Postural threat during walking: effects on energy cost and accompanying gait changes

T. Ijmker, C.J. Lamoth, J.H.P. Houdijk, P.J. Beek, L.H.V. van der Woude

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: Balance control during walking has been shown to involve a metabolic cost in healthy subjects, but it is unclear how this cost changes as a function of postural threat. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of postural threat on the energy cost of walking, as well as on concomitant changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters, muscle activity and perturbation responses. In addition, we examined if and how these effects are dependent on walking speed. Methods. Healthy subjects walked on a treadmill under four conditions of varying postural threat. Each condition was performed at 7 walking speeds ranging from 60-140% of preferred speed. Postural threat was induced by applying unexpected sideward pulls to the pelvis and varied experimentally by manipulating the width of the path subjects had to walk on. Results: Results showed that the energy cost of walking increased by 6-13% in the two conditions with the largest postural threat. This increase in metabolic demand was accompanied by adaptations in spatiotemporal gait parameters and increases in muscle activity, which likely served to arm the participants against a potential loss of balance in the face of the postural threat. Perturbation responses exhibited a slower rate of recovery in high threat conditions, probably reflecting a change in strategy to cope with the imposed constraints. The observed changes occurred independent of changes in walking speed, suggesting that walking speed is not a major determinant influencing gait stability in healthy young adults. Conclusions: The current study shows that in healthy adults, increasing postural threat leads to a decrease in gait economy, independent of walking speed. This could be an important factor in the elevated energy costs of pathological gait. © 2014 IJmker et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number71
    JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    Gait
    Walking
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Healthy Volunteers
    Muscles
    Pelvis
    Young Adult
    Arm
    Walking Speed

    Cite this

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    title = "Postural threat during walking: effects on energy cost and accompanying gait changes",
    abstract = "Background: Balance control during walking has been shown to involve a metabolic cost in healthy subjects, but it is unclear how this cost changes as a function of postural threat. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of postural threat on the energy cost of walking, as well as on concomitant changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters, muscle activity and perturbation responses. In addition, we examined if and how these effects are dependent on walking speed. Methods. Healthy subjects walked on a treadmill under four conditions of varying postural threat. Each condition was performed at 7 walking speeds ranging from 60-140{\%} of preferred speed. Postural threat was induced by applying unexpected sideward pulls to the pelvis and varied experimentally by manipulating the width of the path subjects had to walk on. Results: Results showed that the energy cost of walking increased by 6-13{\%} in the two conditions with the largest postural threat. This increase in metabolic demand was accompanied by adaptations in spatiotemporal gait parameters and increases in muscle activity, which likely served to arm the participants against a potential loss of balance in the face of the postural threat. Perturbation responses exhibited a slower rate of recovery in high threat conditions, probably reflecting a change in strategy to cope with the imposed constraints. The observed changes occurred independent of changes in walking speed, suggesting that walking speed is not a major determinant influencing gait stability in healthy young adults. Conclusions: The current study shows that in healthy adults, increasing postural threat leads to a decrease in gait economy, independent of walking speed. This could be an important factor in the elevated energy costs of pathological gait. {\circledC} 2014 IJmker et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.",
    author = "T. Ijmker and C.J. Lamoth and J.H.P. Houdijk and P.J. Beek and {van der Woude}, L.H.V.",
    year = "2014",
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    language = "English",
    volume = "11",
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    Postural threat during walking: effects on energy cost and accompanying gait changes. / Ijmker, T.; Lamoth, C.J.; Houdijk, J.H.P.; Beek, P.J.; van der Woude, L.H.V.

    In: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 11, 71, 2014.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Postural threat during walking: effects on energy cost and accompanying gait changes

    AU - Ijmker, T.

    AU - Lamoth, C.J.

    AU - Houdijk, J.H.P.

    AU - Beek, P.J.

    AU - van der Woude, L.H.V.

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - Background: Balance control during walking has been shown to involve a metabolic cost in healthy subjects, but it is unclear how this cost changes as a function of postural threat. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of postural threat on the energy cost of walking, as well as on concomitant changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters, muscle activity and perturbation responses. In addition, we examined if and how these effects are dependent on walking speed. Methods. Healthy subjects walked on a treadmill under four conditions of varying postural threat. Each condition was performed at 7 walking speeds ranging from 60-140% of preferred speed. Postural threat was induced by applying unexpected sideward pulls to the pelvis and varied experimentally by manipulating the width of the path subjects had to walk on. Results: Results showed that the energy cost of walking increased by 6-13% in the two conditions with the largest postural threat. This increase in metabolic demand was accompanied by adaptations in spatiotemporal gait parameters and increases in muscle activity, which likely served to arm the participants against a potential loss of balance in the face of the postural threat. Perturbation responses exhibited a slower rate of recovery in high threat conditions, probably reflecting a change in strategy to cope with the imposed constraints. The observed changes occurred independent of changes in walking speed, suggesting that walking speed is not a major determinant influencing gait stability in healthy young adults. Conclusions: The current study shows that in healthy adults, increasing postural threat leads to a decrease in gait economy, independent of walking speed. This could be an important factor in the elevated energy costs of pathological gait. © 2014 IJmker et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

    AB - Background: Balance control during walking has been shown to involve a metabolic cost in healthy subjects, but it is unclear how this cost changes as a function of postural threat. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of postural threat on the energy cost of walking, as well as on concomitant changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters, muscle activity and perturbation responses. In addition, we examined if and how these effects are dependent on walking speed. Methods. Healthy subjects walked on a treadmill under four conditions of varying postural threat. Each condition was performed at 7 walking speeds ranging from 60-140% of preferred speed. Postural threat was induced by applying unexpected sideward pulls to the pelvis and varied experimentally by manipulating the width of the path subjects had to walk on. Results: Results showed that the energy cost of walking increased by 6-13% in the two conditions with the largest postural threat. This increase in metabolic demand was accompanied by adaptations in spatiotemporal gait parameters and increases in muscle activity, which likely served to arm the participants against a potential loss of balance in the face of the postural threat. Perturbation responses exhibited a slower rate of recovery in high threat conditions, probably reflecting a change in strategy to cope with the imposed constraints. The observed changes occurred independent of changes in walking speed, suggesting that walking speed is not a major determinant influencing gait stability in healthy young adults. Conclusions: The current study shows that in healthy adults, increasing postural threat leads to a decrease in gait economy, independent of walking speed. This could be an important factor in the elevated energy costs of pathological gait. © 2014 IJmker et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

    U2 - 10.1186/1743-0003-11-71

    DO - 10.1186/1743-0003-11-71

    M3 - Article

    VL - 11

    JO - Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

    JF - Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

    SN - 1743-0003

    M1 - 71

    ER -