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Is motorized treadmill running biomechanically comparable to overground running? A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-over studies

journal contribution
posted on 19.01.2021, 02:35 by B Van Hooren, JT Fuller, JD Buckley, JR Miller, K Sewell, G Rao, Christian Barton, C Bishop, RW Willy
© 2019, The Author(s). Background: Treadmills are often used in research, clinical practice, and training. Biomechanical investigations comparing treadmill and overground running report inconsistent findings. Objective: This study aimed at comparing biomechanical outcomes between motorized treadmill and overground running. Methods: Four databases were searched until June 2019. Crossover design studies comparing lower limb biomechanics during non-inclined, non-cushioned, quasi-constant-velocity motorized treadmill running with overground running in healthy humans (18–65 years) and written in English were included. Meta-analyses and meta-regressions were performed where possible. Results: 33 studies (n = 494 participants) were included. Most outcomes did not differ between running conditions. However, during treadmill running, sagittal foot–ground angle at footstrike (mean difference (MD) − 9.8° [95% confidence interval: − 13.1 to − 6.6]; low GRADE evidence), knee flexion range of motion from footstrike to peak during stance (MD 6.3° [4.5 to 8.2]; low), vertical displacement center of mass/pelvis (MD − 1.5 cm [− 2.7 to − 0.8]; low), and peak propulsive force (MD − 0.04 body weights [− 0.06 to − 0.02]; very low) were lower, while contact time (MD 5.0 ms [0.5 to 9.5]; low), knee flexion at footstrike (MD − 2.3° [− 3.6 to − 1.1]; low), and ankle sagittal plane internal joint moment (MD − 0.4 Nm/kg [− 0.7 to − 0.2]; low) were longer/higher, when pooled across overground surfaces. Conflicting findings were reported for amplitude of muscle activity. Conclusions: Spatiotemporal, kinematic, kinetic, muscle activity, and muscle–tendon outcome measures are largely comparable between motorized treadmill and overground running. Considerations should, however, particularly be given to sagittal plane kinematic differences at footstrike when extrapolating treadmill running biomechanics to overground running. Protocol registration CRD42018083906 (PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews).

Funding

BVH was funded by the Kootstra Talent Fellowship awarded by the Centre for Research Innovation, Support and Policy (CRISP) of Maastricht University Medical Center +. The Open Access fee was paid by Maastricht University.

History

Publication Date

01/04/2020

Journal

Sports Medicine

Volume

50

Issue

4

Pagination

29p. (p. 785-813)

Publisher

Springer

ISSN

0112-1642

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.