The effects of pole walking on health in adults: A systematic review

J. O. Fritschi*, W. J. Brown, R. Laukkanen, J. G.Z. van Uffelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this systematic review was to summarize the effects of pole walking (PW) programs on physical and psychosocial health. Randomized controlled and controlled trials were identified from literature searches in PubMed, Cochrane library, EMBASE, SPORTdiscuss, CINAHL and PEDRO. A total of 14 articles from 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Eleven of the included studies had a quality score of 50% or higher. Most studies included mid to older aged men and women in clinical populations with various medical conditions. Only two studies included nonclinical populations. The majority of the PW programs consisted of supervised group sessions performed two to three times weekly for 8 weeks or longer. Most studies investigated the effects of PW on both physical and psychosocial health and the majority examined effects on four to five outcomes. The effects of PW on cardiorespiratory fitness were most extensively studied. The most frequently examined psychosocial measure was quality of life. All studies reported at least one beneficial effect of PW compared with the control group. The results of this systematic review indicate that PW programs have some beneficial effects on both physical and psychosocial health in adults with and without clinical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e70-e78
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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