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J Aging Phys Act. 2014 Jul 8. [Epub ahead of print]

The Test-Retest Reliability of Metabolic Measures of Energy Expenditure During Overground Walking in Older Adults With Mobility Limitations.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the relative and absolute reliability of metabolic measures of energy expenditure and gait speed during overground walking in older adults with mobility limitation. Thirty-three [mean age (SD), 76.4 (6.6) years, 66% female] older adults with slow gait participated. Measures of energy expenditure and gait speed were recorded during two 6-minute bouts of overground walking (1 week apart) at a self-selected "usual" walking pace. The relative reliability for all variables was excellent, ICC=.81 - .91. Mean differences for five of the six outcome variables was less than or equal to the respected SEM, while all six mean differences fell below the calculated MDC95. Clinicians and researchers can be confident that metabolic measures of energy expenditure and gait speed in older adults with slow walking speeds can be reliably assessed during overground walking, providing an alternative to traditional treadmill assessments.

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