Author(s): Lythgo N, Wilson C, Galea M
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Abstract This study recorded basic gait data from 656 healthy primary school-aged children (5-13 years) and 81 young adults (18-27 years) whilst walking over-ground across a level walkway at varying speed. It investigated the effect of gait speed and re-examined the issue of gait maturation. Participants completed 6-8 walks at self-selected slow, free and fast speed along a GAITRite walkway whilst wearing athletic shoes. Outcome measures (non-normalized and normalized) were gait speed, cadence, step and stride length, step and stride time, support base, single and double support (\%), stance duration (\%), foot angle and associated symmetry measures. Compared to free speed, participants walked 24\% slower for the slow speed and 30\% faster for the fast speed (p<0.0001). Both normalized and non-normalized measures of cadence, step and stride length increased with speed (p<0.001) whereas step and stride time reduced (p<0.001). As a percentage of the gait cycle, single support and stance duration increased with speed (p<0.001) whereas double support reduced (p<0.001). Foot angle was significantly less (less toe-out) for the fast speed than the free and slow speeds (p<0.001) whereas support base was unaffected by speed. Symmetry measures were unaffected by age or speed. Step and stride symmetry differentials (combining conditions) fell around 0.8 cm, whereas symmetry differentials for step and stance time, single and double support fell around 0.7\%. This information can be used by clinicians and researchers to assess the gait of children. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Gait Posture
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science