It has been shown that statistical persistence in stride intervals characteristics exist during walking, running and cycling and were speed-dependent among healthy young adults. The purpose of this study was to determine if such statistical persistence in stride time interval, stride length and stride speed also exists during self-paced continuous stairmill climbing and if the strength is dependent on stepping rate. Stride time, stride length, and stride speed were collected from nine healthy participants during 3 min of stairmill climbing at 100, 110, and 120% of their preferred stepping rate (PSR) and 5 min of treadmill walking at preferred walking speed (PWS). The amount of variability (assessed by standard deviation and coefficient of variation) and dynamics (assessed by detrended fluctuation analysis and sample entropy) of the stride time, stride length, and stride speed time series were investigated. The amounts of variability were significantly higher during stairmill climbing for the stride time, stride length, and stride speed and did only change with increased stepping rate for stride speed. In addition to a more irregular pattern during stairmill climbing, the detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) revealed that the stride length fluctuations were statistical anti-persistent for all subjects. On a group level both stride time and stride speed fluctuations were characterized by an uncorrelated pattern which was more irregular compared to that during treadmill walking. However, large inter-participant differences were observed for these two variables. In addition, the dynamics did not change with increase in stepping rate.
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