ACTIVATOR Course – Section 2


A brief overview of published studies on Nordic walking is given in this section.


  1. What are the researched benefits of walking poles for those with Parkinson’s?
  2. What are the researched benefits of walking poles for older adults?
  3. What are the benefits of using poles compared to canes & to reduce the use of walkers (when approved by a rehab professional)?

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ACTIVATOR™ Poles should only be prescribed for walker users under the assessment and guidance of a rehab professional.  You may assess it is more appropriate for your client to use their cane and/or walker as their primary mobility devices and use ACTIVATOR™ Poles for exercise sessions, gait retraining or daily walking programs.

Update: 2018 – ACTIVATOR™ Poles are also prescribed in the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia.  2% of 4Life Pole sales goes to cancer wellness programs in Canada. References to the use of poles being prescribed in mental health programs is pertaining to Canada.


Manual – Read chapter on Research.

Update: 2018 – Click here to read about 8 current/recent pilot studies on ACTIVATOR™ Poles in Canada and UK – Fall Prevention, COPD, Geriatric, Off loading of the Knee, Spinal Stenosis (Royal National Orthopedic Hospital, London UK), Aged Care/Long Term Care

The effects of pole walking on arm lymphedema and cardiovascular fitness in women treated for breast cancer: a pilot and feasibility study.

Links to abstracts on Nordic walking research can be accessed under under “Health+Research” or 240+ studies on Nordic walking on

Going downhill

For moderately steep slopes, simply decrease the pressure on the base of the handles or drag your poles behind you. For steep slopes, keep your poles upright and in front and out to the side slightly, so if you do fall you won’t land on your poles. Bend your knees and elbows, and slow down any momentum. For long descents, it may be helpful to lengthen the poles.
Barb Gormley, Director of Education

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