Heart Beat: Bumping along to better health

Heart Beat

Bumping along to better health

Published: March, 2014

Treadmill and track, move over — a bumpy road may yield a smoother path to better balance, lower blood pressure, and good health.

In China, people walk barefoot on formal paths paved with river stones. A team from the Oregon Research Institute wanted to measure the benefits, if any, of this exercise. First they devised rubber mats that simulated the smooth stone paths. Then they randomly assigned 108 healthy but physically inactive older volunteers to walk on the mats three times a week for 30 minutes, or to walk outdoors for the same amount of time.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »