Cardiovascular system response to therapeutic water treadmill walking in older adults /

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Dolbow, David
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Middle Tennessee State University
Because older adults have a greater propensity toward musculoskeletal problems, aquatic exercise is a valuable modality for rehabilitation and physical training. However, little research has been completed concerning the effects of therapeutic water walking on the cardiovascular system of older persons. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the cardiovascular responses to slow, medium, and fast water treadmill walking on older adults. Healthy adults (n=20) between 55 and 64 years of age were tested in a therapeutic pool. Comparisons of cardiovascular responses to water treadmill walking in 92 degrees F (33 degreesC) water with land treadmill walking at 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) ambient temperature were completed. Water depth was at the superior aspect of the iliac crest (waist level) and treadmill speeds were at 2.0 mph, 2.5 mph, and 3.0 mph for both water and land treadmills. Following land and water treadmill acclimation, all participants performed five-minute bouts of exercise at each speed. Oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured during each exercise bout. The conclusions of this study indicate that VO 2, HR, and RPE measures statistically increased with each speed increase during both land and water treadmill walking. BP statistically increased with each speed increase during water treadmill walking but not land treadmill walking. Likewise, VO2, HR, SBP, and RPE measures were statistically higher during therapeutic water treadmill walking compared to land treadmill walking at 2.5 mph and 3.0 mph.
Director: Jennifer L. Caputo.