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The Fitness Benefits of Pushing a Baby Stroller

Greany, John F. PhD, PT1; Greany, Kristin A. PhD, RD2

Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy: September/December 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 103–107
doi: 10.1097/JWH.0000000000000002
Research Reports

Objective: The aim of this study was to quantify the cardiorespiratory response and energy expenditure of women pushing a stroller (single and double) outdoor.

Study Design: Observational.

Background: There are limited and conflicting reports on the guidelines for improving fitness while pushing a stroller.

Methods and Measures: Two cohorts of women participated; 11 women (25.5 ± 5.2 years) for a single stroller and 17 women (22.9 ± 0.9 years) for a double stroller. All subjects completed a treadmill maximal exercise capacity test and exercise trials pushing a weighted stroller outdoor at 3.0 and 4.0 mph. Oxygen consumption (

O2), caloric expenditure (kcal), and heart rate (HR) were measured.

Results: The absolute mean intensity for single/double stroller was 4.8/5.3 metabolic equivalents (METs) at 3.0 mph and 7.0/7.0 METs at 4.0 mph. The mean relative intensity (percent HR reserve) for single/double stroller was 55.1%/63.9% at 3 mph and 67.9%/73.9% at 4 mph. Percent maximal oxygen uptake reserve (%

O2R) for single/double stroller was 37.2%/43.7% at 3 mph and 53.9%/57.6% at 4 mph. Energy expenditure was 5.3/5.2 kcal/min at 3 mph and 7.7/6.9 kcal/min at 4 mph.

Conclusions: Pushing a weighted single or double stroller at least 3.0 mph meets the absolute intensity guidelines for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and can yield health and fitness benefits.

1Health Professions Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

2Biology Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The authors thank the following students for their assistance with data collection and preliminary manuscript development (Karen Hanadel, DPT; Angela Holan, DPT; Britni Schickert, DPT). The authors also thank Kolcraft, Inc, for their donation of the strollers.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the Section on Women's Health, American Physical Therapy Association.
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