking speeds of apparently healthy adults: A systematic review and  meta‑analysis
Murtagh, Elaine M.; Mair, Jacqueline L.; Aguiar, Elroy; Tudor‑Locke, Catrine; Murphy, Marie H.
Background Walking outdoors can be used by many individuals to meet public health guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity. The speed at which adults walk may be a proxy for intensity. Traditional estimates of indoor walking speed are unlikely to reflect self-selected usual or other instructed paces of outdoor walking speed. Objective To inform estimates of pace-based walking speed of apparently healthy adults in outdoor settings. Methods We searched four electronic databases for articles published in English between January 1970 and March 2019. Studies that reported walking speed (m/s), cadence (steps/min), or intensity(mL/kg/min) of ambulatory, apparently healthy, and community-dwelling adults (> 18 years) were included. Walking speed categories were defined according to the description provided in each study. Meta-analysis was used to synthesise speed, cadence, and intensity data by slow, usual, medium, fast, and maximal pace (where reported). Results Thirty-five studies, representing 14,015 participants (6808 women, 5135 men, and 2072 sex not specified), were identified. The mean (95% CI) walking speed for slow, usual, medium, fast, and maximal pace was 0.82 (0.77–0.86), 1.31 (1.27–1.35), 1.47 (1.44–1.49), 1.72 (1.64–1.81), and 1.62 (1.45–1.79) m/s, respectively. Mean cadence (95% CI) for usual and fast paces were 116.65 (114.95–118.35) and 126.75 (121.87–131.63) steps/min, respectively. The mean oxygen consumption (95% CI) for the usual and medium paces was 11.97 (11.69–12.25) and 13.34 (12.94–13.73) mL/kg/min, respectively. Conclusion These findings provide greater clarity with regard to how various indicators of enacted walking pace, speed, and intensity overlap and how each can be best communicated in the real-world setting to optimise health-related outcomes. Pace-based instructions can be used to support walking in outdoor settings within public health guidelines.
Keyword(s): Walking outdoors; synthesise speed
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Citation(s): Sports Medicine;
Publisher(s): Springer
First Indexed: 2020-10-22 06:28:17 Last Updated: 2020-11-13 06:51:23