Nordic Walking as an effective physical activity for weight loss among overweight young adults in high schools

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2020 Feb;60(2):294-301. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.10093-X. Epub 2019 Oct 25.


Background: Overweight and obesity, low physical activity and lack of motivation to exercise are common among young adults. Thus, the objective of the study is to evaluate the efficiency of Nordic Walking for weight loss and improvement of functional and physiological state in young adults with overweight and obesity.

Methods: The study enrolled 77 students from Sechenov University with overweight and obesity aged from 17 to 23 years. Forty students in the main group completed an individual 9-months Nordic Walking exercise program. Thirty-seven students in the control group were engaged in physical training within the curriculum of the university. The components of body composition, level of physical working capacity and psycho-emotional status were studied.

Results: The final tests showed significant excessive body weight loss in students in the main group due to fat mass reduction by 18%; increase of physical working capacity by 22.5%; improvement of emotional stability by 22% and self-confidence level growth by 24%.

Conclusions: Nordic Walking is an effective type of physical training with high motivational component for excessive body weight loss in young adults. It is proved by significant improvement of the majority of morphofunctional and psychological parameters in students in the main group. Nordic Walking can be used in physical education program at high schools for pupils and students with overweight and obesity. The materials of the article are of practical value for PT tutors, advisors on healthy way of life and public health, specialists in physical rehabilitation, general practice doctors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Schools
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Walking / physiology
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult