Effects of Interval Walking Training on Oral Health Status in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Case-Control Study

Tasuku Yoshimoto, Yoko Hasegawa, Mayuka Furihata, Akihiro Yoshihara, Masako Shiramizu, Ma Therese Sta. Maria, Shoko Hori, Mayuko Morikawa, Pinta Marito, Noboru Kaneko, Kaname Nohno, Hiroshi Nose, Shizue Masuki, Takahiro Ono

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of walking training “Interval Walking Training (IWT)” on oral health status. Participants were divided into two groups: an exercise intervention group and a non-intervention group (control). The intervention group consisted of 59 subjects (20 males, 39 females) aged 50 years or older who participated in the IWT program in Matsumoto from 2019 to April 2022. The control group consisted of 33 subjects (14 males and 19 females) aged 50 years or older who have visited Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital and agreed to participate in the study. The intervention group underwent walking training (interval walking training) for at least 5–6 months. The walking training consisted of five sets of fast walking above 70% peak aerobic capacity for walking (VO2peak) for 3 min, followed by 3 min of slow walking at ~40% VO2 peak per day for more than four days/week. The oral health status was evaluated for the number of teeth, occlusal force, salivary occult blood, masticatory performance, and tongue pressure. A total of 57 participants were analyzed in the intervention group (18 males and 39 females, age: 66.7 ± 0.8 (mean ± S.E.) years) and 33 participants in the control group (14 males and 19 females, age: 74.5 ± 1.1 (mean ± S.E.) years). There were no significant differences in gender, salivary occult blood, tongue pressure, masticatory performance, or occlusal force between the two groups at the start of the intervention (p = 0.36, p = 0.48, p = 0.42, p = 0.58, and p = 0.08, respectively by unpaired t-test or χ2 test). On the other hand, there were significant differences in age and BMI, with a trend toward lower age and higher BMI in the intervention group (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively, by unpaired t-test). In terms of rate of change, the intervention group showed a significant increase in occlusal force (F = 4.5, p = 0.04, ANCOVA) and a significant decrease in BMI (F = 7.3, p = 0.009, ANCOVA). No significant differences were observed in the other measured items. It was found that walking training in both middle-aged and older people does not only affect the physical aspect of weight loss but may help maintain and improve the occlusal force.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14465
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • aerobic
  • aged
  • exercise
  • occlusal force
  • oral function
  • physical fitness
  • walking


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