Gait dynamics on a cross-slope walking surface

Author: Dixon, P.C.; Pearsall, D.J.

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of cross-slope on gait dynamics. Ten young adult males walked barefoot along an inclinable walkway. Ground reaction forces (GRFs), lower-limb joint kinematics, global pelvis orientation, functional leg-length, and joint reaction moments (JRMs) were measured. Statistical analyses revealed differences across limbs (up-slope [US] and down-slope [DS]) and inclinations (level; 0 degrees; and cross-sloped, 6 degrees). Adaptations included increases of nearly 300% in mediolateral GRFs (p < .001), functional shortening the US-limb and elongation of the DS-limb (p < .001), reduced step width (p = .024), asymmetrical changes in sagittal kinematics and JRM, and numerous pronounced coronal plane differences including increased US-hip adduction (and adductor moment) and decreased DS-hip adduction (and adductor moment). Data suggests that modest cross-slopes can induce substantial asymmetrical changes in gait dynamics and may represent a physical obstacle to populations with restricted mobility.

Subject Headings: Adaptation, Physiological; Analysis of Variance; Biomechanical Phenomena; Data Collection/methods; Gait/physiology; Humans; Male; Surface Properties; Walking/physiology; Weight-Bearing/physiology; Young Adult

Keywords: Gait dynamics on a cross-slope walking surface

Publication year: 2010

Journal or book title: Journal of Applied Biomechanics

Volume: 26

Issue: 1

Pages: 17-25

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2658