Nordic walking versus natural walking: an easy approach to comparing metabolic demands

Johnny Padulo, Enzo Iuliano, Antonio Dello Iacono, Mirjana Milic, Manuela Rizzi, Luca Paolo Ardigò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
215 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study was to compare the metabolic demands of Nordic walking (NW) versus natural walking (WK) using a highly reproducible protocol in a natural environment. A total of 14 physically active subjects (3 males and 11 females, 36.6 ± 8.3 years, 63.1 ± 11.4 kg, 1.67 ± 0.06 m) walked at a freely chosen speed along a 2.5-km course in a game reserve, using NW and WK in a random order. They were monitored for speed with a mobile phone global positioning system (GPS) receiver, and for lap average and maximum heart rate (HR) with a belt HR monitor. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed significantly higher lap average HR (p = 0.004) and maximum HR (p = 0.004) in NW compared with WK. Due to its increased metabolic load, NW revealed to be an effective means for improving cardiovascular fitness in populations with a low tolerance for exertion. Using this simple and ecological approach promises to be effective for further evaluation of other variables and/or use in other contexts (e.g. high altitude and climbing).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-692
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport
Issue number5
Early online date4 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • global positioning system
  • locomotion
  • physiological effort
  • sport science


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