Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Frye

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The problem of the study was to examine the blood pressure, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion of asymptomatic, active individuals during submaximal treadmill exercise while using an unloading system. Two levels of unloading, 20% unloaded body weight (UBW) and 40% UBW, were compared to 0% UBW. Treadmill speed was determined by the speed required to reach a steady state heart rate of 70% of maximum heart rate in an unloaded state. Twenty subjects, between the ages of 18 and 42 years, served as subjects. Subjects were grouped with respect to fitness level; walkers were those subjects who walked to achieve a steady state heart rate of 70% of maximum heart rate and runners ran to achieve the same state. No differences in preexercise measurements of heart rate or blood pressure were found across trial days. A difference was found between walkers' and runners' preexercise heart rate. Exercise heart rate, blood pressure, and RPE were not different across the trial days. Differences were found for heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and RPE among the UBW conditions. For heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and RPE, significant Group x UBW interaction effects were found. Larger differences between the UBW levels were found for runners than for walkers. These differences were thought to be due to the mechanical differences between running and walking and to the effect the harness has on the gait patterns.