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Advantages of Walking on an Incline When Compared To Running Flat

Walking on an incline is better than running on a flat surface, as it offers many benefits.(2, 3) Walking and running/jogging are two different types of exercises, which help in maintaining good health. Treadmill comes to rescue for individuals living in parts where there is lack of availability of good trails for walking/running.

Depending on your speed, walking on an incline on a treadmill gives equal or even more benefits when compared to running on a flat surface.(3) Walking on an incline also decreases the risk of injury.(2, 3) The amount of calories you burn is also more when waking on an incline.(2, 3)

Advantages of Walking on an Incline When Compared To Running Flat

Advantages of Walking on an Incline When Compared To Running Flat?

There are three major advantages of walking on an incline vs. running flat on the ground.  

Burns More Calories(1, 2): Walking on an incline takes more time when compared to running on a flat surface and this builds endurance and stamina along with burning more fat for energy consumption. So, incline walking will melt more fat when compared to running on a flat surface. The slower you walk on an incline, the more calories are burned. The speed does not come into consideration when one is running on a flat surface.

Strengthening and Toning of Lower Body(2): Other than burning more calories, walking on an incline has benefits such as strengthening and toning the muscles of the lower body as doing anything on an incline utilizes more muscles of the lower body.

Less Risk of Injury: Another great benefit of walking on an incline versus running flat is the risk of injury is very less with walking uphill.(2) Incline walking is also more challenging and benefits your cardiovascular health.(2) Running being a high impact activity puts more strain on the joints and increases the risk of injury.

When running, there are times when both of the feet are off the ground meaning that one leg has to do the entire weight bearing along with absorbing the shock of landing. When you are walking, one of your feet will always remain on the ground and there is also reduced stress on the knee joint hence less risk of injury.(3)


There is no doubt that both walking as well as running is beneficial for your health. Both of these activities can be easily done at your local gym or at home using a treadmill. Running is more intense when compared to walking and puts a lot of pressure on the joints. Whereas walking is safer than running as it is a low-impact exercise.(2) If you add an incline to your walking, then it is more beneficial to you than running on a flat ground. Walking on an incline, when done in the right manner, provides equal if not more health benefits than running with the added advantage of less risk of injury.(3) Running involves rigorous pounding of your feet on the flat ground causing more strain on the joints and feet and can cause blisters, strains, shin splints and sprains. Incline walking is more beneficial for people who suffer from joint problems, but nevertheless want to put in a good workout daily.(3) Either way, one should always consult their doctor before starting on any exercise regime; especially when one is suffering from medical problems.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 15, 2022

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