Background: Regular Nordic Walking training could improve fitness and reduce tenderness in selected muscle groups in office workers.
Objective: An assessment of the effects of a 12-week Nordic Walking training program on the perceived pain threshold (PPT) and the flexibility of selected upper-body muscle groups in postmenopausal female office workers.
Methods: 39 office workers were selected at random for the treatment group (NWg, n = 20) and the control group (Cg, n = 19). The persons from the NW group completed a 12-week Nordic Walking training program (3 times a week/1 hour). PPTs measurements in selected muscles and functional tests evaluating upper-body flexibility (Back Scratch - BS) were carried out twice in every participant of the study: before and after the training program.
Results: A significant increase in PPT (kg/cm2) was observed in the following muscles in the NW group only: upper trapezius (from 1,32 kg/cm2 to 1,99 kg/cm2), mid trapezius (from 2,92 kg/cm2 to 3,30 kg/cm2), latissimus dorsi (from 1,66 kg/cm2 to 2,21 kg/cm2) and infraspinatus (from 1,63 kg/cm2 to 2,93 kg/cm2). Moreover, a significant improvement in the BS test was noted in the NW group compared with the control group (from -1,16±5,7 cm to 2,18±5,1 cm in the NW group vs from -2,52±6,1 to -2,92±6,2 in the control group).
Conclusions: A 12-week Nordic Walking training routine improves shoulder mobility and reduces tenderness in the following muscles: trapezius pars descendens and middle trapezius, infraspinatus and latissimus dorsi, in female office workers.
Keywords: Perceived pain threshold; aerobic training; physiotherapy.