International Journal of Exercise Science 7(4) : 339-345, 2014. Inclined treadmill walking is a commonly performed activity to increase cardiovascular health. Handrail support on a treadmill provides an individual the opportunity to change their posture with respect to the walking surface. Differences in metabolic cost during inclined walking due to postural changes with handrail use are unknown. To test the hypothesis that metabolic cost will differ depending on how handrail support is used, respiratory gas analysis was performed during inclined walking in 13 healthy subjects. Energy expenditure was quantified while each subject walked in four conditions: 5% incline unsupported, 10% incline unsupported, 10% incline holding the handrails while maintaining an upright posture, and 10% incline holding the handrails while leaning backward. Energy expenditure (kcal min-1) was significantly higher for 10% unsupported (8.83 ± 1.60, P < .001) and 10% upright (7.77 ± 2.51, P < .001) relative to 5% unsupported (6.32 ± 1.14). No significant difference was found between 10% leaning backward (6.02 ± 2.19) and 5% unsupported. Altering posture with respect to the inclined walking surface by holding the handrails and leaning backward significantly reduces metabolic cost; however, utilizing the handrails and remaining upright does not result in a significant reduction at a 10% incline. These data, in concert with subjective measures of perceived effort, may prove valuable in the instruction and/or prescription of treadmill walking for a general fitness or weight loss regimen.
Hofmann, Cory; Dougherty, Connor; Abkarian, Hagop; Fox, Michele; and Juris, Paul
"The Reduction of Metabolic Cost While Using Handrail Support During Inclined Treadmill Walking is Dependent on the Handrail-use Instruction,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 7
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss4/10