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This aquatic treadmill is making waves in UAH research

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  -- The University of Alabama in Huntsville is using a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to make waves in their research. That equipment is a combination of a small, self-contained pool and a traditional treadmill, creating an aquatic treadmill.

"We allow it to use the buoyancy of the water, or basically the pressure it exerts on the body and the support, as well as combine the normal physiological benefits that you’d get from using a treadmill to provide optimal training for high-level athletes. What we’re using it for is kind of groundbreaking research on special population groups," explained Dr. Ryan Conners, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology.

UAH is continuing research on pre-diabetic, Type 2 diabetes, and lower-limb amputee patients, and the benefits the aquatic treadmill can provide.

“We can monitor and change the speed of the treadmill. We can also change the height of the water," Dr. Conners said.

This uncommon equipment is beneficial in different ways for different people. From physical therapy for disabled and handicapped people, to training for professional athletes.

“Definitely a high level workout, and the wide variety of factors that we can control make it very functional," Dr. Conners said.

If you’re a pre-diabetic, lower-limb amputee, or have Type 2 diabetes and are interested in taking part in this research, you can email Dr. Conners at or just call the UAH Department of Kinesiology at (256) 824-6007.

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