Walking is the most popular physical activity among adults. As walking does not require special skills, facilities or equipment, it can be performed in the course of daily transport, recreation or occupational activities. Walking outdoors can therefore be used by many people to meet public health guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity. In this review we examine what speed people walk naturally and if it is fast enough to meet these guidelines.
Using data from 14,015 participants in 35 studies, we provide expected values for speed, cadence, percent maximal heart rate, and oxygen consumption for slow through maximal paced walking. We found that walking outdoors at a self-selected “usual” pace meets thresholds for moderate-intensity activity. Such pace-based instructions can be used to support walking in outdoor setting within public health guidelines. For more see our summary on Kudos.
Murtagh, E.M., Mair, J.L., Aguiar, E. Tudor-Locke, C., Murphy, M.H. Outdoor Walking Speeds of Apparently Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Medicine (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-020-01351-3