Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (to 2011)

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of the study was to investigate if walking in water is an effective substitute for walking on land as an aerobic exercise for people with herniated lumbar disc. The study involved the dependent variables o f perceived pain levels (PPL) and ratings o f perceived exertion (RPE). Independent variables were walking condition and work intensity. Land walking was performed on a treadmill; water walking was performed in an indoor pool 4.5 ft deep and 90*F. Work was set at four different intensities, based on the formula for predicting maximum heart rate (MHR), 220 minus age. The graded work intensities were calculated by multiplying MHR by four percentages: (1) 50%, (2) 60%, (3) 70%, and (4) 80%. Participants (N = 20) were 12 males and 8 females. The subjects walked on 2 separate days with 24 hr (1 day) to 480 hr (20 days) separating the walks. Each subject walked for 2 min at each intensity. RPE and PPL were recorded after each intensity. The Borg RPE scale that rates exertion from 6 to 20 was used. PPL was collected using the Borg PPL scale that rates pain from 0 to 10+. For each of the dependent variables, a randomized block factorial design was analyzed. Results of the study demonstrated that for similar work intensities: (a) RPE during walking was greater on land than in water, and (b) PPL during walking was greater in water than land.