Exercise intensity of robot-assisted walking versus overground walking in nonambulatory stroke patients

Michiel P M van Nunen, Karin H L Gerrits, Arnold de Haan, Thomas W J Janssen

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    It has been suggested that aerobic training should be considered in stroke rehabilitation programs to counteract detrimental health effects and decrease cardiovascular risk caused by inactivity. Robot-assisted treadmill exercise (using a Lokomat device) has the potential to increase the duration of walking therapy relative to conventional overground therapy. We investigated whether exercise intensity during Lokomat therapy is adequate to elicit a training effect and how assistance during walking in the Lokomat affects this exercise intensity. Ten patients with stroke (age 54 +/- 9 yr) walked in both the Lokomat and in a hallway. Furthermore, 10 nondisabled subjects (age 43 +/- 14 yr) walked in the Lokomat at various settings and on a treadmill at various speeds. During walking, oxygen consumption and heart rate were monitored. Results showed that for patients with stroke, exercise intensity did not reach recommended levels (30% heart rate reserve) for aerobic training during Lokomat walking. Furthermore, exercise intensity during walking in the Lokomat (9.3 +/- 1.6 mL/min/kg)was lower than during overground walking (10.4 +/- 1.3 mL/min/kg). Also, different settings of the Lokomat only had small effects on exercise intensity in nondisabled subjects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1537-46
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Exercise Therapy
    • Female
    • Heart Rate
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Oxygen Consumption
    • Physical Fitness
    • Robotics
    • Stroke
    • Stroke Rehabilitation
    • Walking
    • Comparative Study
    • Journal Article
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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