Effects of walking speed and slope on pedobarographic findings in young healthy adults

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Background This study aimed to investigate the effects of walking speed and slope on foot pressure changes in young healthy adults. Methods Twenty young healthy adults (mean age 22.4 years, SD 1.2 years; 10 male and 10 female) participated in the study. Dynamic pedobarographic data during treadmill walking were obtained for combinations of three different walking speeds (3.2 km/hr, 4.3 km/hr, and 5.4 km/hr) and 5 different slopes (downhill 8 degrees, downhill 4 degrees, ground walking (0 degree), uphill 4 degrees, and uphill 8 degrees). Pedobarographic data such as the peak pressure and pressure–time integral were measured on five plantar segments: medial forefoot (MFF), lateral forefoot (LFF), medial midfoot (MMF), lateral midfoot (LMF), and heel. Maximum ankle dorsiflexion was also recorded using the Plug in Gait marker set. Results All participants maintained heel-toe gait in all walking conditions. The peak pressure on the MFF during downhill slope walking was lower than that during ground and uphill walking, whereas the peak pressure on the MFF during uphill slope walking was similar to that during ground walking at each walking speed. The peak pressures on the heel were similar for different walking slopes at each walking speed. The peak pressures on the MFF and heel increased with an increase in walking speed. The pressure-time integral of the MFF did not show significant changes at different walking speeds and slopes. The pressure-time integral of the heel increased with an increase in walking slope and decrease in walking speed. Conclusions Different walking speeds and slopes affected the pedobarographic characteristics of young healthy adults. Downhill walking with slower speed appeared to be beneficial to reduce or optimize MFF pressures, while downhill walking at a comfortable speed would be helpful to reduce or optimize heel pressures. The findings of this study have clinical implications in recommending activities to patients with foot pressure-related symptoms and disorders. © 2019 Koo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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PLOS ONE, v.14, no.7, pp.e0220073

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ME-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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