The effects of a worksite based walking programme on cardiovascular risk in previously sedentary civil servants

Marie Murphy, Elaine M Murtagh, Colin AG Boreham, Lesley G Hare, Alan M Nevill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: A significant proportion of Europeans do not meet the recommendations for 30mins of physical activity 5 times per week. Whether lower frequency, moderate intensity exercisealters cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk has received little attention. This study examined theeffects of 45 minutes self-paced walking, 2 d· wk-1 on aerobic fitness, blood pressure (BP), bodycomposition, lipids and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in previously sedentary civil servants.Methods: 37 subjects (24 women) aged 41.5 ± 9.3 years were randomly assigned to either two45 minute walks per week (walking group) or no training (control group). Aerobic fitness, bodycomposition, blood pressure (BP), CRP and lipoprotein variables were measured at baseline andfollowing 8 weeks. Steps counts were measured at baseline and during weeks 4 and 8 of theintervention.Results: Compared to the control group, the walking group showed a significant reduction insystolic BP and maintained body fat levels (P < 0.05). There were no changes other risk factors.Subjects took significantly more steps on the days when prescribed walking was performed (9303± 2665) compared to rest days (5803 ± 2749; P < 0.001).Conclusion: These findings suggest that walking twice per week for 45 minutes at ~ 62% HRmax,improves activity levels, reduces systolic BP and prevents an increase in body fat in previouslysedentary adults. This walking prescription, however, failed to induce significant improvements inother markers of cardiovascular disease risk following eight weeks of training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2006


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