US 3497215 A
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Feb.'24, 1970 I w, -q so ET AL EXERCISE ESCALATOR Filed April 5, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS' ATTORNEY Feb. 24, 1970 'w. K. HARRISON ET AL 3,497,215
EXERCISE ESCALATOR Filed April 5, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 m I N l l INVENTORS Q J J A SAMUEL A. TALBOTIDEEASED g B BELLE orro TALBOT, Execufrix h AND WALTER K; HARRISON ATTORNEY Feb. 24, 1970 I K. HARRISON ET 3,497,215
EXERCISE IESCALATOR Filed April 5, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet a FIG. 4.
"m 72 H6. 3. so 38%? 54 6 6m INVENTORS SAMUEL A. TALBOTIDECEASED BY BELLE OTTO TALBOT, Execufrix 56 AND WALTER K. HARRISON 54 BY Mal/6 ATTORNEY United States Patent 0.
3,497,215 EXERCISE ESCALATOR Walter K. Harrison, Baltimore, Md., and Samuel A. Talbot, deceased, late of Baltimore, Md., by Belle Otto Talbot, executrix, Baltimore, Md., assignors to The Johns Hopkins University, a corporation of Maryland Filed Apr. 3, 1967, Ser. No. 628,158
Int. Cl. A63b 23/06 US. Cl. 27269 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An in-place exerciser is described which resembles a reverse action escalator. The apparatus consists of a plurality of steps coupled together. The steps rest on a set of wheels each rolling in a groove between a pair of oval tracks. As the steps move down under the subjects weight, roller chains on either side drive a sprocket, the shaft of which is connected by belting to a hydraulic pump. The pump circulates oil through a restrictor valve which provides a controllable workload. A tachometer generates a voltage which is indicated on a meter as a rate or other factor of the work expended. A fixed landing is provided as a bottom step and works a brake to halt the motion of the steps.
This invention relates generally to exercising devices, and more particularly it pertains to an exercise escalator apparatus for electro-cardiograph testing of patients with coronary heart disease.
The exercise testers now used for cardiac investigation were designed for various purposes. Treadmills were developed especially for studies of cardio-respiratory function in persons in a fair degree of health. Bicycle ergometers similarly were designed in Europe mainly for research in physiology rather than pathology.
The various step-tests were indeed intended to dilferentiate between subjects of uncertain cardiac status, at milder levels of exercise. However, they were hardly designed for use with the recent techniques of multilead electrocardiographic recording throughout exercise, for exercise maintained at a controlled level of tachycardia, nor for clinical investigations involving the old and infirm. For the latter purposes, all three of the usual methods have certain disadvantages.
In this country, step-tests are the most widely used. For the present purpose the main difficulties are that the rate of exercise is hard to regulate and that many patients are awkward and unstable in stepping up and down rapidly when hampered by the electrodes and cable needed to record twelve (12) leads in exercise electrocardiography. During rapid intermittent exercise, these electrodes are frequently jarred loose and artefacts appear in the record, particularly in patients who are overweight. Furthermore, the work performed during step-tests is difiicult to express quantitatively, chiefly because the effort expended during descent, although considerable, cannot be stated in terms of work done.
Pedaling on a bicycle is a type of leg exercise to which most subjects are unused in this country. Thus, subjects are apt to experience excessive fatigue of the lower limbs before the desired challenge to the cardiopulmonary system is obtained. Many patients have found the requisite balance and coordination diflicult or impossible. Of ninety (90) subjects selected for the electrocardiographic exercise test on the Lanooy bicycle, nine (9) were unable to pedal effectively, even after practice. Unaccustomed types of exercise are performed more or less inefficiently. Thus, it is difiicult to infer accurately the physiologic load from the recorded work in any particular individual.
3,497,215 Patented Feb. 24, 1970 "ice Ordinary walking is natural and thus appears to be an ideal type of work for most physiologic studies and particularly exercise electrocardiography. This principle is applied in treadmill exercise. The usual motor-driven machine, however, has serious drawbacks when used for exercising patients suspected of having coronary heart disease. During the test there is real danger of falling, and, in an emergency, it is not possible to stop the motion rapidly, so that an additional technician is required as a catcher. Apprehension induced in some people by the treadmill exercise adds to the patients discomfort and produces psychological stress that is significantly disturbing in cardiac tests.
It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide an exercise escalator which is driven entirely by the patients own weight and under his control.
Another object of this invention is to provide an exercise escalator for muscles which are most commonly used and in a manner giving relative immobility to the upper part of the body for optimum lead attachment.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a landing brake for an escalator-exerciser.
To provide an energy absorber for the exercise escalator controllable through a wide range, is another object of the invention.
Even still another object of this invention is to provide an exercise escalator which is especially suited for multilead electrocardiography during the exercise of patients with coronary heart disease.
Other objects of this invention are to provide an exercise escalator that presents minimal danger to the weak and unsteady; one which exercises the muscles habitually used by nonathletic people; and one which the pattern of muscular coordination is already well known so that the effect of training is minimized.
Still other objects of this invention are to provide an exercise escalator in which the rate of Work (power) of the patient is directly proportional to the speed of stepping on the exercise escalator, in which the mechanics thereof is simple; one in which the calibration does not change; and one in which there is no external power requirement.
Other objects and attendant advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent and understood from the following detailed specification and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exercise escalator incorporating features of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal vertical section through the exercise escalator with its drive train disclosed diagramatically;
FIG. 3 is a further diagramatic disclosure of the drive train as viewed approximately from the left of FIG. 2 in an unfolded elevation;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating one of a continuous chain of stairs along with its associated details; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view depicting the intermeshing of the step plates and fingers of the brake treadle.
Referring now to the details of the exercise escalator of this invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, reference numeral 10 indicates generally an exercise escalator or staircase of movable steps.
The exercise escalator 10 consists of an enclosure 12 having a pair of sidewalls 14 and front and rear endwalls 16 and 18, respectively. The top is largely open in an upwardly sloping direction except for a short section of ceiling 19 which forms a continuation of the rear endwall.
This open portion is outlined by an upstanding pair of side parapets and an upper parapet 21 and also exposes several step assemblies of a continuous chain of stairs 26 housed within the enclosure 12.
The step assemblies 30 are mounted for circulation around a closed loop consisting of a pair of spaced tracks 28, one on each sidewall 14. As shown in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5, the step assemblies 30 each consist of a plurality of triangular plates 32, the composite edges of which form a tread 34.
Each plate 32 is provided with a lightening hole 36 and is spaced from adjacent plates 32 wtih spacers 38. A fixture 40 having a lower and upper flange 42 and 46, respectively, is fastened to the lower side of both outermost plates 32 with fasteners 58 which pass through a web portion 44 of the lower flange 42. The upper flange 46 is offset from the web 44.
At one end of fixture 40, a chain straddling yoke 48 is formed and provided with a stub shaft 50 and hole 52 which registers with similar holes (not shown) in the plates 32 and spacers 38. The other end of fixture 40 extends in an offset tab 54 having a hole 56.
A threaded connecting rod through the tabs 54 of one step assembly 30 and continuing through the holes 52 of the adjacent step assembly 30 forms a hinged coupling between steps when provided with a nut 62 as best shown in FIG. 4.
A continuous chain 64 extends along each side of the step assemblies 30 further linking them together and providing a power take-off means. The chains 64 have special T-shaped links 66 by which they are secured with fasteners 68 to holes 70 in the upper flange 46.
Rollers 72 are mounted on the stub shafts 50 and secured for rotation by nuts 74. The tracks 28 captivate the rollers 72 in their channels and maintain the tread 34 of each step assembly 30 in a horizontal attitude as it is exposed at the open top of the enclosure 12.
The weight of a subject mounting these exposed steps 30 causes them to move downward and around the tracks 28, as shown by the curved dashed arrow in FIG. 2.
The chains 64 pass over sprockets 76 and rotate a gear train, best shown in FIG. 3, consisting of a sprocket shaft 78, gears 80 and 82 and a shaft 84. A pulley 86 on the latter shaft 84 is coupled to a pulley 90 by a belt 88. This rotates a shaft 92 which is common to two pulleys 94 and 108. Pulley 94 is coupled by belt 95 to the pulley 96 of an oil pump 98. Pulley 108 coupled by belt 110 to a pulley 112 rotates a tachometer 114.
Electrical leads 116 connect the tachometer 114 to a speed indicator 118 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A potentiometer knob 120 is used for adjusting the speed indicator 118.
The oil pump 98 is connected by hydraulic lines 100 in a closed loop including further a constrictor valve 104 and a sump 106, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A pressure gauge 102 on the upstream side of the valve 104 indicates the pressure buildup of the circulating fluid and hence gives an indication related to the work expended by the subject being tested.
If the subject stops climbing action, he is carried to a lower treadle 132 through the fingers 134 of which thesteps 30 pass in interdigitized manner (see FIGS. 1, 2, and 6). The treadle 132 is provided with a pivotal shaft 130, one end of which passes through the fingers 134 and spacers 136. The other end passes through the sidewall 14. As the treadle 132 is depressed, the shaft oscillates.
As best shown in FIG. 1, this motion is transmitted through a linkage comprising a lever 128 and a connecting rod 126 to an actuating lever 124 of a brake drum assembly 122. As shown in FIG. 3, this brake drum assembly 122 is mounted .on the sidewall 14 and serves to stop the rotation of shaft 84 and thus the movement of the chains 64 and steps 30.
For ease in positioning the exercise escalator 10, it is provided with castors 22. Auxiliary stairs 24 are a useful adjunct.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is:
1. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject in situ in a simulated stair climbing activity, comprising, structure including a flight of steps movable in a closed loop, each step having a closed riser aflixed thereto, and means operatively connected to said apparatus for measuring the effort of a subject in the act of simulated climbing of said flight of movable steps.
2. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject as recited in claim 1, and additionally plural adjustable resistive means coupled to said flight of movable steps and tending to oppose movement thereof, said plural adjustable resistive means being independently actuatable.
3. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject in situ in a simulated stair climbing activity, comprising structure including a flight of steps movable in a closed loop, means for measuring the effort of a subject in the act of simulated climbing of said flight of movable steps, a subject deflectable landing at the foot of said flight of movable steps, and other resistive means coupled to said flight of movable steps and controlled by said subject deflectable landing to stop movement of said flight of movable steps.
4. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject as recited in claim 3, and additionally means for steadying said subject in situ during the simulated stair climbing activity on said flight of movable stairs, said means for steadying said subject extending parallel with said flight of steps downward to said deflectable landing.
5. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject as recited in claim 2, one of said plural adjustable resistive means including landing means disposed substantially horizontally adjacent said flight of steps, and additionally means for maintaining said steps of said flight of movable steps in substantially horizontal attitude parallel with said landing during at least a portion of the movement of said flight of steps in said closed loop.
6. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject in situ, in a simulated stair climbing activity, comprising, structure including a flight of steps movable in a closed loop, each said step having a closed riser aflixed to the step, means coupled to said movable flight of steps and tending to oppose movement of said flight of steps in said closed path, and other means coupled to said movable flight of steps for measuring the effort of a subject in the act of simulated climbing of said flight of movable steps.
7. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject in situ, in a simulated stair climbing activity, comprising, structure including a flight of steps movable in a closed loop, means coupled to said movable flight of steps and tending to oppose movement of said flight of steps in said closed path, other means coupled to said movable flight of steps for measuring the effort of a subject in the act of simulated climbing of said flight of movable steps, a subject deflectable landing at the foot of said flight of movable steps, and resistive means coupled to said flight of movable steps and controlled by said subject deflectable landing to stop movement of said flight of movable steps.
8. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject as recited in claim 7, and additionally means for steadying said subject in situ during the simulated stair climbing activity on said flight of movable stairs, said means for steadying said subject extending downward from said flight of steps to said deflectable landing.
9. An escalator type apparatus for exercising a subject as recited in claim 7, and additionally means for main- 7 taining said steps of said flight of movable steps in sub- 6 stantially horizontal attitude parallel with said subject References Cited deflectable landing during at least a portion of the mov- UNITED STATES PATENTS ment of said flight of steps in said closed loop.
10. An escalator type apparatus as recited in claim 9, 1,016,729 2/1912 Barrett 272-69 each said step of said movable flight including laterally 5 2,04 ,764 6/1936 Birch 272-69 spaced members, and said deflectable landing including 15 5/1946 Drake 272-69 laterally spaced members offset from the said step laterally spaced members and positioned for inter-meshing ANTON OECHSLE Pnmary Exammer therewith. RICHARD W. DIAZ, 111., Assistant Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3h972l5 Dated February 2L! 97 "Inventor(s) d Walter F. Harrison It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, after the Title insert the following; paragraph:
-- The invention described herein was made in the course of work under a grant or award from the the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
Signed and sealed this 11th day of February 1975.
C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks FORM PC4050 (ID-69} USCOMM DC 3" F us covunuun rum-mo omct; 369 93