Date of Award
Objective: The benefits of lower body positive pressure treadmills have recently been investigated as a tool for rehabilitation, but research is lacking on whether participants can regulate exercise utilizing rate of perceived exertion (RPE) at reduced body weight loads on lower body positive pressure (LBPP) treadmills. The purpose of the study is to examine the potential for RPE production estimation at various body weight loads. Methods: Fifteen apparently healthy young adults between the ages of 18-35 participated and completed this study. Each participant completed a graded VO2max test after being familiarized with an OMNI pictorial RPE scale ranging from 0-10. Participants estimated their feelings of exertion each minute using the RPE scale until they reached exhaustion. Heart rate (HR), metabolic data, and RPE were recorded. Then, participants performed 2 submaximal tests on the LBPP treadmill at either 70% or 90% of their body weight. Participants were blinded to the treadmill screen, and the treadmill was adjusted to 70% or 90% of their body weight. They were told to adjust the treadmill velocity and grade to an intensity feeling like an RPE of “4” and maintain the exercise for 5 minutes. After a recovery, the treadmill was again altered, and participants were told to adjust the velocity and grade to an RPE of “7.” HR, metabolic data, and RPE were recorded. Data was compared using a separate one-way ANOVA for each bodyweight (70% or 90%) Results were considered significant at ≤ 0.05. Results: VO2 values were significantly lower on the LBPP treadmill than the general treadmill at both indicated RPEs of 4 and 7. HR was significantly lower on the LBPP treadmill at 70% body weight at an RPE of 4 and 7. There was no significant difference in HR between the LBPP treadmill and general treadmill at 90% body weight. RER values were significantly lower on the LBPP treadmill at an RPE of 7 for 70% and 90% body weight. There was no significant difference for RER at an RPE of 4 at 70% or 90% body weight. Treadmill velocity and incline at 70% body weight was higher than the velocity and incline at 90% body weight. Conclusion: Participants were not able to accurately regulate exercise using RPE at lower percentages of their body weight. An LBPP treadmill may be a useful means for rehabilitation, but it may not be a helpful tool for RPE exercise prescription.
Couey, Camille, "The Impact of a Lower Body Positive Pressure Treadmill on Exercise Regulation" (2023). Honors Theses. 2912.
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