European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 331–339 | Cite as

Quiet stance control is affected by prior treadmill but not overground locomotion

  • Carlo Zanetti
  • Marco SchieppatiEmail author
Original Article


Treadmill locomotion is different with respect to overground walking and may require an adapted control mode. The relevant neural computational effort may produce lasting effects encroaching upon the performance of a subsequent postural task. The hypothesis of the present study was that, contrary to overground walking, treadmill walking has effects on quiet stance variables, in the assumption that the imposed locomotor activity is more critical to stance control than natural walking. Nine young subjects performed three different walking sessions: treadmill with eyes closed, treadmill with eyes open, overground walking with eyes open. Body sway area and sway path and the position of the centre of foot pressure during stance were recorded by a dynamometric platform under control, post-walking and post-recovery conditions, alternatively with eyes closed and eyes open. At variance with overground walking, treadmill locomotion produced an effect on body orientation in space during the subsequent stance trials. This consisted in a forward inclination of the body, not accompanied by increased body sway, lasting for a few minutes. Presence or absence of vision during treadmill locomotion did not induce differences in the amplitude or time-course of the post-effect. We argue that body inclination would be the consequence of a change in the postural reference produced by a message arising from treadmill locomotion itself, possibly connected to particularities in the control mode of this type of walking.


Treadmill Overground walking Post-effect Stance Vision 



This work was supported by the FIRB 2001 (RBNE01FJ4J) and PRIN 2005 (2005059738) grants from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Sezione di Fisiologia UmanaUniversità di PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Centro Studi Attività Motorie (CSAM), Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri (IRCCS)Istituto Scientifico di PaviaPaviaItaly

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