Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



Introduction: Treadmill walking is a commonly chosen exercise routine due its accessibility, low cost, and health benefits. For beginning exercisers or those with conditions that limit walking speeds, modifications to walking programs are needed to facilitate cardiorespiratory improvement. Purpose: To examine how oxygen consumption (VO2), relative exercise intensity (%APHRM), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) are affected while using a weighted vest during slow inclined treadmill walking. Methods: Thirteen untrained women (37±11.2 yr, 69.1±14.4 kg, 30.6±7.4 %Body Fat) performed a standardized walking trial (4-min stages at 0, 5, 10, and 15% gradients) on a treadmill at a constant 1.12 m/s under three weighted vest conditions (0, 10, and 15% of body mass (BM)). VO2 and heart rate were measured continuously throughout each bout. RPE was recorded at the end of each minute. Results: Two-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant vest versus gradient interactions for VO2 and %APHRM. Follow-up contrasts showed a nonlinear relationship between v weighted vest conditions and gradient for VO2 and %APHRM. At 0% gradient there was no significant difference in VO2 or %APHRM between 0%BM (10.2±1.1 ml/kg/min, 54.2±4.3 %APHRM, respectively) and 10%BM (10.6±1.0 ml/kg/min, 55.6±3.8 %APHRM, respectively) conditions. A significant difference was found in VO2 and %APHRM when a 15%BM (11.4±1.5 ml/kg/min, 57.4±6.7 %APHRM, respectively) vest was used at 0% gradient. At the highest gradient (15%), there was no significant difference in VO2 or %APHRM between 10%BM (25.7±1.3 ml/kg/min, 86.7±6.5 %APHRM, respectively) or 15%BM (25.9±1.5 ml/kg/min, 87.9±5.7 %APHRM, respectively); however, both were significantly different from 0%BM (23.6±0.8 ml/kg/min, 82.1±6.9 %APHRM, respectively). A significant difference was shown for VO2 and %APHRM for both weighted vest conditions compared to no vest at 5% and 10% gradients. No significant interaction was found between weighted vest conditions for RPE. Conclusion: Using a weighted vest can increase VO2 and %APHRM during slow graded treadmill walking, with a 5% increase from 10%BM to 15%BM having no significant impact on perceived exertion.


Weighted Vest, Metabolic Cost, Walking

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mermier, Christine

Second Committee Member

Gibson, Ann