The Acute Effect of Fast and Slow Stepping Cadence on Regional Vascular Function

R. O. Compton, M. Ulcak, Joaquin U. Gonzales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine if stepping cadence when controlling for total steps has a differential impact on regional vascular function. 16 young adults (21±2 years) performed fast (125 steps per min) and slow (80 steps per min) walking for a total of 3 000 steps on separate days. Doppler ultrasound was used to measure compliance, blood flow and shear rate of the common carotid artery and superficial femoral artery before walking and at 30 and 60 min after walking. Carotid compliance was significantly (p<0.05) elevated 60 min after fast (17.1±25.9%) and slow (24.1±27.3%) walking with no difference between cadences. Both fast and slow walking failed to increase femoral compliance, despite significant (p<0.05) dilation in the femoral artery that was observed at 30 (4.2±3.9%) and 60 min (3.9±5.4%) after fast walking. Consistent with this latter finding, femoral blood flow and shear rate were significantly (p<0.05) increased at 30 min after fast walking. These results indicate that a single bout of walking at a fast or slow stepping cadence increases compliance of large elastic arteries but has no acute effect on compliance of peripheral (leg) arteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1045
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number13
StatePublished - Aug 10 2015


  • arterial stiffness
  • blood flow
  • carotid artery
  • femoral artery
  • shear stress
  • walking


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