INFLUENCE OF WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMMES ON WALKING SPEED AND RELATIVE OXYGEN COST (%VO2MAX) IN OBESE WOMEN DURING WALKING
Ulla Evers Larsson A1 and Eva Mattsson A1
A1 Neurotec Department, Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
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 (VO 2 max/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, VO 2 max/kg, heart rate, perceived exertion and relative oxygen cost of walking (%VO 2 max). Conclusion: A modest weight reduction of 10% in moderately-to-severely obese women significantly improved their walking ability, perceived exertion and %VO 2 max. When dealing with obese women, attention should be drawn to these positive effects, instead of focusing only on the magnitude of the weight loss.
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