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Does Walking Worsen GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also commonly referred to as acid reflux, is a condition when your stomach contents escape into your food pipe or esophagus. Your stomach acids can feel quite irritable against your esophageal wall and can give you a burning sensation. This burning sensation is also called heartburn. Several physiological conditions and underlying health situations can lead to acid reflux. Strenuous and vigorous exercise regimes can be one of the trigger factors which can not only lead to acid reflux but can also degrade the condition further.(1) In this context, it is worth understanding how safe can walking be in terms of worsening GERD or if it can help in dealing with the condition.

Does Walking Worsen GERD?

Does Walking Worsen GERD?

As the first line of defense against the condition, doctors often ask their patients to lose weight. People who are obese have a greater tendency of developing GERD.(2)

Excess body weight puts increased pressure on the abdomen. This causes the stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. Hence losing weight can help acid reflux in a major way. Walking is a simple yet nontaxing way through which you can improve on condition.(1, 3) Since acid reflux is a condition that is related to poor digestion, light physical exercise which can improve the condition is highly advised to cure the condition of GERD. Doctors often advise patients with GERD to walk for thirty minutes a day.(3)

However, the below mentioned things needs to be kept in mind:

Speed of Walking

The pace, speed, or intensity at which you walk can make a major difference to the overall condition of GERD. If you wish to get the best help from your walking routines for your GERD problem, then you need to maintain a slow-paced and comfortable walking style. Although exercise is supposed to be helpful to cure the condition of GERD, yet it has to be a comfortable style of exercise. Too rigorous or intense workout routines can be harmful to the condition.(1, 4) This is exactly why you must not walk too vigorously. This can lead to an intensification of the acid reflux condition. A couple of tips to remember:

  • Walk at a light pace like 2-3Km/hr (Brisk walk)
  • Keep the walking duration for 15-30 minutes
  • Take rest if you feel exhausted in-between
  • Slowly increase the time, not abruptly
  • Walk at least 5 days in a week.

Walk Timing for GERD

The timing of your walking happens to be just as imperative. If your walking routine is not helping your condition of GERD, then try to rearrange the time of your walking. Walk two to three hours after your meals.(5) You need to give this time after meals if you wish to get the best results from your walking schedules.


Walking doesn’t worsen GERD; instead, it improves the condition to a great extent. Walking in the right way maintaining speed, rhythm, and timing can help you improve the condition of GERD.(1) At the same time, eat light food that is easy to digest. You must have an adequate amount of water. Water helps in easy digestion. Since acid reflux is a condition that stems out of a weak digestive system, proper food and the right amount of water consumption can help in a big way. It is also important to not sleep right after having food. Give a gap of at least 2 hours between having food and going to bed. All of this put together along with the right medicines can improve the condition over a period of time.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16646627/
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nmo.13009
  3. Avidan B, Sonnenberg A, Schnell TG, Sontag SJ. Walking and chewing reduce postprandial acid reflux. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Feb;15(2):151-5.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4675480/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22204202/
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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