Walking is a common leisure activity that can do wonders for a person’s physical and mental health. Studies researching the medical benefits of walking have proven that walking has great benefits.
1. Walking can improve your mood
A study on walking found in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that office workers who took 30 minute walks with their coworkers during lunchtime saw better enthusiasm, improved relaxation, and experienced less nervousness at work.
Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25559067
2. Walking might burn more calories than you thought
Researchers learned that the equations frequently used to find out how many calories people burn while walking are probably incorrect. By factoring a person’s weight, age, and proportions, they discovered people might be burning more calories than previously thought. The study, published in The Journal of Applied Physiology, found a different equation far more accurate for calculating the calories burned while walking. In a Women’s Health article explaining the study, the author writes that the average 130 lb woman walking roughly 3 miles per hour burns about 81 calories per hour. Increase the walking speed to 4 miles per hour, and the walker can burn 95 calories per hour.
Link to study: http://jap.physiology.org/content/120/5/481
Article explaining study: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/calories-burned-walking
3. Walking can relieve back pain
A study involving 31,000 people suffering from back pain found that light, gentle exercise like walking did more to relieve their lower back pain than almost anything else. Because walking is easy on the joints, it’s a great way for people to experience pain relief and get their exercise without putting strain on their bodies.
Link to article explaining study: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/633672/daily-walk-gentle-exercise-reduce-back-pain-survey-cure-Daniel-Steffens-research
4. Walking could prevent varicose veins
Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins usually seen in people’s calves and ankles. They may cause mild discomfort and aching, but they are typically just a cosmetic problem. There is no known cause of these veins, but walking might prevent them. Walking can drain the excess fluid in the legs to keep ugly varicose veins from forming.
Link to article: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/633672/daily-walk-gentle-exercise-reduce-back-pain-survey-cure-Daniel-Steffens-research
5. Brisk walking can actually be more beneficial than running
Researchers comparing data from two studies discovered that walking at a brisk pace is better at reducing the risk of heart disease than running. According to an article published by the Guardian, “Running reduced the risk of heart disease by 4.5% while walking reduced it by 9.3%.” Walking is also better at lowering high cholesterol than running.
Link to article: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/05/brisk-walk-healthier-running-scientists
6. Walking can help prevent diabetes
According to a Harvard study called This is Your Body on Walking, women who walked for around 30 minutes a day decreased the risk of diabetes by 30%. The study also concluded that walking 30-60 minutes per day drastically lowers a person’s risk of heart disease.
Link to study: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/health-benefits-walking