Oxygen cost during treadmill walking with hip and knee immobilised

C. Elsworth, H. Dawes, J. Collett, K. Howells, R. Ramsbottom, H. Izadi, C. Sackley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of immobilising the knee and hip on the oxygen cost (ml·kg·min) to velocity relationship during treadmill walking. The study was a prospective experimental conducted in a Rehabilitation centre. Ten healthy individuals, five men and five women, with no gait abnormality participated. Following familiarisation five men and five women walked on a treadmill and selected their own, free "comfortable walking velocity" (SSWS). Subjects then performed an incremental test at -60 to +60% of SSWS. Individuals later repeated the test with the knee and hip of one limb immobilised. Samples of expired air were measured at each velocity and the oxygen cost (ml·kg ·min) to Froude number (Fr) relationship plotted (where calculation of Fr normalizes for subjects of differing leg length and acts as an index of velocity). There was a higher oxygen cost, and lower Fr at SSWS during immobilised (0.21 ± 0.03 ml·kg ·min; Fr = 0.12 ± 0.03) compared with free walking (0.16 ± 0.02 ml·kg·min ; Fr = 0.18 ± 0.04) (p <0.01). Statistical analysis demonstrated that during immobilised walking an inverse fit (y = ß + ß/x) and for free walking a cubic fit (y = ß + ßx + ßx + ßx) best fitted the data. Hip and knee immobilisation increased the oxygen cost at SSWS and altered the oxygen cost to Fr relationship. The results have implications in selecting optimal walking velocities in individuals with impairments affecting mobility such as hemiplegic gait.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-645
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006

Cite this