OBJECTIVES: This prospective study was conducted to assess the effect of walking exercise on bowel cleansing before colonoscopy and to define a patient subgroup that would benefit from walking exercise. METHODS: A total of 383 outpatients were randomized into two groups (G1 [n = 196]; walking exercise, G2 [n = 187]; nonexercise). Those randomized to G1 were instructed to drink 250 mL of polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution and then walk at least for 5 min at intervals of 10 min whereas those randomized to G2 were instructed to drink and then take rest in a waiting room until the entire 2.5-3 L volume was consumed. The amount of walking exercise in both groups was estimated using a step counter. A single endoscopist estimated the efficacy of cleansing in a single-blinded manner. Patient's demographics, various parameters related to bowel preparation, and the degree of patients discomfort caused by the walking exercise were assessed. RESULTS: The number of step counts taken was significantly different for the two groups (p < 0.001). The degree of bowel cleansing in the G1 (n = 189) and G2 (n = 177) groups was significantly different (p < 0.01). However, the groups were similar in terms of all other data collected. By univariate analysis, walking exercise was especially beneficial to a subgroup of nonobese patients of age <65 yr, without history of abdominal surgery. Also, multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that nonexercise (OR = 0.49; 95% CI = 0.31-0.79) was an independent risk factor for poor bowel cleansing. Most walking patients (97.3%) considered walking exercise more comfortable than taking the polyethylene glycol solution. CONCLUSION: The walking exercise was found to improve colonoscopic bowel cleansing without significant patient discomfort.
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