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Oxygen consumption during treadmill walking with and without body weight support in patients with hemiparesis after stroke and in healthy subjects

Journal article
Authors Anna Danielsson
Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen
Published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume 81
Pages 953-7
ISSN 0003-9993
Publication year 2000
Published at Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Pages 953-7
Language en
Keywords Cerebrovascular accident; gait; energy expenditure; exercise test, rehabilitation
Subject categories Neurology, Physiotherapy


Objective: To compare oxygen consumption during walking with body weight support (BWS) with oxygen consumption during unsupported treadmill walking. Design: Patient and reference group. Comparisons between two walking conditions within each group. Setting: Research laboratory of a university hospital. Participants: Nonrandom convenience sample of 9 hemiparetic and 9 healthy subjects, mean age of 56 and 57 years, respectively. Interventions: The subjects walked on a treadmill with 0% and 30% BWS at their self-selected and maximum walking speeds. The trials were performed twice. Main Outcome Measures: Ventilatory oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate were measured by computerized breath-by-breath analysis and electrocardiography. Results: VO2 was lower during walking with 30% BWS than during unsupported walking. At self-selected speed the Wilcoxon's signed rank p values were <.01 for both patients and reference group; at maximum velocity, p values were p <.02 for the patients and p <.05 for the reference group. Patients' heart rates were lower when they walked with 30% BWS than at 0% BWS, at both self-selected and maximum walking speeds (p <.05 and p <.02, respectively). Conclusions: The 30% body weight supported condition requires less oxygen consumption than full weight bearing. Treadmill training with BWS can be tolerated by patients with cardiovascular problems.

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