Posts Tagged ‘Hartford Hospital’

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction

  1. Paul T. Williams,
  2. Paul D. Thompson


From the Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (P.T.W.); and Division of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT (P.D.T.).

Correspondence to Paul T. Williams, PhD, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Donner 464, 1 Cycloton Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720. E-mailptwilliams@lbl.gov

Objective—To test whether equivalent energy expenditure by moderate-intensity (eg, walking) and vigorous-intensity exercise (eg, running) provides equivalent health benefits.

Approach and Results—We used the National Runners’ (n=33 060) and Walkers’ (n=15 945) Health Study cohorts to examine the effect of differences in exercise mode and thereby exercise intensity on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Baseline expenditure (metabolic equivant hours per day [METh/d]) was compared with self-reported, physician-diagnosed incident hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and CHD during 6.2 years follow-up. Running significantly decreased the risks for incident hypertension by 4.2% (P<10−7), hypercholesterolemia by 4.3% (P<10−14), diabetes mellitus by 12.1% (P<10−5), and CHD by 4.5% per METh/d (P=0.05). The corresponding reductions for walking were 7.2% (P<10−7), 7.0% (P<10−8), 12.3% (P<10−4), and 9.3% (P=0.01). Relative to <1.8 METh/d, the risk reductions for 1.8 to 3.6, 3.6 to 5.4, 5.4 to 7.2, and ≥7.2 METh/d were as follows: (1) 10.0%, 17.7%, 25.1%, and 34.9% from running and 14.0%, 23.8%, 21.8%, and 38.3% from walking for hypercholesterolemia; (2) 19.7%, 19.4%, 26.8%, and 39.8% from running and 14.7%, 19.1%, 23.6%, and 13.3% from walking for hypertension; and (3) 43.5%, 44.1%, 47.7%, and 68.2% from running, and 34.1%, 44.2% and 23.6% from walking for diabetes mellitus (walking >5.4 METh/d excluded for too few cases). The risk reductions were not significantly different for running than walking for diabetes mellitus (P=0.94), hypercholesterolemia (P=0.06), or CHD (P=0.26), and only marginally greater for walking than running for hypercholesterolemia (P=0.04).

Conclusions—Equivalent energy expenditures by moderate (walking) and vigorous (running) exercise produced similar risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and possibly CHD.


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