Treadmill vs. floor walking: kinematics, electromyogram, and heart rate

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1985 Jul;59(1):87-91. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1985.59.1.87.


To identify the degree of difference between treadmill and floor walking, kinematic, electromyographic (EMG), and heart rate measurements were recorded in seven normal female subjects during walking at three speeds on the treadmill and on the floor. During treadmill walking, subjects tended to use a faster cadence and shorter stride length than during floor walking. In addition the displacements of the head, hip, and ankle in the sagittal plane showed statistically significant differences between floor and treadmill walking. Average EMG activity was usually greater on the treadmill than on the floor; however, this difference was only significant for the quadriceps. Heart rate was significantly higher during fast treadmill walking than floor walking. In general, treadmill walking was not found to differ markedly from floor walking in kinematic measurements or EMG patterns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Muscles / physiology