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Jaimie A. Roper, Ryan T. Roemmich, Mark D. Tillman, Matthew J. Terza and Chris J. Hass

may thus also affect the control of frontal plane motion. 7 However, it is unknown how frontal plane gait mechanics change when the speeds of each leg are manipulated independently rather than simultaneously. Split-belt treadmill walking is a rehabilitation intervention that allows researchers to

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William A. Sparrow, Rezaul K. Begg and Suzanne Parker

Visual reaction time (RT) was measured in 10 older men (mean age, 71.1 years) and gender-matched controls (mean age, 26.3 years) when standing (single task) and when walking on a motor-driven treadmill (dual task). There were 90 quasirandomly presented trials over 15 min in each condition. Longer mean and median RTs were observed in the dual task compared to the single task. Older males had significantly slower mean and median RTs (315 and 304 ms, respectively) than the younger group (273 and 266 ms, respectively) in both task conditions. There were no age or condition effects on within-subject variability. Both groups showed a trend of increasing RT over the 90 single task trials but when walking only the younger group slowed. These novel findings demonstrate high but sustained attention by older adults when walking. It is proposed that the motor task’s attentional demands might contribute to their slower preferred walking speed.

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Christopher K. Rhea and Matthew W. Wittstein

Much has been learned about the characteristics of gait in overground and treadmill walking. However, there are many contexts in which overground or treadmill walking might not be possible, such as in home-based physical therapy. In those cases, a surrogate task to index gait behavior would be a valuable tool. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the stride behavior characteristics of stationary stepping compared with treadmill walking. Healthy young adults (N = 10) preformed two 15-minute tasks: (1) treadmill walking and (2) stationary stepping. Several stride behavior characteristics were recorded, including the number of strides taken, minimum and maximum knee angle, stride interval mean, stride interval standard deviation, and detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) alpha of the stride interval time series. The results showed that stride behavior was similar between tasks when examined at the group level. However, when individual level analyses were used to examine the reliability of each metric between tasks, poor reliability was observed in most metrics, indicating that stationary stepping may not be an appropriate surrogate task for overground or treadmill walking. These results are discussed in the context of a gait dynamics framework, with attention to task constraints that may have influenced the findings.

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Eadric Bressel, Gerald Smith, Andrew Miller and Dennis Dolny

Context: Quantification of the magnitudes of fluid resistance provided by water jets (currents) and their effect on energy expenditure during aquatic-treadmill walking is lacking in the scientific literature. Objective: To quantify the effect of water-jet intensity on jet velocity, drag force, and oxygen uptake (VO2) during aquatic-treadmill walking. Design: Descriptive and repeated measures. Setting: Athletic training facility. Participants, Interventions, and Measures: Water-jet velocities were measured using an electromagnetic flow meter at 9 different jet intensities (0-80% maximum). Drag forces on 3 healthy subjects with a range of frontal areas (600, 880, and 1250 cm2) were measured at each jet intensity with a force transducer and line attached to the subject, who was suspended in water. Five healthy participants (age 37.2 ± 11.3 y, weight 611 ± 96 N) subsequently walked (~1.03 m/s or 2.3 miles/h) on an aquatic treadmill at the 9 different jet intensities while expired gases were collected to estimate VO2. Results: For the range of jet intensities, water-jet velocities and drag forces were 0-1.2 m/s and 0-47 N, respectively. VO2 increased nonlinearly, with values ranging from 11.4 ± 1.0 to 22.2 ± 3.8 mL × kg-1 × min-1 for 0-80% of jet maximum, respectively. Conclusions: This study presented methodology for quantifying water-jet flow velocities and drag forces in an aquatic-treadmill environment and examined how different jet intensities influenced VO2 during walking. Quantification of these variables provides a fundamental understanding of aquatic-jet use and its effect on VO2. In practice, these results indicate that VO2 may be substantially increased on an aquatic treadmill while maintaining a relatively slow walking speed.

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Costas I. Karageorghis, Denis A. Mouzourides, David-Lee Priest, Tariq A. Sasso, Daley J. Morrish and Carolyn L. Walley

The present study examined the impact of motivational music and oudeterous (neutral in terms of motivational qualities) music on endurance and a range of psychophysical indices during a treadmill walking task. Experimental participants (N = 30; mean age = 20.5 years, SD = 1.0 years) selected a program of either pop or rock tracks from artists identified in an earlier survey. They walked to exhaustion, starting at 75% maximal heart rate reserve, under conditions of motivational synchronous music, oudeterous synchronous music, and a no-music control. Dependent measures included time to exhaustion, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and in-task affect (both recorded at 2-min intervals), and exercise-induced feeling states. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze time to exhaustion data. Two-way repeated measures (Music Condition × Trial Point) ANOVAs were used to analyze in-task measures, whereas a one-way repeated measures MANOVA was used to analyze the exercise-induced feeling states data. Results indicated that endurance was increased in both music conditions and that motivational music had a greater ergogenic effect than did oudeterous music (p < .01). In addition, in-task affect was enhanced by motivational synchronous music when compared with control throughout the trial (p < .01). The experimental conditions did not impact significantly (p > .05) upon RPE or exercise-induced feeling states, although a moderate effect size was recorded for the latter (ηp 2 = .09). The present results indicate that motivational synchronous music can elicit an ergogenic effect and enhance in-task affect during an exhaustive endurance task.

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David R. Dolbow, Richard S. Farley, Jwa K. Kim and Jennifer L. Caputo

The purpose of this study was to examine the cardiovascular responses to water treadmill walking at 2.0 mph (3.2 km/hr), 2.5 mph (4.0 km/hr), and 3.0 mph (4.8 km/hr) in older adults. Responses to water treadmill walking in 92 °F (33 °C) water were compared with responses to land treadmill walking at 70 °F (21 °C) ambient temperature. After an accommodation period, participants performed 5-min bouts of walking at each speed on 2 occasions. Oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were significantly higher during therapeutic water treadmill walking than during land treadmill walking. Furthermore, VO2, HR, and RPE measures significantly increased with each speed increase during both land and water treadmill walking. SBP significantly increased with each speed during water treadmill walking but not land treadmill walking. Thus, it is imperative to monitor HR and blood pressure for safety during this mode of activity for older adults.

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Noah J. Rosenblatt, Christopher P. Hurt and Mark D. Grabiner

Recent experimental findings support theoretical predictions that across walking conditions the motor system chooses foot placement to achieve a constant minimum “margin of stability” (MOSmin)—distance between the extrapolated center of mass and base of support. For example, while step width varies, similar average MOSmin exists between overground and treadmill walking and between overground and compliant/irregular surface walking. However, predictions regarding the invariance of MOSmin to step-by-step changes in foot placement cannot be verified by average values. The purpose of this study was to determine average changes in, and the sensitivity of MOSmin to varying step widths during two walking tasks. Eight young subjects walked on a dual-belt treadmill before and after receiving information that stepping on the physical gap between the belts causes no adverse effects. Information decreased step width by 17% (p = .01), whereas MOSmin was unaffected (p = .12). Regardless of information, subject-specific regressions between step-by-step values of step width and MOSmin explained, on average, only 5% of the shared variance (β = 0.11 ± 0.05). Thus, MOSmin appears to be insensitive to changing step width. Accordingly, during treadmill walking, step width is chosen to maintain MOSmin. If MOSmin remains insensitive to step width across other dynamic tasks, then assessing an individual’s stability while performing theses tasks could help describe the health of the motor system.

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Jennifer M. DiNallo, Danielle Symons Downs and Guy Le Masurier

Background:

To effectively promote physical activity (PA) and quantify the effects of PA interventions for pregnant women, PA measurement during pregnancy needs improvement. The purpose of this study was to assess PA monitor output during a controlled, treadmill walking protocol among pregnant women at 20- and 32-weeks gestation.

Methods:

Women (N = 43) wore an Actigraph accelerometer, NL1000, and Yamax pedometer during a 20-minute treadmill walking test [5-minute periods at 4 different speeds (54, 67, 80, and 94 m·min−1)] at 20- and 32-weeks gestation.

Results:

Repeated-measures ANOVAs indicated that Actigraph total counts/minute and minutes of moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA), NL1000 steps and minutes MVPA, and Yamax steps decreased from 20- to 32-weeks gestation (P ≤ .05), while body girth circumference and activity monitor tilt increased (P ≤ .05). Repeated measures ANCOVAs, controlling for changes in body girth and monitor tilt, yielded no significant differences in any outcome measures from 20- to 32-weeks gestation.

Conclusions:

Preliminary results suggest physical changes during pregnancy impact activity monitor output in controlled settings. Accurately measuring and statistically controlling for changes in body girth at monitor placement site and monitor tilt may improve the accuracy of activity monitors for use with pregnant populations.

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Gail Frost, Oded Bar-Or, James Dowling and Catherine White

This study examined habituation to treadmill walking or running in children. Twenty-four boys and girls, ages 7–11, completed six 6-min trials of treadmill exercise at one of these speeds: (a) comfortable walking pace (CWP), (b) CWP + 15%, (c) running at CWP + 3 km·hr−1, or (d) running as above + 15%. The six trials were repeated in a second visit. The a priori criterion for habituation was a decrease in steady state values of oxygen uptake (V̇O2), heart rate (HR), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and stride rate (SR) or an increase in stride length (SL) and hip joint vertical amplitude (HA) from one trial to the next. There was no consistent pattern indicating habituation for the group. Many trials and more than one day of testing do not appear to improve the stability of the metabolic or kinematic variables. The lack of consistency in individual responses suggests that monitoring subjects’ habituation individually is important.

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Mandy L. Gault, Richard E. Clements and Mark E.T. Willems

Cardiovascular responses of older adults to downhill (DTW, –10% incline) and level treadmill walking (0%) at self-selected walking speed (SSWS) were examined. Fifteen participants (age 68 ± 4 yr, height 1.69 ± 0.08 m, body mass 74.7 ± 8.1 kg) completed two 15-min walks at their SSWS (4.6 ± 0.6 km/hr). Cardiovascular responses were estimated using an arterial-volume finger clamp and infrared plethysmography. Oxygen consumption was 25% lower during DTW and associated with lower values for stroke volume (9.9 ml/beat), cardiac output (1.0 L/min), arteriovenous oxygen difference (a-v O2 diff, 2.4 ml/L), and systolic blood pressure (10 mmHg), with no differences in heart rate or diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure. Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was higher (2.11 mmHg) during DTW. During downhill walking, an exercise performed with reduced cardiac strain, endothelial changes, and reduced metabolic demand may be responsible for the different responses in TPR and a-v O2 diff. Future work is warranted on whether downhill walking is suitable for higher risk populations.