Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Exercise Test; Gait -- physiology


Background and Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate gait kinematics of individuals without pathological impairments. Through the use of electromyography (EMG), the firing of muscles was analyzed during ambulation using the partial body weight support treadmill training (PBWSTT). Video motion analysis (VMA) was also used to look at the movements of the lower extremities and the pelvis. Using both of these tools, it was determined if there was a significant change in muscle firing and movements in normal individuals during ambulation with weight support compared to normal weight-bearing.

Methods: Four subjects (3 female, 1 male) were recruited for this study. EMG and VMA data was collected for lower extremity muscle activity and gait kinematics during the gait cycle at 0%, slack removed (3%-6%), 15%, and 30% body weight support.

Results: The gluteus medius muscle activation was found to be significantly different between conditions (F(3,8) = 11.446; P = 0.003). A post-hoc analysis was found to show significant differences in gluteus medius activation between 0% vs 3-6% (p = 0.017),0% vs 15% (p = 0.016),3-6% vs 30% (p = 0.015), 15% vs 30% (p = 0.015). The gluteus medius was most active at 15% (132.2%) followed by 3-6% (129.65%) The remaining muscles did not show significant difference in muscle activation and weight-bearing percentages. It is also noted that the power for these muscles were quite low. Step length was found to be significantly different between weight bearing conditions (p = 0.005). A post hoc analysis was performed, and Scheffe results showed significant differences in step length between 0% vs 3-6% (p = 0.016) and 0% vs 30% (p = 0.009). Step length was greatest at 0% BWS for all subjects. Ankle dorsiflexion was not found to be significant (p = 2.176, power = 0.383).

Conclusion: It was found that PBWSTT did not significantly alter the EMG data of normal individuals. This, in tum, will allow future studies to be performed on individuals who have impairments and limitations knowing that further compensation patterns will not be elicited from the use of PBWSTT.