Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Walking Slowly May Help Obese Lose Weight Better

June 17, 2005 - A slower-than-normal walk may offer obese men and women a better bang for their buck when it comes to burning calories and avoiding knee injuries.

Researchers found that obese people who walk at a slower pace burn more calories than when they walk at their normal pace. In addition, walking at a slower, 2-mile-per-hour pace reduces the stress on their knee joints by up to 25% compared with walking at a brisk 3-mile-per-hour pace.

"The message is that by walking more slowly, obese individuals can burn more calories per mile and may reduce the risk of arthritis or joint injury," says researcher Ray Browning, a doctoral student in integrative physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in a news release.

The results appear in a recent issue of the journal Obesity Research.

Walk Slow, Burn More Calories

In the study, researchers tested 20 men and 20 women on treadmills and sidewalks to see how many calories they burned walking at different speeds. They also determined their posture while walking.

Half of the participants were obese and half were of normal weight.

Researchers found that the obese people burned more calories when walking at the same speed as normal-weight walkers.

This may be because obese people usually have heavier legs and wider stances, which causes them to swing their legs out more, making walking more work for obese people. They also say obesity leads to postural instability, so obese people require more muscles during walking to compensate.

They also found that normal-pace walking significantly increased forces on the knee by about 25% compared with slower walking, which could lead to joint injuries or arthritis.

Exercise Prescription

Therefore, the researchers say that obese people gain a net benefit -- burning calories plus decreasing joint stress -- by walking slower than normal. Walking slowly for a longer period of time slightly increases the number of calories burned, they add.

They suggest that walking 2 miles an hour may be more beneficial for obese people than a more normal pace of 3 miles an hour.

Although walking slowly may help obese men and women burn calories more efficiently, researchers say walking slowly does not offer much in the way of cardiovascular benefits. Therefore, they advise a combination of walking slowly and other vigorous low-impact activities, such as swimming, cycling, and elliptical training workouts for optimum health.

WebMD Health News

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...