2. Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medical Science and Welfare, Tohoku Bunka Gakuen University, Sendai, Japan.
Background: Walking in water is an effective rehabilitation exercise for patients with various diseases. However, how the mechanical properties of water alter the temporal parameters of human walking is still unclear. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to examine the durations of various gait phases relative to gait cycle at the same speeds both on land and in water.
Methods: Ten healthy male subjects walked on land and in water at slow (2.4 km/h) and moderate (3.6 km/h) speeds. Subjects’ movements were recorded using a digital videocamera. Durations of stance, singlestance, and double-stance phases relative to gait cycle were calculated.
Results: Relative stance phase duration was significantly shorter in water than on land, whereasrelative single-stance phase duration was significantly longer in water than on land. It was revealed that the buoyance effect of water alters the longer duration of single-stance phase in water compared with on land.
Conclusion: The present findings clarify that water can alter the temporal parameters of gait during walking.
Keywords: Mechanical property of water, temporal parameters, healthy adults, human walking