Kwok (2022) Effectiveness of Deep Water Running on Improving Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Physical Function and Quality of Life: A Systematic Review

Summary: Effectiveness of Deep Water Running on Improving Fitness and Quality of Life

Introduction to Deep Water Running (DWR)

Deep Water Running, a form of aquatic aerobic exercise, is gaining popularity for simulating dry land running patterns. This systematic review by Kwok et al. aims to evaluate the impact of DWR on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), physical function, and quality of life (QoL) in both healthy and clinical populations​​.

Study Approach

Eleven studies, including seven randomized controlled trials with a total of 287 participants, were analyzed. The review used data from six databases, assessing the effectiveness of DWR compared to no intervention or standard treatment and land-based training. The study’s quality was assessed using the Downs and Black checklist​​.

Key Findings

Results indicated that DWR has comparable effects on CRF to land-based training. However, there were limited studies reporting on the impact of DWR on physical function and QoL. The studies showed a high level of clinical and statistical heterogeneity, preventing the completion of meta-analyses​​.


To conclude DWR appears to be an effective alternative to land-based training for improving CRF, especially in populations that are weak, injured, or in pain. The aquatic environment may offer advantages for high-intensity, off-loaded exercise. However, the review highlights the need for more studies to solidify these findings​​.

Keyphrase: Effectiveness of Deep Water Running in Enhancing Fitness and Well-being

Important Keywords: Deep Water Running, Aquatic Exercise, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Physical Function, Quality of Life, Conditioning, Sport, Physical Fitness, Wellness.

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