The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill uses air pressure to provide partial body-weight support (BWS), lowering impact forces and metabolic demand of walking and running. Users wear specialized shorts that zip onto a bag supported by a metal bar frame covering the treadmill. The frame is placed at hip height in positions numbered 1-9, adjusted up or down based on preference. Machine accuracy in providing BWS is important to achieve desired training effects, but it is unknown whether frame placement impacts accuracy. Twenty subjects (10 men/women) were weighed in 10% increments from 0 to 60% BWS with the frame at hip height (iliac crest), the "neutral" position, and reweighed with the frame placed up to 3 numbers above or below hip height. Although the machine displayed the same proportion BWS, placing the frame higher than the neutral position resulted in significantly more support, whereas placing the frame lower led to less support. At 10% BWS, placing the frame 3 positions higher resulted in 3% more support compared with the neutral position (13.1% BWS, p < 0.001) and 3 positions lower in 4.7% less support (5.3% BWS, p < 0.001). Deviances were greater with more BWS. At 60% BWS, 3 positions higher than neutral resulted in 71.2% BWS (11.2% more than expected, p < 0.001) and 3 below 48.1% BWS (12.9% below expected, p < 0.001), total 24.1% difference. These findings suggest that the position of the support frame significantly impacts the AlterG accuracy in providing BWS, with placement higher than hip height resulting in more support than displayed by the machine and lower placement resulting in less support.
- bar height
- body-weight support
- lower-body positive pressure
- support structure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation