Speed and temporal adaptations during nonmotorized treadmill walking in Parkinson disease and nondisabled individuals

I. Wen Penn, Wen Hsu Sung, Pei Hsin Lin, Jia Chi Wang, Eric Chuang, Tien Yow Chuang, Chia Yu Kuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Few studies have explored the potential of gait analysis and training in nonmotorized treadmill (NMT) in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. We investigated (a) the walking strategy adopted by patients with PD on NMT and (b) how balance may influence spatiotemporal gait parameters. We enrolled 12 patients with PD of modified Hoehn and Yahr stage 2-3 and 13 nondisabled individuals as controls. All participants were evaluated using Tinetti's performance oriented mobility assessment scale, freezing of gait questionnaire, modified falls efficacy scale, and the timed up and go test. They were asked to ambulate with comfortable and maximal speeds on the NMT. The gait parameters acquired on the NMT included walking speed, cadence (CAD), step length, and vertical ground reaction force, which were calculated for intragroup and intergroup comparisons. The PD group took on with higher contribution of CAD and less contribution of step length to increase walking speed as compared with control group. The postural stability is correlated significantly positively to the CAD at the setting of maximal speed in the PD group. Moreover, a significantly lower ratio of vertical ground reaction force/body weight was noted in the PD group during both comfortable and maximal walking speeds compared with the nondisabled controls. Our study outcomes clearly support the perceived benefits of NMT to differentiate spatiotemporal gait parameters between PD and controls. NMT may potentially be useful to evaluate the recovery of physical activities in PD receiving medications and/or rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Gait
  • Nonmotorized treadmill
  • Parkinson's disease


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