Oregon Research Institute studied 108 people who were over 60 years of age for the health benefits of walking on cobblestones. They came up with this wild idea after watching children and adults walking, exercising and dancing on cobblestone paths in China.
The Chinese believe that walking on cobblestones activates acupoints on the feet. Acupressure and acupuncture specialists say that points on the feet, hands, ears and other areas of body relate to specific organs, flow of energy and functions of the body. A trained practioner activates these points to improve the health of their patients.
For 16 weeks, the researchers studied this Chinese theory that cobblestone walking was good for health by having ½ of their subjects walk on cobblestones for exercise. These subjects wore socks or were barefoot on a specially designed cobblestone like surface for exercise. The control group walked on traditional walking paths.
What were the findings? They found that all the subjects reported improvements in how they felt with a walking program. However, in 16 weeks the subjects who walked on cobblestones showed marked improvement in blood pressure and balance. So find some cobblestones and start walking!