Comparison of plantar pressure profile of young adults during training on elliptical devices and overground walking: A pilot study

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Background: Elliptical training may offer advantages over other cardiorespiratory exercises for those requiring podiatric care, since its constant double-limb support diminishes recurring high-impact plantar forces while allowing exercise in a functional, upright posture. Unknown is the impact of distinct elliptical models, that can alter user's body mechanics, on potential variations in plantar pressure patterns.

Purpose: To compare plantar pressure variables while exercising on four ellipticals and walking.

Methods: For this cross-sectional pilot study, plantar pressure data were recorded from ten young adults while exercising on four ellipticals (True, Octane, Life Fitness, SportsArt) and walking overground. One-way repeated measures ANOVA identified differences in heel, arch, and forefoot maximum force (MF), peak pressure (PP), and pressure-time integral (PTI).

Results: MF was lower under the heel when exercising on all ellipticals compared with walking, with further differences detected between models. PP was lower on all three foot regions when exercising on all ellipticals compared with walking, except Octane under the arch, with differences detected between ellipticals under the heel. PTI was lower under the heel and arch when exercising on some of the ellipticals compared with walking, with differences again detected under the heel between models.

Conclusion: Plantar pressures were lower when exercising on the ellipticals compared with walking for most variables. Caution is recommended to which elliptical could be incorporated into therapeutic programs given that differences among models were detected under the heel.

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The Foot



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