We’re leading experts in the science and process of walking better. WalkActive is a complete system for health, fitness and wellbeing. Make every step effective for achievable benefits that fit with your lifestyle.
What is WalkActive?
WalkActive was devised by Sports Scientist Joanna Hall BSc, Founder and Creator of WalkActive and an internationally acclaimed walking, fitness and wellbeing expert with over 30 years in the sport and fitness industry. By studying the science of walking, and recovering from abdominal surgery while pregnant Joanna developed the WalkActive technique as a method to help her successful recovery post-surgery during the physical demands of pregnancy.
Joanna observed that typically in the general population, there’s a physiological imbalance between how the body should move and how it really moves. This imbalance may connect to injury, joint or muscle pain, lifestyle or bad habits ingrained over time. These imbalances detract from walking effectively. The WalkActive technique overcomes this imbalance. Once the technique is mastered, every step counts towards better health outcomes.
WalkActive is a unique programme, scientifically verified and professionally recognised as a trusted and transformative process which achieves tangible results. The WalkActive technique improves posture, joint health, fitness and body shape.
WalkActive is available on App with Joanna Hall, your WalkActive Coach in your pocket. In addition, the WalkActive Certification Academy provides accreditation for fitness trainers, pilates/yoga instructors and health professionals to teach the scientifically verified WalkActive System in their communities. A series of live workshops, events and retreats with Joanna are planned annually and regular livestream WalkActive sessions are available to join in the app.
WalkActive, the world’s leading authority to help you walk fitter, is grounded in science.
In this article, we look at the scientific research undertaken to test the WalkActive walking technique in the biometrics laboratory at South Bank University in London (LSBU). The research was headed up by renowned scientist, Dr Darren James. Results from the in-depth trial and the subsequent scientific paper were irrefutable.
An overview of the results
WalkActive is proven to help you to walk fitter, healthier happier and trimmer. The research demonstrated that:
- The WalkActive technique substantially improves posture
- Statistically significant changes occur in body shape, particularly around the middle – stomach and thighs
- There was a marked reduction of strain in the joints, especially at the knee and ankle observed
- Participants overwhelmingly recognised improvement in their wellbeing as a result of the program
The unique WalkActive technique, backed by professional scientific study and examined by peer review, is the differentiator which sets WalkActive apart from other walking-focused health and fitness programmes. Joanna Hall is the authority in this field of fitness and wellbeing. It’s her life-long passion to get us all walking better for transformational health outcomes. Joanna is your personal coach in your pocket. And with her infectious enthusiasm and expertise, she’s your north star to get you looking and feeling great all through walking.
How to learn the WalkActive technique
The technique is mastered by following a 4-step process, learning how to make important adjustments to how the body should move when walking. This evidence-based programme supports participants to realise significant improvements in overall fitness, health and body shape by walking better. The WalkActive technique encourages walking through the whole foot while attending to specific mechanical considerations within the gait cycle. Hip stabilisation, retracted shoulders and the correct use of arms can improve health and wellbeing by improving posture and promoting weight loss.
Joanna Hall and the WalkActive team are passionate about making a difference through teaching the science-backed process to learn to walk better. Thousands of WalkActivists across the globe have already benefitted from this tried and tested programme with astonishing results. After learning the WalkActive technique, distinct benefits were experienced and shared with us by our clients anecdotally from around the world. These health improvements are consistent with the science behind the art of WalkActive walking and include:
- Improvements in posture, spine and joint health
- Positive changes to psychological health
- Reduction in the use of medications
- Successful outcomes for those overcoming injury or surgery
WalkActive is accessible to all regardless of age or fitness level. And the possibilities for transforming health, fitness and wellbeing and to feel those changes inside out are attainable for everyone.
A scientific study on WalkActive
To verify these anecdotal benefits, the WalkActive technique was investigated by Dr Darren James of the Sport and Exercise Science and Nutrition Research Centre at London Southbank University (LSBU). The research centre is recognised internationally for its expertise in movement neuroscience, muscle metabolism and clinical and applied science.
Introduction to the scientific study
Adults aged 18 to 65 should undertake at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise to promote and maintain health. This is defined as an activity that accelerates heart rate and is equivalent to a brisk walk (Haskell et al, 2007). To meet this target, the leisurely walker must increase speed or incorporate additional elements. WalkActive encourages walking using the whole body, but until this research, there had been no scientific study to assess the value of the technique. This study aimed to verify that retaining an active walking profile gives health benefits over normal walking.
Who were the participants?
Candidates were invited to enrol on the scientific study to demonstrate the effects of Joanna Hall’s WalkActive technique. From thousands of submissions, 24 participants, whose only physical activity was leisurely walking, were chosen to follow a 28-day plan. Their responses were compared with a control group of 10 people matched for baseline physical activity, who received no training and were asked not to alter their lifestyle.
How the study was conducted
Both the WalkActive and control participants visited the biomechanics laboratory for pre-intervention measurements. These consisted of health-related indicators:
- Resting blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Estimated body fat percentage
- Blood cholesterol (total cholesterol and HDL)
- A full body gait analysis, for the assessment of posture, joint loading and skeletal alignment. This was achieved by creating a 3D model of each individual using 45 spherical markers positioned at anatomically relevant sites.
Eight infrared motion analysis cameras then captured the 3D position and trajectory of each marker. The gait analysis protocol required 10 repeated barefoot walking trials at individually preferred walking speeds along a 10-metre walkway. Each participant was required to make full foot contact with two force platforms embedded in the walkway: only data from the left side were entered for analysis. Participants were allowed as much time as possible to familiarise themselves with the conditions and the laboratory environment. Following this, the WalkActive group took part in a month’s training on the technique.
The intervention began with an introductory workshop to familiarise the group with the basic components of the technique, followed by two weekly group sessions with Joanna and her elite WalkActive team. Each participant was set homework to concentrate on the WalkActive technique and to perform bespoke abdominal exercises. The control group received no intervention period and was instructed not to change their lifestyle in any way. There were no dietary restrictions placed on either group. After the month of training, the participants were invited back to the laboratory for post-intervention measurements to assess the effect of WalkActive training. They were asked to provide their interpretation of the technique using the gait analysis (with no further instruction provided by the investigators). It was anticipated that these participants would display an increase in walking speed so, to control for the effect of this, the average percentage increase in walking speed from the WalkActive group was translated onto the walking speed of individual control group members during their re-test measurements.
We were interested in finding interaction effects in the data; meaning, where the responses in one group changed for a given measure between pre-and post-intervention tests, the other group would demonstrate no change or an opposite effect.
Results of the scientific study into WalkActive
- Walking speed increased in the WalkActive group by 23%.
- All of these participants reported that their level of physical activity had increased since taking part in the study, whereas none of the control group reported this.
- 96% of WalkActive participants reported that their general wellbeing had improved since starting the study, as opposed to 0% in the control group. Moreover, the WalkActive participants continued exercising after the study period, further improving their wellbeing.
- As a result of the 28-day plan, significant reductions were found in body mass (2%) estimated body fat percentage (3%) and the skinfold measurement (15%).
- Participants walked taller following the 28-day plan: their centre of mass vertical displacement was significantly greater than pre-intervention measurements as a result of improved posture and skeletal alignment.
- Correspondingly, ground forces during the single limb support phase of walking were significantly lower, causing noticeable reductions in the force experienced at the knee and ankle joints.
How to join the WalkActive tribe and see the benefits for yourself
The WalkActive App is available globally, attracting WalkActivists from all over the world who have learnt the technique and are realising the benefits to their health and wellbeing. The app offers a FREE 7 DAY TRIAL to give users the chance to try the technique before committing to the programme.
The app offers Monthly and Annual membership options and includes:
✅ Learn the WalkActive technique with Fundamentals programme: Get Started with WalkActive.
✅ Educational user friendly instruction videos
✅ Beginner to fit in 6 weeks with Stroll to Stride 5K
✅ Core, Tone and Stride Programme – at home drills and exercises to complement your walking sessions
✅ Monthly Challenges to help you walk better
✅ An extensive Walk to the Beat Music audio coaching library
✅ Live coaching sessions to catapult your results
✅ A private community, a fun and supportive group, to keep you accountable and on track for success
Download the WalkActive App today for your FREE 7 Day Trial
Walk Fitter + Healthier + Happier + Trimmer
Look + Feel + Perform Better with every step