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INFLUENCE OF WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMMES ON WALKING SPEED AND RELATIVE OXYGEN COST (%VO2MAX) IN OBESE WOMEN DURING WALKING
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate effects of dieted weight reduction on walking ability in obese women. METHODS: Fifty-seven obese women 44.1 3 10.7 years, body mass index 37.1 3 3.4 kg3m32 performed an indoor walking test. Speed, oxygen consumption and heart rate were measured, perceived exertion and pain graded and oxygen cost calculated. Maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max/kg) was predicted from a submaximum bicycle ergometry test. All tests were measured at baseline, after 12 weeks' weight reduction and after 52 weeks' maintenance. RESULTS: Despite a partial weight relapse, improvements were seen in body mass index, self-selected walking speed, VO2max/kg, heart rate, perceived exertion and relative oxygen cost of walking (%VO2max). CONCLUSION: A modest weight reduction of 10% in moderately-to-severely obese women significantly improved their walking ability, perceived exertion and %VO2max. When dealing with obese women, attention should be drawn to these positive effects, instead of focusing only on the magnitude of the weight loss.
Ulla Evers Larsson A1 and Eva Mattsson A1
A1 Neurotec Department, Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
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