Effect of a sand or firm-surface walking program on health, strength, and fitness in women 60-75 years old

J Aging Phys Act. 2009 Apr;17(2):196-209. doi: 10.1123/japa.17.2.196.


The effects of 8 wk of soft-sand (n = 19) and firm-surface walking (n = 19) on blood lipids, submaximal fitness (8-min walk at 4.5 km/hr), and leg strength in elderly (60+ yr), sedentary women were studied. Significant main time effects (p < .005) were found for blood lipids. The surface interaction effect for high-density lipoprotein approached significance (p = .052), with a tendency for higher levels in the sand group postintervention (p = .06). Neither group reported significant differences across time for submaximal oxygen consumption (p = .223), but a greater percentage reduction in heart-rate response to the 8-min walk was reported in the sand group (p = .016). Knee strength did not change in either group, whereas hip strength significantly improved in both groups (p = .0001), with larger effect sizes reported in the sand group. Overall, both groups showed improvements in blood lipids, fitness, and strength, with strength changes being slightly higher in the sand-walking group.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Heart Rate
  • Hip
  • Humans
  • Knee
  • Leg
  • Lipids / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Silicon Dioxide*
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Lipids
  • Silicon Dioxide