Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 121–126 | Cite as

Reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and long-lasting walking habit in sedentary male and female subjects following 1 year of guided walking

  • Simona Mandini
  • Gabriella Collini
  • Giovanni Grazzi
  • Elena Lavezzi
  • Gianni Mazzoni
  • Francesco Conconi
Original Article



To analyze the change in risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in sedentary subjects following 1 year of guided walking and check the maintenance of the walking habit 16 months after the end of the project.


A total of 650 sedentary subjects (442 women, 208 men) were admitted to the project. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and walking speed were determined at enrollment and redetermined after 1 year in the subjects completing the project. Daily groups of guided walking were organized.


In the 326 subjects completing the project, highly significant reduction in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and increase in walking speed were documented. Out of the 326 finishers, 266 answered a questionnaire on the minutes of walking they were doing each week, 16 months after the end of the project: 258 declared 170 ± 110 min while eight declared to be back to inactivity.


Guided walking was followed by highly significant reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and improved walking speed. Seventy-seven percent of the finishers were maintaining the walking practice 16 months after the end of the project, indicating that guided walking programs can be effective in permanently modifying the lifestyle of sedentary subjects.


Guided walking Sedentary subjects Cardiovascular risk factors Cardiovascular efficiency Lifestyle modification Exercise physiology 



Body mass index


Waist circumference


Systolic blood pressure


Diastolic blood pressure


Walking speed


Author contributions

All authors contributed to the writing of this manuscript and approved the final submitted version. SM and FC involved in data acquisition, data analysis, and interpretation.

Compliance with ethical standards


The study was supported by the Italian Ministry of Education and Scientific Research and the Ministry of Sport.

Availability of data and materials

Data and materials can be requested from the corresponding author.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The Ethics Committee of the Ferrara University Hospital approved all study procedures and participants provided written informed consent to participate in the study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Biomedical Studies Applied to SportUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.Public Health DepartmentAUSL FerraraFerraraItaly

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