Effects of acoustically paced cadence modulation on impact forces in running

Anouk Nijs*, Melvyn Roerdink, Peter J. Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Increasing cadence in running has been advocated as a means to improve performance and reduce impact forces. Although acoustic pacing can be used for this purpose, it might by itself lead to an increased impact force, which would counteract the decrease in impact force that is being pursued by increasing the cadence with acoustic pacing and thus have a counterproductive effect. Research question: What are the effects of acoustic pacing and cadence on peak impact force and loading rate during running? Methods: Unpublished data from a previous study, in which 16 participants ran on an instrumented treadmill with various forms of acoustic pacing, were analyzed to address the research question. Peak impact force and loading rate while running with and without pacing, at three different cadences were extracted from the ground reaction force data and compared statistically between these two main conditions. In addition, we compared step-based and stride-based pacing, and paced and unpaced steps within stride-based pacing conditions. Results: As expected, increasing the cadence was accompanied by a significant reduction in peak impact force and instantaneous vertical loading rate, whereas acoustic pacing had no significant effect on the impact forces compared to unpaced running with similar cadence, both before and after pacing. There were also no significant differences in this regard between step-based and stride-based pacing. Significance: Acoustic pacing does not adversely affect impact force when used to increase cadence in running with the aim of reducing the impact force and can thus be used for this purpose without introducing a counterproductive effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-238
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date8 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) , grant number P16-28 (Project 3).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acoustic pacing
  • Cadence
  • Ground reaction force
  • Impact
  • Running


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