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Volume 15 No. 04
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Effects of an Acute Bout of Light-Intensity Walking on Sleep in Older Women With Sleep Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Li-Jung Chen, PhD1; Clare Stevinson, PhD2; Shih-Hua Fang, PhD3; Chih-Yang Taun, PhD4; Po-Wen Ku, PhD5
1Department of Exercise Health Science, and Graduate Institute of Recreational Sport Management, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taiwan; 2School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, United Kingdom; 3Institute of Athletics, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taiwan; 4Department of Exercise Health Science, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taiwan; 5Graduate Institute of Sports and Health, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

Study Objectives:

This study aimed to explore the effects of a single bout of light-intensity walking on sleep in older women with mild sleep impairment.


A total of 40 women aged 55 years or older with mild sleep impairment were randomized to either a treadmill walking session for 50 minutes or a quiet-rest control. All participants completed the study (mean age: 60.4 ± 4.7 years). Sleep quality was assessed by ActiGraph for 2 nights before (pretest) and 2 nights after exercise (posttest). A mixed-design analysis of variance was used with group as the between-subjects factor and time point as the within-subjects factor.


No significant group difference in demographic variables, body mass index, physical and mental status, and eight sleep parameters were observed at baseline. Significant group-time interactions existed for sleep latency (P < .001) and sleep efficiency (P = .025). After the intervention, the walking group reduced sleep latency by 3.3 minutes (P = .001) and also had greater sleep efficiency (increase 3.8%, P = .008), but no significant change was found in the control group. No significant group-time interactions were present for the other six sleep parameters (activity counts, total sleep time, wake after sleep onset, number and length of awakenings, or time in bed).


A single session of light-intensity walking led to a modest reduction in sleep latency and improvement of sleep efficiency in older women with mild sleep impairment.


Chen LJ, Stevinson C, Fang SH, Taun CY, Ku PW. Effects of an acute bout of light-intensity walking on sleep in older women with sleep impairment: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(4):581–586.

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