Efficacy of Treadmill Walking Training on Gait Performance and Balance in Thai Elderly

Main Article Content

Thitiporn Phakdepiboon
Waree Chira-Adisai


Objectives:  To evaluate the effect of a 4-week treadmill walking on balance and gait performance in Thai elderly.

Study Design: Experimental research, pretest-posttest one group design

Setting: Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Faculty of medicine Ramathibodi Hospital

Subjects: Thai elderly aged 60 or older and volunteered to participate in the study

Methods: A 30-minute treadmill walking at each individual comfortable speed was set as 2 times per week for 4 weeks. At baseline and 4 weeks, participants were tested in their static balance by Single-Leg Stance Test with eyes open and close (SLST-EO and SLST-EC), dynamic balance by Expanded Timed Up and Go Test (ETUG) and gait velocity were measured.

Results: Twenty-four elderly with mean age (standard deviation) of 65 (4.4) were recruited. The SLST-EO [median(interquartile range, IQR)] of right, left leg for pre and post training were [20.70 (15.60-63.00)], [20.36 (10.80-67.27)] and [38.00 (20.17-74.19)], [26.52 (14.61-72.39)] sec, respectively. The SLST-EC [median (interquartile range, IQR)] of right, left leg for pre and post training were [4.20 (3.42-9.29)], [4.00 (2.89-7.91)] and [6.85 (2.70-13.62)], [4.96 (3.91-12.59)] sec, respectively. ETUG, gait velocity [mean(standard deviation)] of pre training were [22.37 (3.15)] sec, [1.08 (0.15)] m/s and post training were [20.54 (2.12)] sec, [1.14 (0.15) ]m/s, respectively. All parameters in post training were statistically improved. (P < 0.05)

Conclusion:  A 4 week, twice weekly, treadmill walking training is able to improved balance, both dynamic and static, and gait velocity in Thai elderly.


Article Details

How to Cite
Phakdepiboon T, Chira-Adisai W. Efficacy of Treadmill Walking Training on Gait Performance and Balance in Thai Elderly. Rama Med J [Internet]. 2015 Dec. 29 [cited 2024 May 21];38(4):264-73. Available from: https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ramajournal/article/view/57461
Original Articles


Prince F, Corriveau H, Hebert R, Winter D. Review article gait in the elderly. Gait Posture. 1997;5:128-35.

Gillespie LD, Robertson MC, Gillespie WJ, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(9):CD007146. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007146.pub3.

Fritz S, Lusardi M. White paper: "walking speed: the sixth vital sign". J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2009;32(2):46-9.

Arnold CM, Sran MM, Harrison EL. Exercise for fall risk reduction in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review. Physiother Can. 2008;60(4):358-72. doi:10.3138/physio.60.4.358.

Obuchi S, Kojima M, Shiba Y, Shimada H, Suzuki T. A randomized controlled trial of a treadmill training with the perturbation to improve the balance performance in the community dwelling elderly subjects. Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 2004;41(3):321-7.

Assantachai P, Praditsuwan R, Chatthanawaree W, Pisalsarakij D, Thamlikitkul V. Risk factors for falls in the Thai elderly in an urban community. J Med Assoc Thai. 2003;86(2):124-30.

Malatesta D, Simar D, Ben Saad H, Préfaut C, Caillaud C. Effect of an overground walking training on gait performance in healthy 65- to 80-year-olds. Exp Gerontol. 2010;45(6):427-34. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2010.03.009.

Lee SJ, Hidler J. Biomechanics of overground vs. treadmill walking in healthy individuals. J Appl Physiol. 2008;104(3):747-55.

Carmeli E, Kessel S, Coleman R, Ayalon M. Effects of a treadmill walking program on muscle strength and balance in elderly people with Down syndrome. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002;57(2):M106-10.

Parvataneni K, Ploeg L, Olney SJ, Brouwer B. Kinematic, kinetic and metabolic parameters of treadmill versus overground walking in healthy older adults. Clin Biomech. 2009;24(1):95-100. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2008.07.002.

Sherrington C, Whitney JC, Lord SR, Herbert RD, Cumming RG, Close JC. Effective exercise for the prevention of falls: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008;56(12):2234-43. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02014.x.

Kumkate B, Wongpat P, Sanjaroensuttikul N. Effect of Tai Chi Chun exercise on balance in Thai elderly people. J Thai. Rehabil Med 2007; 17(3): 73-8.

Kuptniratsaikul V, Dajpratham P, Praditsuwan R. The time up & go a practical basic mobility skills assessment in the elderly. Siriraj Med. 2006;58:588-91.

Steffen TM, Hacker TA, Mollinger L. Age- and gender-related test performance in community-dwelling elderly people: six-minute walk test, berg balance scale, timed up & go test, and gait speeds. Phys Ther. 2002;82:128-37.

Wass E, Taylor NF, Matsas A. Familiarisation to treadmill walking in unimpaired older people. Gait Posture. 2005;21(1):72-9.

Kuptniratsaikul V, Praditsuwan R, Assantachai P, Ploypetch T, Udompunturak S, Pooliam J. Effectiveness of simple balancing training program in elderly patients with history of frequent falls. Clin Interv Aging. 2011;6:111-7. doi:10.2147/CIA.S17851.

Petridou ET, Manti EG, Ntinapogias AG, Negri E, Szczerbinska K. What works better for community-dwelling older people at risk to fall?: a meta-analysis of multifactorial versus physical exercise-alone interventions. J Aging Health. 2009;21(5):713-29. doi: 10.1177/0898264309338298.

Wall JC, Bell C, Campbell S, Davis J. The Timed Get-up-and-Go test revisited: measurement of the component tasks. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2000;37(1):109-13.

Gehlsen GM, Whaley MH. Falls in the elderly: Part II, Balance, strength, and flexibility. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990;71(10):739-41.

Quach L, Galica AM, Jones RN, et al. The nonlinear relationship between gait speed and falls: the maintenance of balance, independent living, intellect, and Zest in the elderly of Boston study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(6):1069-73. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03408.x.