Skip to main content
Log in


Little is known about the energy/speed relation of those who are handicapped in the lower-limbs. In fact, this is true for users of below-knee prostheses. The importance of the above relation lies in the pronouncement that can be made in the matter of the results of a rehabilitation program, on the ground of the O2-consumption during walking.

In order to determine the relation between O2-consumption and the walking speed, we had at our disposal 54 users of below-knee prostheses, all but a few disabled in consequence of a trauma.

Thirty-seven subjects could reach and maintain walking speeds of 50 up to 90 m/min for a prolonged period.

For this range of speeds equations for Gross and Nett\(\dot V_{O_2 } \)/kg were determined. The measure of physical fitness as well as the cardiorespiratory functions and the conditions of stump and prosthesis were evaluated.

The conclusion is that otherwise healthy users of below-knee prostheses are consuming approximately 20% more oxygen at all speeds than normal subjects. Stress is laid on the importance of these findings with respect to the rehabilitation. Furthermore, attention is invited for the necessity of maintaining or improving the physical condition apart from the specific walking training for these handicapped.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Atzler, E., Herbst, R.: Arbeitsphysiologische Studien. III. Pflüger Arch. ges. Physiol.215, 292–328 (1928).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bobbert, A. C.: Energy expenditure in level and grade walking. J. appl. Physiol.15, 1015–1021 (1960).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Chatinier, K. du, Molen, N. H., Rozendal, R. H.: Step length, step frequency and temporal factors of the stride in normal human walking. Proc. kon. ned. Akad. Wet.73, 214–227 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Chatinier, K. du, Rozendal, R. H.: Temporal symmetry of gait of selected normal human subjects. Proc. kon. ned. Akad. Wet.73, 353–361 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Corcoran, P. J., Brengelmann, G. L.: Oxygen uptake in normal and handicapped subjects, in relation to speed of walking beside velocity-controlled cart. Arch. phys. Med.51, 78–87 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Molen, N. H., Rozendal, R. H.: Energy expenditure in normal test subjects walking on a motor-driven treadmill. Proc. kon. ned. Akad. Wet.70, 192–200 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Molen, N. H., Rozendal, R. H., Boon, W.: Fundamental characteristics of human gait in relation to sex and location. Accepted for publication by Proc. kon. ned. Akad. Wet. (1973).

  8. Molen, N. H., Rozendal, R. H., Boon, W.: Graphic representation of the relationship between oxygen consumption and characteristics of normal gait of the human male. Accepted for publication by Proc. kon. ned. Akad. Wet. (1973).

  9. Müller, E. A., Hettinger, Th.: Arbeitsphysiologische Untersuchungen verschiedener Oberschenkel-Kunstbeine. Z. Orthop.81, 525–532 (1953).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Müller, E. A., Hettinger, Th.: Der Einfluß der Gehgeschwindigkeit auf den Energieumsatz beim Gehen mit Kunstbeinen. Z. Orthop.83, 620–627 (1953).

    Google Scholar 

  11. O'Hara. Quoted by Durnin, J. V. G. A., Passmore, R.: Energy, work and leisure. Heinemann studies in biology, 3. London: Heinemann 1967.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ralston, H. J.: Energy/speed relation and optimal speed during level walking. Int. Z. angew. Physiol.17, 277–283 (1958).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Reitemeyer, H.: Energieumsatz und Gangbild beim Gehen und Radfahren mit einem Unterschenkelkunstbein. Z. Orthop.86, 571–582 (1955).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Sterling, H. M.: Influence of cardiac status on rehabilitation of lower-extremity amputees. Arch. phya. Med.51, 588–591 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Wyndham, C. H., van der Walt, W. H., van Rensburg, A. J., Rogers, G. G., Strydom, N. B.: The influence of body-weight on energy expenditure during walking on a road and on a treadmill. Int. Z. angew. Physiol.29, 285–292 (1971).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Molen, N.H. Energy/speed relation of below-knee amputees walking on a motor-driven treadmill. Int. Z. Angew. Physiol. Einschl. Arbeitsphysiol. 31, 173–185 (1973).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words