Friday, July 25, 2008


A Nordic Walking tidbit

I think that by now most readers will have heard of the Cooper Institute report about physiological responses to Nordic Walking. You will recall that this was the 2002 published study which shows that Nordic Walking gives an average increase in calorific expenditure of around 20% compared with ordinary walking.

It’s also worth recalling that the Cooper Institute itself was established by Dr Kenneth H. Cooper in 1970 as a centre for the research into preventative medicine. Dr Cooper’s book “Aerobics” first published in 1968, and which introduced a new concept in exercising, can now be said to have achieved iconic status.

The former medical director, Dr Tim Church who headed the now famous Nordic Walking study mentioned above, is now director of preventative medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Amongst other things, his current research interests include the study of exercise and the treatment of mood and anxiety disorder. However, Dr Church tells me that there are currently no plans to examine Nordic Walking with this issue in mind. He has, however, generously sent me a number of learned papers about the subject and I hope to be able to include something about this in a future article.

Malcolm Jarvis, Nordic Walker Leeds UK

Great minds. I contacted him too to see whether any new Nordic Walking research was being done, and I got the same reply. You would think that some desperate-for-a-disertation topic grad student would have grabbed it by now. The Cooper Institute study was, I believe, published in '02, which means the research is even older.

Claire Walter
Journalist. Author.
Boulder, CO
I agree Claire.

I was a bit disappointed when he said Nordic Walking was not on his agenda. It struck me it is a form of exercising which is ripe for some further scientific analysis, particularly in connection with mood disorder.

I think we all probably experience a lift in mood when walking but it would be helpful to learn if Nordic walking has the "edge" over other forms of fitness activity in this respect; and whether it could benefit people clinically.

Walk well,
Malcolm Jarvis, Nordic Walker Leeds UK
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