Walking 3 times 50 minutes a week keeps the doctor a way

walking elderly

A recent study showed that practitioners’ exercise advice and the walking-programme efficiently enhanced the health-related quality of life in a high risk population, overweight or moderately overweight elderly women. Some of these elderly women have to use a the bariatric rollator so they can sit down and maintain their own weight.

The walking programme consisted of supervised walks with a group in a public park or forest tracks three times a week during 50 minutes over a 6-month period. The walking, as well as strengthening
and stretching exercises were used to enhance the feasibility of the programme in different environments.

Eligible women were aged 60 years and older, suffered from either moderate depression or
were overweight, and were capable of walking for more than 25 minutes.

Recruitment rate was high due to:

  • The specificity of the invitation to older, overweight patients, who are usually more willing to participate than the general population.
  • The active-management of general practitioners.
  • The offer of supervision in the exercise programme.

The programme could be a cost-effective resource for helping patients increase physical activity, as recommended by general practitioners. Moreover, the present study could help decision makers enhance the preventive role of primary care and optimize health resources.

3 Times walking 50 minutes a week is also an effective strategy when treatment with antidepressants is not satisfactory enough

Narcis Gusi, Maria C Reyes, Jose L Gonzalez-Guerrero, Emilio Herrera, Jose M Garcia (2008). Cost-utility of a walking programme for moderately obese, or overweight elderly women in primary care. A randomised controlled trial BMC Public Health, 8 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-231