Physical therapist in Minnesota develops lightweight running aid
Physical therapist Malcolm Macaulay, of Duluth, Minnesota, has developed technology intended to increase runners' speed when using treadmills, according to The Duluth News Tribune. Candidates for physical therapist jobs might be interested in introducing this equipment as part of their treatments.
Called the LightSpeed Body Weight Support System, the device lifts approximately 15 percent of a runner's weight off the ground, with the intention of increasing speed while softening the impact and blow on a runner's knees, feet and body. Consisting of various pieces of equipment that can be bolted together to fit on a treadmill and two 30-inch bungee cords that are attached by Velcro to compression shorts, the System costs $1,800.
"My initial idea was to help in rehabilitation for those suffering back, neck, hip and knee injuries, but it really can serve so many areas," Macaulay told the news source. "It's an aid for those who want to run swifter and more efficiently. It can just be pure fun to feel lighter and turn your legs over quickly."
Macaulay, who has worked physical therapist jobs for 28 years, is also an avid runner who started focusing his research on the subject in 1993. Working with running coach Vern Johnsen, he conducted various studies of runners in conceptualizing and developing the LightSpeed frame.
Another popular area of research study for runners is the idea of running barefoot. Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1960 Olympics while running with no shoes on, prompting suggestions that reducing the weight one carries by removing shoes could create faster speeds. According to Medical Xpress, scientists are unsure on which style is better, although some studies have suggested that running barefoot improves performance and reduces injuries.
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