This study examined the efficiency of walking with a backpack load as a method for improving physical fitness. Forty-four subjects (average age, 18.8 years) marched at a speed of 5 km/hr for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Thirty-two subjects walked for 3 weeks with a 3-kg backpack load; 6 subjects marched for 4 weeks with the same load; 6 subjects marched for 3 weeks with a 3-kg load, and with a 6-kg load during the fourth week. A statistically significant increase in aerobic work capacity (Vo2max) was observed in all three groups, but was most pronounced in the last group.
(JAMA 243:2062-2063, 1980)
Shoenfeld Y, Keren G, Shimoni T, Birnfeld C, Sohar E. Walking: A Method for Rapid Improvement of Physical Fitness. JAMA. 1980;243(20):2062–2063. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300460044026
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