The effect of pilates‐style verbal cues on metabolic cost and perceived exertion during treadmill walking

C. Lange, V.B. Unnithan, E. Larkam, A. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

67 Citations (Scopus)


Bipedal gait (e.g., walking, running) is learned early in human life. Therefore, one might conclude that adults have learned to optimize gait in order to decrease metabolic cost and increase endurance. Nonetheless, past experiments have been conducted to determine whether gait can be further optimized through mechanical or instructional aids. The latter include feedback and instructions. Verbal cues are concise instructions used to direct attention to task-relevant features and improve performance.

To determine whether verbal cues decrease metabolic cost and perceived exertion during treadmill walking.

Three head- and trunk-related Pilates-style cues were chosen. Subjects (N = 20; 20.6 ± 1.5 years, mean ± SD) were randomly divided into cues (C) and no cues (NC) groups. Day 1 consisted of habituation (5 min), pretest (8 min), and cueing (8 min) stages. After the pretest, C subjects were trained to use the cues. During the cueing stage, a different cue was given every 30 s. Day 2 consisted of a 48-h delayed posttest (8 min) during which none of the subjects received cues. Data were analyzed using two-way ANOVAs with repeated measures (α = 0.05).

For NC subjects, HR, VO2 submax, and VE did not differ significantly between pretest, cueing stage, and posttest. The same occurred for C subjects, even though 100 percent and 82 percent were able to recall the cues correctly after the cueing and posttest stages, respectively. RPEs did not differ significantly between pretest and posttest for NC or C subjects.

Pilates-style cues did not significantly decrease metabolic cost or perceived exertion during treadmill walking in young, able-bodied adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S286-S286
Number of pages1
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


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