Advertisement

Kinematic, kinetic and metabolic parameters of treadmill versus overground walking in healthy older adults

  • Krishnaji Parvataneni
    Affiliations
    Motor Performance Laboratory, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Louise D. Acton Building, 31 George Street, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
    Search for articles by this author
  • Leone Ploeg
    Affiliations
    Motor Performance Laboratory, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Louise D. Acton Building, 31 George Street, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
    Search for articles by this author
  • Sandra J. Olney
    Affiliations
    Motor Performance Laboratory, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Louise D. Acton Building, 31 George Street, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
    Search for articles by this author
  • Brenda Brouwer
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    Motor Performance Laboratory, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Louise D. Acton Building, 31 George Street, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Background

      Although treadmill and overground walking appear to be biomechanically similar in healthy, young adults it is not known whether this can be generalized to older subjects or if the metabolic demands are correspondingly comparable.

      Methods

      Ten healthy adults between 50 and 73 years of age walked at the same speed overground and on a treadmill. Temporal parameters, angular kinematics and vertical ground reaction forces were recorded during walking once subjects were in steady state as determined from their heart rate and oxygen uptake.

      Findings

      Step, stride and joint angular kinematics were similar for both modes of walking with the exception of the maximum hip flexion and knee extension which were more pronounced with treadmill or overground walking, respectively but in both instances differed by less than 3°. Vertical ground reaction force profiles were similar although the peak associated with push-off was 5.5% smaller with treadmill walking. The metabolic requirements of treadmill walking were about 23% higher than that associated with overground walking.

      Interpretation

      While treadmill and overground walking are biomechanically similar, the metabolic cost of treadmill walking is higher. Clinically this may be important when using a treadmill for gait retraining in patient populations as it may lead to premature fatigue or undesirable physiologic challenge.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Clinical Biomechanics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Alton F.
        • Baldey L.
        • Caplan S.
        • Morrissey M.C.
        A kinematic comparison of overground and treadmill walking.
        Clin. Biomech. 1998; 13: 434-440
        • Dingwell J.B.
        • Cusumano J.P.
        • Cavanagh P.R.
        • Sternad D.
        Local dynamic stability versus kinematic variability of continuous overground and treadmill walking.
        J. Biomech. Eng. 2001; 123: 27-32
        • Greig C.
        • Butler F.
        • Skelton D.
        • Mahmud S.
        • Young A.
        Treadmill walking in old age may not reproduce the real life situation.
        J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 1993; 41: 15-18
        • Hamil J.
        • Selbie W.S.
        Three-dimensional kinetics.
        in: Robertson D.G.E. Caldwell G.E. Hamil J. Kamen G. Whittlesey S.N. Research Methods in Biomechanics. Human kinetics, Windsor2004: 145-160
        • Harris-Love M.L.
        • Forrester L.W.
        • Macko R.F.
        • Silver K.H.C.
        • Smith G.V.
        Hemiparetic gait parameters in overground versus treadmill walking.
        Neurorehabil. Neural Repair. 2001; 15: 105-112
        • Harris-Love M.L.
        • Macko R.F.
        • Whitall J.
        • Forrester L.W.
        Improved hemiparetic muscle activation in treadmill versus overground walking.
        Neurorehabil. Neural Repair. 2004; 18: 154-160
        • Hogan N.
        Adaptive control of mechanical impedance by co activation of antagonist muscles.
        IEEE Trans. Automat. Control. 1984; 29: 681-690
      1. Lee, S.J., Hidler, J., 2007. Biomechanics of overground versus treadmill walking in healthy individuals. J. Appl. Physiol. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01380.2006.

        • Matsas A.
        • Taylor N.
        • McBurney H.
        Knee joint kinematics from familiarized treadmill walking can be generalized to overground walking in young unimpaired subjects.
        Gait Post. 2000; 11: 46-53
        • Murray M.P.
        • Spurr G.B.
        • Sepic S.B.
        • Gardner G.M.
        Treadmill vs. floor walking: kinematics, electromyogram, and heart rate.
        J. Appl. Physiol. 1985; 59: 87-91
        • Owings T.M.
        • Grabiner M.D.
        Step width variability, but not step length variability or step time variability, discriminates gait of healthy young and older adults during treadmill locomotion.
        J. Biomech. 2004; 37: 935-938
        • Payton O.D.
        • Kelley D.L.
        Electromyographic evidence of the acquisition of a motor skill. A pilot study.
        Phys. Ther. 1972; 52: 261-266
        • Pearce M.E.
        • Cunningham D.A.
        • Donner A.P.
        • Rechnitzer P.A.
        • Fullerton G.M.
        • Howard J.H.
        Energy cost of treadmill and floor walking at self-selected paces.
        Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 1983; 52: 115-119
        • Riley P.O.
        • Paolini G.
        • Croce U.D.
        • Paylo K.W.
        • Kerrigan D.C.
        A kinematic and kinetic comparison of overground and treadmill walking in healthy subjects.
        Gait Post. 2007; 26: 17-24
        • Stolze H.
        • Kuhtz-Buschbech J.P.
        • Mondwurf C.
        • Boczek Funcke A.
        • Johnk K.
        • Deuschl G.
        • Illert M.
        Gait analysis during treadmill and overground locomotion in children and adults.
        Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiol. 1997; 105: 490-497
        • Van Ingen Schenau G.J.
        Some fundamental aspects of the biomechanics of overground versus treadmill locomotion.
        Med. Sci. Sport. Exer. 1980; 12: 257-261
        • Warabi T.
        • Kato M.
        • Kiriyama K.
        • Yoshida T.
        • Kobayashi N.
        Treadmill walking and overground walking of human subjects compared by recording sole–floor reaction force.
        Neurosci. Res. 2005; 53: 343-348
        • Wass E.
        • Taylor N.F.
        • Matsas A.
        Familiarization to treadmill walking in unimpaired older people.
        Gait Post. 2005; 21: 72-79
        • White S.C.
        • Yack H.J.
        • Tucker C.A.
        • Lin H.
        Comparison of vertical ground reaction forces during overground and treadmill walking.
        Med. Sci. Sport. Exer. 1998; 30: 1537-1542
        • Winter D.A.
        Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Gait: Normal Elderly and Pathological.
        second ed. University of Waterloo Press, Waterloo, ON1991