Extract from an article "Walk that body: A stride to fitness" published in the Independent Newspaper on 27/01/09 by Rob Sharp - with Martin Christie, personal trainer and joint founder of N.W.U.K.
Pacerpoling makes use of similar techniques to Nordic walking, but it employs a different kind of pole. Christie explains that the ergonomically designed handle (pictured on opposite page) makes the extension of your arm and the handling of the pole much easier, and allows you to propel yourself more efficiently. Essentially, what you are getting is more power for less effort, and this puts less strain on your body. "Lots of people find the handle more comfortable," Christie says. "There's no strap [which Nordic poles have], so you can pick it up and go straight away." He says that many people find the technique easier to learn than other forms of "equipment assisted" walking. "As with Nordic walking, in a single session you should be able to learn all the basics you need."
As Christie suggests, these poles are easier to use than the Nordic ones, but they do more or less the same thing. I would almost certainly opt to use these if I had to choose. Equally, I can see how they might be easier for elderly people to use than other types of pole. "Some older adults may find the ergonomic handle and lack of strap a much more comfortable option," Christie says. "It is a more effective option because you can put more power down them." (See http://www.pacerpole.com/.)
The following is an extract written by a North American called Bill DeWitt, who discovered the Pacerpole website when searching for means to improve his walking ability and general health. After using Pacerpoles now for some months he has written the following as a way of encapsulating his impressions of what Pacerpoles have done for him to help him achieve his goals......
WALK YOUR WAY TO HEALTH AND FITNESS
Do you want to feel that good feeling that comes with total body exercise?
Do you need less stress on your feet, knees or lower back when you walk?
Do you need better posture but don't know how to get it?
Do you want to rid yourself of drooping shoulders?
THEN! Learn to walk with Pacerpoles!
Pacerpoles even out the stresses on your body as you walk. Controlled stress is necessary to build both bones and muscles, but too much stress in any one area can eventually erode the joints. Walking is easier on the joints than jogging and walking with Pacerpoles is even easier. Each push with a Pacerpole provides both lift and forward momentum rerouting some of the lower body stress through the pole and into the upper body. As a result your whole body gets just the right amount of stress to build healthy bones and muscles.
Pacerpoles help you stand up straight, put your shoulders in proper position (down and back), and build the muscles that can keep them there. As you push down and back on the Pacerpole, there is a firm isometric contraction of the shoulder girdle and an easily tolerated, short midrange motion of the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint). Whether on slopes or level ground, walking with Pacerpoles fosters an upright posture and neutral curves along the spine. This makes room for your lungs to easily and fully expand taking in the maximum amount of energy producing oxygen with each breath.
If you've ever seen Michael Johnson run 200 and 400 meter races, you've seen his upright torso. He purposely ran this way to get the maximum oxygen intake to allow his muscles to power him to victory.
Makes sense doesn’t it.