The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 31–38 | Cite as

Effect of downhill walking on next-day muscle damage and glucose metabolism in healthy young subjects

  • Airi Nakayama
  • Wataru AoiEmail author
  • Maki Takami
  • Nariyuki Hirano
  • Yumi Ogaya
  • Sayori Wada
  • Akane Higashi
Original Paper


This study aimed to investigate the effect of downhill walking on muscle damage and glucose metabolism in healthy subjects. All ten healthy young men and women (age, 24.0 ± 1.4 years) performed rest, uphill walking, and downhill walking trials. In the exercise trials, uphill (+ 5%) or downhill (− 5%) treadmill walking was performed at 6 km/h for 30 min. On the next day, muscle soreness was significantly higher in the downhill trial than in the uphill trial (P < 0.01). Respiratory metabolic performance did not differ between trials. However, carbohydrate oxidation was negatively correlated with plasma creatine kinase (r = − 0.41) and muscle soreness (r = − 0.47). Fasting blood glucose was significantly lower in the uphill trial than in the rest trial (P < 0.01) but not in the downhill trial. These observations suggest that downhill but not uphill walking causes mild delayed-onset muscle damage, which did not cause marked impairment in glucose metabolism. However, higher muscle damage responders might exhibit lower glucose metabolism.


Walking Skeletal muscle Delayed-onset muscle damage Glucose metabolism Insulin sensitivity 



This work was partly supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI: Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) Grant numbers 25282199 and 17H02176.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All the participants signed an informed consent form agreeing to submit to the procedures involved in the study.


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Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Airi Nakayama
    • 1
  • Wataru Aoi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maki Takami
    • 1
  • Nariyuki Hirano
    • 1
  • Yumi Ogaya
    • 1
  • Sayori Wada
    • 1
  • Akane Higashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesKyoto Prefectural UniversityKyotoJapan

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