Aquatic Research Published from Utah State University
Recently, three groundbreaking research studies associated with aquatic therapy have come from the Health, PE, and Recreation Department at Utah State University.
All three of the studies, conducted in their HydroWorx pool, have been published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education. They each, in a slightly different way, take a look at the body’s responses to exercising in an aquatic environment.
The first study, “Effect of Aquatic Immersion on Static Balance“, performed by Talin Louder, Eadric Bressel, Matt Baldwin, Dennis G. Dolny, Richard Gordin, and Andrew Miller was conducted to compare the measures of static balance and limits of stability (LOS) in an aquatic environment as well as on land. When the fifteen individuals (ages 21-25) took part in this study, they all achieved great center of pressure at maximum excursions in water than compared to on land. It was determined that the inclusion of aquatic training is an important consideration as part of a comprehensive training and or rehabilitation program . Developing stability through exercises that are characteristically unstable improves neuromuscular coordination and postural control strategies as well as reduced risk for falls.
The second study, “Land Versus Water Treadmill Running: Lactate Threshold,” performed by Ron Garner, Dale Wagner, Eadric Bressel, and Dennis G. Dolny, was designed to identify if the lactic acid that builds up in your blood stream (lactate threshold (LT)) is different when running on land versus an aquatic treadmill. Fifteen males and females free of injury participated in this study. Results concluded that aquatic therapy is beneficial to achieve threshold-intensity training while lowering the stress on the joints that is caused by land running.
The third study from Utah State, “Metabolic Cost Comparison of Running on an Aquatic Treadmill with Water Jets and Land Treadmill With Incline,” was conducted by Ryan Porter, Sarah Blackwell, Gerald Smith, Dale Wagner, Richard Gordin, and Dennis G. Dolny. The researchers compared the metabolic cost at specific inclines while running on a land treadmill to running speeds with selected jet resistance on an aquatic treadmill. The results showed that an increase in speed and incline on a land based treadmill shows a linear increase in the metabolic cost comparison, whereas on an aquatic treadmill it shows a more cubic change. Running with selected jet resistance on an aquatic treadmill results in greater change in metabolic cost than running on a land treadmill.
These studies are very exciting and validate the reasons why we are hearing and seeing so many patient success stories from our clients. Patients are recovering from surgeries with greater strength than before, rehabilitating from injuries faster than they would on land as well as improving their daily function as a result of the effects of aquatic therapy on their bodies.