2019 Volume 31 Issue 5 Pages 435-439
[Purpose] Although gum chewing while walking has been reported to increase walking speed and heart rate, its effect on energy expenditure remains unclear. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of gum chewing while walking on fat oxidation, energy expenditure, and different walking parameters. [Participants and Methods] This randomized crossover study included 10 males and 5 females who walked for 15 min at their own pace while chewing 2 pieces of gum in the gum trial or while eating 2 tablets in the control trial. A wearable metabolic system, heart rate monitor, and pedometer measured fat oxidation, energy expenditure, heart rate, step count, and walking distance. Walking speed and stride length were also calculated. [Results] The energy expenditure, fat oxidation and heart rate were significantly higher during the gum trial than during the control trial. Significant increases were observed in the step count, walking distance, and walking speed but not in the stride length. [Conclusion] Our results suggest that gum chewing affects sympathetic nervous system activity and walking rhythm with a consequent improvement in the health-related effects of walking, which in turn helps to maintain weight. These findings may play a role in preventing the gradual age-related weight gain that predisposes to obesity.