Race walking has grown over the past decade because it provides exercise without the high impact loads of running. However, whether race walking is truly a lower impact sport remains to be tested. Fifteen competitive race walkers ran and race walked over a force plate. The loading rate of the vertical ground reaction force was 46% lower for race walking in comparison to running. This suggests race walking is a lower impact exercise safer for the joints. This may be advantageous for people who would like to exercise at a higher intensity that walking provides but have joint problems, e.g. those with osteoarthritis.

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