Acute physiologic responses during alternative modes of treadmill exercise in adults with Parkinson’s Disease




Levine, Nicholas
Rigby, Brandon R.
Davis, Ronald
Nichols, David
Avalos, Marco
Goudy, Leah
Moo, Patricia
Frederick, Cecil
Patterson, Desiree
Robuck, Mitchell

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American College of Sports Medicine


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by muscle tremors, rigidity and dyskinesis leading to balance and gait abnormalities that could alter physiologic responses during exercise. Locomotion on an aquatic treadmill (ATM) or anti-gravity treadmill (AGTM) may be a safe alternative to exercise on a traditional land treadmill (LTM) in those with PD.

PURPOSE: To determine the acute cardiovascular and metabolic responses to three different modes of treadmill exercise in older adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

METHODS: Eight adults diagnosed with PD (68 ± 3 years of age) completed one exercise session on an LTM, one session on an ATM, and one session on an AGTM at 50% body weight. Participants walked from 1 to 3 mph in 0.5 mph increments at 0% grade during each exercise session. Heart rate (HR), energy expenditure (EE), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured at rest and during steady-state exercise at each speed on each treadmill. Rate of perceived exertion was also measured during steady-state exercise. Rate pressure product (RPP) was calculated.

RESULTS: All variables, with the exception of DBP, increased as speed increased across all treadmill modes (p < 0.001). Between treadmill modes across all speeds, EE was statistically different (p = 0.025). There was a significant interaction effect for mode and speed for HR (p < 0.001) and RPP (p = 0.003). At all speeds except 1.5 mph, HR was higher on the LTM versus the AGTM (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Exercising on an ATM or an AGTM elicits similar physiologic responses to exercise on an LTM in adults with PD.


Abstract originally published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49(5S), 633–634. English. Published online 2017.


Neurodegenerative condition, Aquatic treadmill, Anti-gravity treadmill


This is the abstract for a poster presentation that is available at Recommended citation: Levine, N., Rigby, B. R., Davis, R., Nichols, D., Avalos, M., Goudy, L., Moo, P., Frederick, C., Patterson, D., Robuck, M., Guerin, G., Beck, K., Reyes, G., Patino, D., & De La Cruz, B. (2017). Acute physiologic responses during alternative modes of treadmill exercise in adults with Parkinson’s disease. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49(5S), 633–634. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.