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Runners Achieve Greater Weight Loss Than Walkers

Male and female walkers spend less energy walking than runners spend running, study finds

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MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Runners lose more weight than walkers, according to a large study published in the April issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Paul T. Williams, Ph.D., from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, analyzed survey results from questionnaires completed at baseline and after 6.2 years from 15,237 walkers and 32,216 runners.

Williams found that, at baseline, both male and female walkers spent less energy walking than runners spent running and were significantly heavier than runners. Energy expenditure declined less for walking in walkers than for running in runners over the course of the study. There was an inverse relationship between change in body mass index (BMI) and both change in metabolic equivalent of task (MET)-hours per day run and change in MET-hours per day walked. The relationship was stronger in the change of MET-hours per day run than walked in men and in heavier women. In the fourth BMI quartile for both sexes there was approximately a 90 percent greater weight loss per MET-hours per day run than walked. Age-related weight gain was minimized significantly by running in both sexes and by walking in women.

"Although change in BMI was significantly associated with both change in MET-hours per day run and walked, the change in BMI was significantly greater for change in running than change in walking," the author writes.

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