Walking may not be the exercise form de rigueur for today’s athlete, but research continues to support its many benefits. Recently, researchers from Tel Aviv University, in Israel, discovered that a home walking program could be just as effective as strengthening exercises for improving back pain.
The study included 52 sedentary adults aged 18–65 with back pain. They were separated into a moderate-intensity treadmill walking group and an exercise group that performed specific low-back exercises. Each group completed its respective protocols twice per week for 6 weeks.
Various tests and questionnaires were used to determine walking improvements, pain perception and fear of movement.
At study completion, the researchers noted improvements in all measures for both groups. No significant differences were discovered between the groups. “A 6-week walking training program was as effective as 6 weeks of specific strengthening exercises . . . for the low back,” the authors concluded.
The study was published in Clinical Rehabilitation (2013; 27 , 207–214).