The Effects of One Bout of Nordic Walking on Exercise Capacity and Intensity, Rate of Perceived Exertion, and Pain in Older Adults with Osteoarthritis in the Lower Extremities


  • Eryk Przysucha
  • Carlos Zerpa
  • Margret Czolpinski


osteoarthritis, clinical treatment, physical activity


Nordic walking (NW) may represent a nonpharmacological treatment for individuals with osteoarthritis who refrain from exercise due to physical stress and coinciding feeling of exhaustion.  This study examined if NW has a positive effect on aerobic capacity (VO2max) and intensity (time to completion) of exercise, rate of perceived exertion (Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale) and pain (Visual Analog Pain Scale) in elderly adults with osteoarthritis. Six females and four males (Mage = 62.8 years, SD = 4. 6 months) engaged in one session comprised of a regular walking and one involving NW. The variables derived at the end of each session showed that NW led to significant increase in VO2max and intensity as compared to regular walking. No significant differences were evident in the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), but more pain was perceived when walking without the poles. Overall, the addition of poles while walking had a positive effect on exercise capacity and intensity, without negative impact on perception of exertion and pain. Thus, NW may be recommended to older adults with osteoarthritis, of either gender, for its favorable physiological and psychological effects.





Research Application