A significant interaction between BWS and velocity was found F(df=6) = 3.613, p = 0.004, indicating that the association of velocity and V[O.sub.2] may vary across levels of BWS.
For V[O.sub.2] on the regular treadmill, the largest standard deviation was 4.4% of the mean (at 8min mile pace, 3.35 m x [s.sup.-1]), while the standard deviation on the LBPP treadmill was between 7.2% (at 7 minute x [mile.sup.-1] (3.84 m x [s.sup.-1]) pace at 20% BWS), and 14.3% of the mean (at 5 minute x [mile.sup.-1] pace (5.36 m x [s.sup.-1]) at 40% BWS.
Comparison of the velocity vs gross V[O.sub.2] relationships at the different levels of BWS showed slopes ([DELTA]V[O.sub.2]/[DELTA]v) of the equations significantly decrease as BWS increases (p < 0.001).
This is the first study to assess the metabolic demand of running on an LBPP treadmill among elite runners across this wide range of speeds and several different levels of BWS. The first hypothesis, that the metabolic cost of running would decrease as BWS increased, was supported, as there was a significant decrease in metabolic cost across levels of BWS.
The slower natural cadence of participants in this study at [greater than or equal to] 40 percent BWS supports previous research indicating that at higher levels of BWS individuals have difficulty moving their center of mass over their base of support .
This indicates that, at higher levels of BWS, individuals spend significantly more time balancing a portion of their body weight on one limb, while the opposite limb completes swing phase.
Future studies using the ZeroG that impose restrictions to step length (e.g., using floor tape markers) and walking velocity (e.g., using a metronome) would provide important information into the potential interaction effect of these two factors with changing levels of BWS while using this device.
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