Department of Misinformation XIX: Harvard Doesn’t Know Everything

Harvard Health Letter misidentifies poles used for Nordic Walking

The new Harvard Health Letter, released under the prestigious Harvard Medical School name, in a piece called “Talking of Walking in Three Easy Pieces,” includes the statement:

“Using hiking poles on flat land has been dubbed Nordic walking because the motion resembles cross-country skiing and, by some accounts, the practice has a Finnish provenance.”

Oh no! Not again. Not another confusion between hiking poles and Nordic Walking poles!

4 thoughts on “Department of Misinformation XIX: Harvard Doesn’t Know Everything”

  1. Hi Claire – hope you had a GREAT time in Alaska!

    hey – according to the North American division of the INWA this is their definition of Nordic Walking Poles: Designed specifically for the activity. Strong, lightweight, durable shaft. Specifically designed handle and tip for forward propulsion. Specially designed durable tips for all surfaces.

    So, according to this definition pretty much any downhill, xc, hiking, trekking and misc. poles could be defined as “Nordic Walking Poles”. Why so broad a definition? Because they are fishing for sponsors that include heavy downhill ski poles (example: Heavy Reflex Downhill Poles now utilized and widely marketed as “Nordic Walking Poles”) and other manufacturers that promote trekking poles as Nordic Walking Poles.

    As you know Claire I prefer one-piece poles that are “Nordic” in style, stronger, lighter and much more user-friendly than 2-piece and 3-piece collapsible poles that often rattle, vibrate and/or collapse unexpectedly.

    While hosting clinics at an Employee Wellness Heath Fair yesterday I sold a pair of quality one-piece Nordic Walking Poles to a fellow presenter that hated her collapsible poles and had a long story about how they were NOT user-friendly. She tried taping them, gluing them and she still couldn’t get them to stop gradually collapsing. Plus she noted the annoying rattle and vibration from her collapsible poles.

    And for Nordic Walking you really can’t beat the quality fingerless glove-type straps from SWIX and EXEL – patented by the Salomon Ski Company.

    The important thing is to get more folks off the couch and out walking.

    Walking with poles is the best,

    Pete – owner/founder/coach SKIWALKING.COM LLC and the American Nordic Walking System

  2. I use the same quality Salomon patented fingerless glove type straps for cross country skiing (skate and classic) and for roller skiing, Nordic Walking, Nordic Running and Snowshoeing. 100% of the SWIX and EXEL Nordic Walking Poles that I sell also have these same quality straps – production cost for quality straps is expensive, but worth every penny. Strapless poles, loop straps and velcros strings do not perform as well as the Salomon patented straps. They also are not as comfortable as the Salomon patented straps.

    Walking with poles is the best!

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