Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Exercise Science Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Matthew Bundle

Commitee Members

Steven Gaskill, Alex Santos


ground reaction force, sprinting, biomechanics, over ground running, high speed treadmill, running, gait


University of Montana


This thesis proposal describes the design, fabrication, and testing of a high-speed force treadmill capable of measuring the vertical and horizontal ground reaction forces imparted to the bed during the stance phase of human running. Natural frequency, crosstalk, linearity, use of aluminum line shaft with flexible couplings, center of pressures, and comparison to over-ground running were investigated. The natural frequency of the treadmill bed was 113 Hz achieved in part through the use of the line shaft to remove the mass of the motor (36.8 kg) with negligible dissipation of imparted force to the treadmill. The linearity test results showed a high linearity of the force treadmill up to expected forces of human sprinting as well as minimal crosstalk. The center of pressure accuracy was extremely high using measured vertical forces to determine the point of force application. Ground reaction force waveforms in both the horizontal and vertical directions for speeds up to 8.1 ms-1 on the high speed force treadmill were nearly identical to the established methods of in ground force plates in both magnitude of force and duration of contact for same speeds by same subject. The high speed force treadmill demonstrated acceptable accuracy for ground reaction forces such that it can be used for a variety of research gait analysis applications up to the limits of human running speed.



© Copyright 2014 Michael Ora Powell