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Energy cost of treadmill and floor walking at self-selected paces

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Oxygen uptake-velocity regression equations were developed for floor and level treadmill walking by having two groups of men, aged 19–29 years (n=20) and 55–66 years (n=22), walk at four self-selected paces, from “rather slowly” to “as fast as possible”. A two-variable quadratric model relating VO2 (ml·kg−1·min−1) to velocity (m·s−1) was adopted for prediction purposes. However, age and fatness significantly (p<0.05) interacted with treadmill walking speed, while age alone significantly interacted with floor speed. In addition, a significant difference was found between the energy cost of floor and treadmill walking. For example at the normal walking speed of 1.33 m·s−1, the energy cost for the treadmill (age 55–66 years) was 10.58 ml·kg−1·min−1 and for the floor, 11.04 ml·kg−1·min−1 (p<0.05). Four quadratic equations are therefore presented, one each for floor and treadmill in each of the two age-groups. The percent variance explained was between 87 and 95% for each of these equations.

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Supported by a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health (DM449)

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Pearce, M.E., Cunningham, D.A., Donner, A.P. et al. Energy cost of treadmill and floor walking at self-selected paces. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 52, 115–119 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00429037

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Key words

  • Self-paced walking
  • Oxygen uptake
  • Prediction of oxygen uptake
  • Age and energy expenditure
  • Body composition and oxygen uptake