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Metronome Gait Training

The purpose of this research study is to determine how well you can match the beat of a metronome and if there are any changes in your walking with use of the metronome. Metronomes are commonly used in physical therapy, but we are looking at the effects of using and slower and faster speed of metronome. The use of the slower frequency metronome on the treadmill is intended to help you take larger steps. The use of a faster frequency metronome as you walk over ground is intended to assist you in taking faster steps.

Age & Gender

  • 18 years ~ 99 years
  • Male, Female, Gender Inclusive

Visit Availability

  • Standard business hours (M-F, 8-5)
  • Extended hours (M-F, early morning or evening)


North Carolina (Statewide)

What will be asked of you

We ask that you wear comfortable shoes that you can walk in and can be laced up. You will walk 10m three times at your comfortable speed followed by 3 times at your fastest speed. You will also walk over a 14-foot pressure mat (like a carpet) that records your footsteps. After these tests, you will take a rest and walk for 1 minute on a treadmill that is a comfortable speed for you. Then you will walk for an additional minute on the treadmill with a metronome matching your comfortable cadence (rhythm of walking). As you walk on the treadmill, we will measure how you move from small reflective balls that are wrapped on your legs and taped to your shoes. If needed, you will take a brief break following these two minutes on the treadmill. Next, you will walk twice on the treadmill (each for 10 minutes) while we use a metronome to pace your steps. You will be allowed a rest break between these two sessions if necessary. You will also complete two trials of 10 minutes of walking over ground while we pace your steps with a metronome. The metronome will be slower while you are on the treadmill and faster while you are walking over ground. Lastly, you will walk over the 14-foot pressure mat and complete the same 10m walks as previously.

In-person visits:
Phone or online visits:
Total length of participation:
1.5 hours

Looking for Healthy Volunteers

Requirements for healthy volunteers are different than for those with a specific condition. If you are interested in becoming a healthy volunteer for this study, use the below categories to determine if you are able to participate.

Able to participate:

  • You are a healthy adult between the ages of 18 and 75.
  • You are an individual with Parkinson's Disease (Stage II-III).
  • You are able to walk for up to 10 minutes at a time without assistance or a rest break.

Not eligible if:

  • You have an uncontrolled cardiac or metabolic disease.
  • You are unable to walk without an assistive device or assist from another person.
  • You have a history of traumatic brain injury.

Contact the Team

Visit Location

Contact & Visit Location

Primary Contact

Primary Visit Location

Interdisciplinary Human Movement Research Lab
Medical School Wing D, 336 Emergency Room Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA

Additional Study Information

Principal Investigator

Chelsea Parker
Allied Health - Physical Therapy

Study Type

Clinical or Medical

Study Topics

Healthy Volunteer or General Population

IRB Number


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