1. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of brisk walking on serum lipoprotein variables.
2. Seventy-two apparently healthy but physically inactive men (aged 42–59 years) were recruited. These men were normotensive non-smokers without a history of dyslipidaemia. Subjects were randomly allocated on a 2 to 1 basis into either a walking group (n = 48) or a control group (n = 24). Walkers followed a self-monitored programme of brisk walking for 1 year, whereas control subjects maintained their habitual lifestyle.
3. Treadmill walking tests were conducted to examine changes in fitness. Concentrations of serum lipids and lipoproteins were determined in fasting subjects. The amount of body fat was measured by body density. Circumferences at the waist and hip and skinfold thicknesses were used to determine the distribution of body fat. Dietary intakes were assessed by weighed food inventories.
4. Seven subjects (six walkers and one control subject) dropped out during the study. Walkers did an average of 28 (SEM 1.4; n = 42) min of brisk walking/day. This improved endurance fitness but did not influence serum concentrations of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triacylglycerol, apolipoprotein A-1, apolipoprotein B or lipoprotein (a). Neither body mass nor the amount of body fat changed, relative to control subjects.
5. These data suggest that brisk walking does not modify lipoprotein metabolism in normolipidaemic middle-aged men.