Energy cost of walking and its association with gait parameters, daily activity, and fatigue in persons with mild multiple sclerosis

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Oct;26(8):1015-21. doi: 10.1177/1545968312437943. Epub 2012 Mar 30.


Background: Energy cost of walking (C(w)) is elevated in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), perhaps because of gait impairment, and may impact daily activity and fatigue.

Objective: The authors examined for associations between C(w), spatiotemporal gait parameters, daily activity, and perceived fatigue in persons with mild MS.

Methods: Forty-four participants completed 4 trials of walking on a GAITRite mat and one 6-minute trial of walking on a treadmill at a constant, controlled speed of 54 m min(-1) while expired gases were analyzed for oxygen consumption. Participants also completed the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and wore a waist-mounted accelerometer for 7 days.

Results: C (w) was significantly and inversely associated with gait speed (r = -.25) and stride length (r = -.32) and positively associated with double limb support (r = .27). C (w) was significantly and inversely associated with daily accelerometer activity counts (r = -.35) and positively associated with FSS scores (ρ = .31).

Conclusion: The results support the development and application of rehabilitation strategies to address impaired gait parameters as an approach to improve C(w), daily activities, and fatigue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Young Adult