One paper also found that munching on gum can help to alleviate stress, which, the study authors hypothesized, may be due to increased blood flow to the brain.
"Gum chewing while walking measurably affects physical and physiological functions", researchers concluded.
The study, which was conducted by Yuka Hamada and colleagues from Waseda University, has yielded interesting results for those looking to understand how even one of their smallest daily habits could impact their body and its use of energy.
The exact reasons remain unknown but researchers, who presented their findings to the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, put forward several hypotheses. Group 1 chewed two pieces of gum for 15 minutes while walking. If they did nothing but sit and chew gum, researcher calculated that they would lose 11 pounds at the end of a year.
Researchers measured participants' heart rate, walking heart rate in both legs, then the distance they covered at a natural pace, the number of steps taken and, walking speed.
The same was true for the difference between their heart rate at rest versus their heart rate in movement.
"Combining physical exercises and chewing gum could be an effective way to manage weight", these researchers wrote in their study's report, recently published by the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.
Thus, they split the participants into groups of male and female, and young (aged 18-39) or middle-aged and older (aged 40-69). The second group also walked for 15 minutes, but swallowed a powder which contained the same ingredients as gum but didn't require chewing. Men over the age of 40 had the best response to this combo, burning about two additional calories for every minute they walked. Of all people, the experts measured the heart rate, distance and energy expenditure.