While trekkers, backpackers and skiers had been using the basic concept for decades, Nordic Walking was first formally defined with the publication of "Hiihdon lajiosa" (translation: "A part of cross-country skiing training methodic") by Mauri Repo in 1979.Nordic Walking's concept was developed on the basis of off-season ski-training activity while using one-piece ski poles.
For decades hikers and backpackers used their one-piece ski poles long before trekking and Nordic walking poles came onto the scene. Ski racers deprived of snow have always used and still do use their one-piece ski poles for ski walking and hill bounding. The first poles specially designed and marketed to fitness walkers were produced by Exerstrider of the USA in 1988. Nordic Walker poles were produced and marketed by Exel in 1997. Exel coined and popularized the term 'Nordic Walking' in 1999.
The easiest way to choose the correct Nordic Walking pole size for you is to take your own height in cms and mulitply it by 0.68, then round down to the nearest 5 cms.