Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Donna M. Ritenour

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Cheatham

Third Advisor

Kyle Blecha

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The use of a body weight support hydraulic system can be beneficial for athletes with lower extremity injuries to help maintain cardiovascular fitness and provide athletes with the ability to advance lower extremity injuries to full weight bearing earlier than without a body weight support harness. However, body weight support harnesses can be a limiting factor due to rubbing or riding up when an injured athlete is attempting to maintain their current level of cardiovascular fitness. Discomfort is experienced with the use of many harnesses in the form of rubbing, tightness, and sliding up the torso. Two different body weight support harnesses were tested to determine oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) during two, 30-minute submaximal treadmill exercise session with 30% of the body weight supported. Ten volunteer subjects performed 30 minutes of submaximal exercise using the Pneu-vest harness™ with and without the cheek strap. A two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures test was used to analyze the results. The results showed no significant difference in VO2, HR, or RPE (P < .05), between the two trials. All subjects were able to complete all the testing trials indicating minimal discomfort from the harnesses.