Purpose: This study examined how oxygen consumption, relative exercise intensity, vertical ground reaction forces (VGRF), and loading rate (LR) were affected while using a weighted vest (WV) during treadmill walking.
Methods: A sample of 10 (aged 23.4 +/- 1.7 yr) subjects performed a standardized walking test (4-min stages at 0.89, 1.12, 1.34, 1.56, and 1.79 m x s(-1)) on a treadmill under four weighted vest conditions (0, 10, 15, and 20% of body mass (BM)). Dependent variables included oxygen consumption (VO2), relative exercise intensity, first (F1) and second (F2) peaks of the VGRF curve, and LR.
Results: Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed significant vest versus speed interaction for V O2 and relative exercise intensity. Follow-up contrasts showed significant vest effect differences between 0% BM and all other WV conditions, and between 10 and 20% BM at all speeds for V O2. Follow-up analysis of relative exercise intensity demonstrated no significant vest effect difference at slower speeds, but significant differences at higher speeds. A significant main effect for WV condition was found for F1, F2, and LR. Follow-up testing revealed F1 and F2 at 0% BM were significantly different than at 10, 15, and 20% BM. F1 and F2 at 10% BM were significantly different than 20% BM, whereas F1 at 15% BM was significantly different than at 20% BM. LR at 0% BM was significantly different than at 15 and 20% BM.
Conclusion: Using a weighted vest can increase the metabolic costs, relative exercise intensity, and loading of the skeletal system during walking.