Purpose: To determine if healthy adults can maintain a slow gait speed after a seven-day training period of metronome guidance.
Subjects: Twenty students age 18-45 years.
Materials/Methods: The cadence of each participant was determined while walking on a treadmill at 0.22m/sec and individual metronomes were set accordingly. Participants walked along a pre-determined path and GaitRite mat (measuring cadence and velocity) with and without metronome guidance. This was repeated after a seven-day training period that consisted of walking with the metronome 10 minutes/day over five of the seven days.
Results: No significant visit effect for cadence (P=0.41) or velocity (P=0.47). Both cadence and velocity were significantly higher in the metronome vs. non-metronome condition (P=0.004, P=0.001). An interaction effect showed that cadence did not significantly change between visits with the metronome, however significantly decreased without the metronome (P=0.02). Velocity was not significantly different than the desired speed of 0.22 m/sec at either visit without the metronome (P=0.095, P=0.56), however was significantly faster with the metronome at visit two (P=0.001).
Conclusion: Training slow cadence using a metronome is effective in achieving a slow velocity only once this cue is removed. Constant cueing helps maintain consistent cadence and velocity, however metronome guidance alone cannot promote a specific gait speed.
Relevance: Potential application to parent-led interventions for early walking in children with Down syndrome.
University of Puget Sound
Christoph, Brady; McCutchan, Stacey; and McDaniel, Samantha, "Ability to Maintain a 0.22 m/sec Gait Speed as Directed by an Auditory Metronome in Adults" (2015). Physical Therapy Research Symposium. 11.