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Gait Posture. 2009 Apr;29(3):403-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2008.10.059. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Comparison of maximal and spontaneous speeds during walking on dry land and water.

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LEMH, Université de Lille, Ronchin, France.


The aim of this study was to quantify spontaneous and maximal speeds on dry land and in water, in four modalities of walking [forward (F), backward (B) and lateral walking (L)], with chest immersion level. Lateral walking was studied with the upper limbs of the subject alongside the body with hands placed on the lateral face of the thighs (L1) and upper limbs tightened behind the back with the hands joined (L2). 16 males (age 22.8+/-1.8 years, height 178.1+/-6.1cm, body mass 73.5+/-6.6 kg) and 15 females (age 22.8+/-2.1 years, height 171.5+/-5.8 cm, body mass 69.2+/-9.3 kg) were evaluated using the four modalities of walking on dry land and in water. The speed increments between spontaneous and maximal speeds on dry land for F, B and L1 and L2 were 60.2%, 60.9%, 64.3% and 65.3% for males and 47.3%, 48.3%, 44.5% and 53.1% for females. In the water, these variation values for F, B, L1 and L2 for males were 44.6%, 26.1%, 48.8%, and 42.1%. The values for females were 31.7%, 21.6%, 32.8%, and 34.6%. Spontaneous and maximal speeds of walking were substantially reduced in water with the chest immersed, compared to speeds on dry land for the four modalities and the two genders. These findings may be used by therapists who utilize the various modalities of walking in aquatherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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