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Background: Walking at various speeds and durations may result in different peak plantar pressure (PPP). However, there is no study comparing the effect of walking speeds and durations on PPP. The purpose of this study was to explore whether different walking speeds and durations significantly change PPP and establish a normal response in healthy people.
Methods: An in-shoe plantar pressure system was used to measure PPP under the first toe, first metatarsal, second metatarsal, and heel regions in 12 healthy, young people. All participants performed six walking trials at three speeds (3, 6, and 9 km/h) and for two durations (10 and 20 min). The 3 × 2 two-way analysis of variance was used to examine the main effects of speeds and durations and their interaction.
Results: The results showed that walking speeds significantly affected PPP and that walking duration did not. No interaction between the walking speed and duration was observed. Peak plantar pressure values under the first toe and the first metatarsal head were significantly higher (P < .05) at 9 km/h (509.1 ± 314.2 kPa and 591.4 ± 302.4 kPa, respectively) than at 3 km/h (275.4 ± 168.7 kPa and 369.4 ± 205.4 kPa, respectively) after 10-min walking.
Conclusions: People at risk for foot ulcers may use slow and brisk walking for exercise to reduce PPP, thus reducing risk for foot ulcers. Our study demonstrated that slow running at 9 km/h significantly increases PPP.