Spatiotemporal Parameters are not Substantially Influenced by Load Carriage or Inclination During Treadmill and Overground Walking

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Rebecca E. Fellin, Joseph F. Seay, Karen N. Gregorczyk, Leif Hasselquist

Influences of load carriage and inclination on spatiotemporal parameters were examined during treadmill and overground walking. Ten soldiers walked on a treadmill and overground with three load conditions (00 kg, 20 kg, 40 kg) during level, uphill (6% grade) and downhill (-6% grade) inclinations at self-selected speed, which was constant across conditions. Mean values and standard deviations for double support percentage, stride length and a step rate were compared across conditions. Double support percentage increased with load and inclination change from uphill to level walking, with a 0.4% stance greater increase at the 20 kg condition compared to 00 kg. As inclination changed from uphill to downhill, the step rate increased more overground (4.3 ± 3.5 steps/min) than during treadmill walking (1.7 ± 2.3 steps/min). For the 40 kg condition, the standard deviations were larger than the 00 kg condition for both the step rate and double support percentage. There was no change between modes for step rate standard deviation. For overground compared to treadmill walking, standard deviation for stride length and double support percentage increased and decreased, respectively. Changes in the load of up to 40 kg, inclination of 6% grade away from the level (i.e., uphill or downhill) and mode (treadmill and overground) produced small, yet statistically significant changes in spatiotemporal parameters. Variability, as assessed by standard deviation, was not systematically lower during treadmill walking compared to overground walking. Due to the small magnitude of changes, treadmill walking appears to replicate the spatiotemporal parameters of overground walking.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2015-0138
Key words
gait, uphill, downhill, external load

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