Mary Alexandra Willard



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Neurological disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are a leading cause of long-term disability. As a result, individuals with neurological disorders often have low activity levels and have difficulty participating in regular exercise to maintain health and fitness. Some of these barriers include safety, transportation and cost. As a result, finding a safe and effective means of exercise is difficult. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an affordable home exercise device for promoting muscle activity in the lower extremities. Ten individuals without neurological disorders were tested in this pilot investigation. Subjects used the elliptical trainer under eight different conditions in a randomized order. During each condition, muscle activity of the lower extremity was measured using surface electromyography (EMG) to determine which condition elicited the greatest muscle activity. Data from this investigation will be useful in future trials involving individuals with neurological disorders.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Kurt J. Jackson

Primary Advisor's Department

Physical Therapy


Stander Symposium poster


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Muscle Activity With the Use of a Compact Elliptical Trainer