Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 49 Number 10, 2012
   Pages 1537 — 1546

Abstract — Exercise intensity of robot-assisted walking versus overground walking in nonambulatory stroke patients

Michiel P. M. van Nunen, MSc;1–2* Karin H. L. Gerrits, PhD;1–2 Arnold de Haan, PhD;1,3 Thomas W. J. Janssen, PhD1–2

1Research Institute MOVE, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands;2 Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center/Reade, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 3Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and Health, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom

Abstract–It has been suggested that aerobic training should be considered in stroke rehabilitation programs to counteract detrimental health effects and decrease cardiovascular risk caused by inactivity. Robot-assisted treadmill exercise (using a Lokomat device) has the potential to increase the duration of walking therapy relative to conventional overground therapy. We investigated whether exercise intensity during Lokomat therapy is adequate to elicit a training effect and how assistance during walking in the Lokomat affects this exercise intensity. Ten patients with stroke (age 54 +/– 9 yr) walked in both the Lokomat and in a hallway. Furthermore, 10 nondisabled subjects (age 43 +/– 14 yr) walked in the Lokomat at various settings and on a treadmill at various speeds. During walking, oxygen consumption and heart rate were monitored. Results showed that for patients with stroke, exercise intensity did not reach recommended levels (30% heart rate reserve) for aerobic training during Lokomat walking. Furthermore, exercise intensity during walking in the Lokomat (9.3 +/– 1.6 mL/min/kg) was lower than during overground walking (10.4 +/– 1.3 mL/min/kg). Also, different settings of the Lokomat only had small effects on exercise intensity in nondisabled subjects.

Key words: aerobic training, exercise intensity, heart rate, hemiplegia, locomotor training, oxygen consumption, rehabilitation therapy, robot-assisted walking, stroke, walking.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 49, No. 10
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Van Nunen MP, Gerrits KH, de Haan A, Janssen TW. Exercise intensity of robot-assisted walking versus overground walking in nonambulatory stroke patients. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(10):1537–46.

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