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P. Margaret Grant, Philippa M. Dall, Sarah L. Mitchell and Malcolm H. Granat

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the accuracy of the activPAL physical activity monitor in measuring step number and cadence in older adults. Two pedometers (New-Lifestyles Digi-Walker SW-200 and New-Lifestyles NL-2000) used in clinical practice to count steps were simultaneously evaluated. Observation was the criterion measure. Twenty-one participants (65-87 yr old) recruited from community-based exercise classes walked on a treadmill at 5 speeds (0.67, 0.90, 1.12, 1.33, and 1.56 m/s) and outdoors at 3 self-selected speeds (slow, normal, and fast). The absolute percentage error of the activPAL was <1% for all treadmill and outdoor conditions for measuring steps and cadence. With the exception of the slowest treadmill speed, the NL-2000 error was <2%. The SW-200 was the least accurate device, particularly at slower walking speeds. The activPAL monitor accurately recorded step number and cadence. Combined with its ability to identify primary postures, the activPAL might be a useful and versatile device for measuring activity in older adults.

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Lee E.F. Graves, Nicola D. Ridgers, Karen Williams, Gareth Stratton, Greg Atkinson and Nigel T. Cable

Background:

Active video games (exergames) increase energy expenditure (EE) and physical activity (PA) compared with sedentary video gaming. The physiological cost and enjoyment of exergaming in adolescents, and young and older adults has not been documented, nor compared with aerobic exercise. This study compared the physiological cost and enjoyment of exergaming on Wii Fit with aerobic exercise in 3 populations.

Methods:

Cardiorespiratory and enjoyment measurements were compared in 14 adolescents, 15 young adults, and 13 older adults during handheld inactive video gaming, Wii Fit activities (yoga, muscle conditioning, balance, aerobics), and brisk treadmill walking and jogging.

Results:

For all groups EE and heart rate (HR) of Wii Fit activities were greater than handheld gaming (P < .001) but lower than treadmill exercise (P ≤ .001). Wii aerobics elicited moderate intensity activity in adolescents, young adults, and older adults with respective mean (SD) metabolic equivalents of 3.2 (0.7), 3.6 (0.8), and 3.2 (0.8). HR during Wii aerobics fell below the recommended intensity for maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness. Group enjoyment rating was greater for Wii balance and aerobics compared with treadmill walking and jogging (P ≤ .05).

Conclusions:

Wii Fit appears an enjoyable exergame for adolescents and adults, stimulating light-to-moderate intensity activity through the modification of typically sedentary leisure behavior.

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Mark Abel, James Hannon, David Mullineaux and Aaron Beighle

Background:

Current recommendations call for adults to be physically active at moderate and/or vigorous intensities. Given the popularity of walking and running, the use of step rates may provide a practical and inexpensive means to evaluate ambulatory intensity. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify step rate thresholds that correspond to various intensity classifications.

Methods:

Oxygen consumption was measured at rest and during 10 minute treadmill walking and running trials at 6 standardized speeds (54, 80, 107, 134, 161, and 188 m·min-1) in 9 men and 10 women (28.8 ± 6.8 yrs). Two observers counted the participants’ steps at each treadmill speed. Linear and nonlinear regression analyses were used to develop prediction equations to ascertain step rate thresholds at various intensities.

Results:

Nonlinear regression analysis of the metabolic cost versus step rates across all treadmill speeds yielded the highest R 2 values for men (R 2 = .91) and women (R 2 = .79). For men, the nonlinear analysis yielded 94 and 125 step·min-1 for moderate and vigorous intensities, respectively. For women, 99 and 135 step·min-1 corresponded with moderate and vigorous intensities, respectively.

Conclusions:

Promoting a step rate of 100 step·min-1 may serve as a practical public health recommendation to exercise at moderate intensity.

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Lars Donath, Lukas Zahner, Mareike Cordes, Henner Hanssen, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss and Oliver Faude

The study investigated physiological responses during 2-km walking at a certain intensity of a previously performed maximal exercise test where moderate perceived exertion was reported. Twenty seniors were examined by an incremental walking treadmill test to obtain maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). A submaximal 2-km walking test was applied 1 wk later. The corresponding moderate perceived exertion (4 on the CR-10 scale) during the VO2max test was applied to the 2-km treadmill test. Moderate exertion (mean rating of perceived exertion [RPE]: 4 ± 1) led to 76% ± 8% of VO2max and 79% ± 6% of maximal heart rate. RPE values drifted with a significant time effect (p = .001, ηp = .58) during the 2-km test from 3 ± 0.7 to 4.6 ± 0.8. Total energy expenditure (EE) was 3.3 ± 0.5 kcal/kg. No gender differences in ventilatory, heart-rate, or EE data occurred. Brisk walking at moderate RPE of 3–5 would lead to a beneficial physiological response during endurance training and a weekly EE of nearly 1,200 kcal when exercising 5 times/wk for 30 min.

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Leslie Peacock, Allan Hewitt, David A. Rowe and Rona Sutherland

Purpose:

The study investigated (a) walking intensity (stride rate and energy expenditure) under three speed instructions; (b) associations between stride rate, age, height, and walking intensity; and (c) synchronization between stride rate and music tempo during overground walking in a population of healthy older adults.

Methods:

Twenty-nine participants completed 3 treadmill-walking trials and 3 overground-walking trials at 3 self-selected speeds. Treadmill VO2 was measured using indirect calorimetry. Stride rate and music tempo were recorded during overground-walking trials.

Results:

Mean stride rate exceeded minimum thresholds for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) under slow (111.41 ± 11.93), medium (118.17 ± 11.43), and fast (123.79 ± 11.61) instructions. A multilevel model showed that stride rate, age, and height have a significant effect (p < .01) on walking intensity.

Conclusions:

Healthy older adults achieve MVPA with stride rates that fall below published minima for MVPA. Stride rate, age, and height are significant predictors of energy expenditure in this population. Music can be a useful way to guide walking cadence.

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Sally A. Sherman, Renee J. Rogers, Kelliann K. Davis, Ryan L. Minster, Seth A. Creasy, Nicole C. Mullarkey, Matthew O’Dell, Patrick Donahue and John M. Jakicic

Background:

Whether the energy cost of vinyasa yoga meets the criteria for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity has not been established.

Purpose:

To compare energy expenditure during acute bouts of vinyasa yoga and 2 walking protocols.

Methods:

Participants (20 males, 18 females) performed 60-minute sessions of vinyasa yoga (YOGA), treadmill walking at a self-selected brisk pace (SELF), and treadmill walking at a pace that matched the heart rate of the YOGA session (HR-Match). Energy expenditure was assessed via indirect calorimetry.

Results:

Energy expenditure was significantly lower in YOGA compared with HR-Match (difference = 79.5 ± 44.3 kcal; P < .001) and SELF (difference = 51.7 ± 62.6 kcal; P < .001), but not in SELF compared with HR-Match (difference = 27.8 ± 72.6 kcal; P = .054). A similar pattern was observed for metabolic equivalents (HR-Match = 4.7 ± 0.8, SELF = 4.4 ± 0.7, YOGA = 3.6 ± 0.6; P < .001). Analyses using only the initial 45 minutes from each of the sessions, which excluded the restorative component of YOGA, showed energy expenditure was significantly lower in YOGA compared with HR-Match (difference = 68.0 ± 40.1 kcal; P < .001) but not compared with SELF (difference = 15.1 ± 48.7 kcal; P = .189).

Conclusions:

YOGA meets the criteria for moderate-intensity physical activity. Thus, YOGA may be a viable form of physical activity to achieve public health guidelines and to elicit health benefits.

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Karsten Koehler, Thomas Abel, Birgit Wallmann-Sperlich, Annika Dreuscher and Volker Anneken

Background:

Inactivity and overweight are major health concerns in children and adolescents with disabilities. Methods for the assessment of activity and energy expenditure may be affected negatively by the underlying disability, especially when motor function is impaired. The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of the SenseWear Armband in adolescents with cerebral palsy and hemiparesis.

Methods:

Ten volunteers (age: 13.4 ± 1.6 years) were equipped with SenseWear Armbands on the hemiparetic and nonhemiparetic side of the body. Energy expenditure was measured at rest and during treadmill exercise (speed range: 0.85 to 2.35 m/s). Indirect calorimetry served as independent reference method.

Results:

The mean error was between −0.6 and 0.8 kcal/min and there were no significant differences between SenseWear and indirect calorimetry at any speed. Differences between body sides in expenditure (mean: −0.2 to 0.0 kcal/min) and step count (mean: −3.4 to 9.7 steps/min) were not significant.

Conclusions:

The validity of the SenseWear Armband does not appear to be negatively affected by cerebral palsy during laboratory treadmill exercise. Future field studies are necessary to assess the validity and practicability of energy expenditure and physical activity assessment in children and adolescents with physical disabilities.

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Roberta E. Rikli and C. Jessie Jones

The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability and validity of a 6-min walk test as a measure of physical endurance in older adults. Seventy-seven subjects, ages 60-87. performed three separate 6-min walk tests and a treadmill test and completed questionnaire items assessing physical activity level and functional status. The 6-min walk had good test-retest reliability (.88 <R < .94). particularly when a practice trial preceded the test trial. Convergent validity of the 6-min walk was demonstrated by its moderate correlation (.71 < r < .82) with treadmill performance. Construct validity was assessed by determining the ability of the test to detect differences between different age and activity level groups. As expected, walking scores decreased significantly across decades and were significantly lower for low-active subjects compared to high-active subjects. There was a moderate relationship between 6-min walk scores and self-reported functional ability. It was concluded that the 6-min walk can be used to obtain reasonably reliable and valid measures of physical endurance in older adults and that it moderately reflects overall physical functional performance.

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Jeffer Eidi Sasaki, Amanda Hickey, Marianna Mavilia, Jacquelynne Tedesco, Dinesh John, Sarah Kozey Keadle and Patty S. Freedson

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of the Fitbit wireless activity tracker in assessing energy expenditure (EE) for different activities.

Methods:

Twenty participants (10 males, 10 females) wore the Fitbit Classic wireless activity tracker on the hip and the Oxycon Mobile portable metabolic system (criterion). Participants performed walking and running trials on a treadmill and a simulated free-living activity routine. Paired t tests were used to test for differences between estimated (Fitbit) and criterion (Oxycon) kcals for each of the activities.

Results:

Mean bias for estimated energy expenditure for all activities was −4.5 ± 1.0 kcals/6 min (95% limits of agreement: −25.2 to 15.8 kcals/6 min). The Fitbit significantly underestimated EE for cycling, laundry, raking, treadmill (TM) 3 mph at 5% grade, ascent/descent stairs, and TM 4 mph at 5% grade, and significantly overestimated EE for carrying groceries. Energy expenditure estimated by the Fitbit was not significantly different than EE calculated from the Oxycon Mobile for 9 activities.

Conclusion:

The Fitbit worn on the hip significantly underestimates EE of activities. The variability in underestimation of EE for the different activities may be problematic for weight loss management applications since accurate EE estimates are important for tracking/monitoring energy deficit.

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Beverly J. Warren, Ruth G. Dotson, David C. Nieman and Diane E. Butterworth

The accuracy of a 1-mile walking test to estimate aerobic power was assessed in a group of 28 sedentary elderly women (age = 73.5 ±0.8 yrs; body mass = 66.0 ±2.2 kg). Subjects were given the walk test and a graded maximal treadmill test for VO2peak at baseline and then were randomly assigned to either a walking group or a mild calisthenics control group for 12 weeks. Both the treadmill test and the walk test were re-administered at 5 weeks and at 12 weeks. The data suggest that regression approaches underestimate measured VO2peak by 17% in sedentary elderly women, but that accuracy is much improved after 5 weeks of brisk walking. Measurements at 12 weeks demonstrated even closer approximations of the laboratory measurement of VO2peak for the walking group. The 1-mile walk test underestimated VO2peak for the calisthenics group by 11% at the end of the 12 weeks. It was concluded that the 1-mile walk test underestimates measured VO2peak in elderly women unless they are accustomed to brisk walking.