Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


Physiological and hemodynamic responses to handrail support during treadmill walking have shown a blunted response when compared to non-handrail support. The effects of treadmill walking, with the inclusion of “heavy” upper limb and torso activation through handrail support is yet unreported. The effect of “heavy” support through side handrail support (SHRS) and front console support (C) versus no handrail support (NHRS) treadmill walking was studied utilizing both slow/low (2.5 mph & 3% elevation) and high/fast (3.5 mph & 11% elevation) energy expenditure levels. Seventeen healthy adults (43.89 +/- 6.07 years) completed trials at both energy expenditure levels incorporating all three handrail support conditions within 1 week, separated by at least 1 day. SBP, DBP, HR, and RPE were measured. SBP was 8.6% and 5.9% lower during C compared to NHRS (p<0.001) and SHRS (p=0.006), respectively, during the fast/high trials. No gender effect was noted. The amount of decrease in each variable was intensity dependent, which may be practically significant when prescribing exercise to a participant who relies on handrail support. Likewise, the removal of handrail support during treadmill walking in the healthy exerciser is no contraindicated.

Included in

Kinesiology Commons