Gait analysis during treadmill and overground locomotion in children and adults

Department of Physiology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany.
Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 01/1998; 105(6):490-7. DOI: 10.1016/S0924-980X(97)00055-6
Source: PubMed


Gait analysis on the treadmill and in the overground condition is used both in scientific approaches for investigating the neuronal organisation and ontogenetic development of locomotion and in a variety of clinical applications. We investigated the differences between overground and treadmill locomotion (at identical gait velocity) in 12 adults and 14 children (6-7 years old). During treadmill locomotion the step frequency increased by 7% in adults and 10% in children compared to overground walking, whereas the stride length and the stance phase of the walking cycle decreased. The swing phase, however, increased significantly by 5% in adults and remained unchanged in children. Balance-related gait parameters such as the step width and foot rotation angles increased during treadmill locomotion. The reduction of the step length was found to be stable after 10 min of treadmill walking in most subjects. With regard to the shifted phases of the walking cycle and the changed balance related gait parameters in the treadmill condition, we assume a different modulation of the central pattern generator in treadmill walking, due to a changed afferent input. Regarding the pronounced differences between overground and treadmill walking in children, it is discussed whether the systems generating and integrating different modulations of locomotion into a stable movement pattern have reached full capacity in 6-7 year old children.

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    • "Several studies comparing gait parameters between treadmill and overground walking have reported equivocal findings [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]. Riley et al. [5], for example, reported that spatiotemporal gait parameters such as cadence, stride length, stride time and single and double support time were very similar in treadmill and overground walking and concluded that walking on a treadmill produced no discernable difference in the timing of gait cycle events. "
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    ABSTRACT: Motorized treadmills are commonly used in biomechanical and clinical studies of human walking. Whether treadmill walking induces identical motor responses to overground walking, however, is equivocal. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in the spatiotemporal gait parameters of the lower extremities and trunk during treadmill and overground walking using comparison of mean and variability values. Twenty healthy participants (age 23.8±1.2 years) walked for 6min on a treadmill and overground while wearing APDM 6 Opal inertial monitors. Stride length, stride time, stride velocity, cadence, stance phase percentage, and peak sagittal and frontal plane trunk velocities were measured. Mean values were calculated for each parameter as well as estimates of short- (SD1) and long-term variability (SD2) using Poincaré analyses. The mean, SD1, and SD2 values were compared between overground and treadmill walking conditions with paired t-tests (α=0.05) and with effect size estimates using Cohen's d statistic. Mean values for each of the gait parameters were statistically equivalent between treadmill and overground walking (p>0.05). The SD1 and SD2 values representing short- and long-term variability were considerably reduced (p<0.05) on the treadmill as compared to overground walking. This demonstrates the importance of consideration of gait variability when using treadmills for research or clinical purposes. Treadmill training may induce invariant gait patterns, posing difficulty in translating locomotor skills gained on a treadmill to overground walking conditions.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Gait & posture
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    • "Treadmill walking allows for continuous walking while the participant remains in a limited movement space. However, walking patterns on treadmills may differ from that of over-ground walking [16]. In a recent study [12], the accuracy of the Kinect sensor in the measurement of knee and hip joint angles was examined and the results indicated that, while the Kinect sensor can provide an approximate joint trajectory, subtle changes in the joint angles cannot be well measured. "
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    ABSTRACT: The measurement of gait parameters normally requires motion tracking systems combined with force plates, which limits the measurement to laboratory settings. In some recent studies, the possibility of using the portable, low cost, and marker-less Microsoft Kinect™ sensor to measure gait parameters on over-ground walking has been examined. The current study further examined the accuracy level of the Kinect sensor for assessment of various gait parameters during treadmill walking under different walking speeds. Twenty healthy participants walked on the treadmill and their full body kinematics data were measured by a Kinect sensor and a motion tracking system, concurrently. Spatiotemporal gait parameters and knee and hip joint angles were extracted from the two devices and were compared. The results showed that the accuracy levels when using the Kinect sensor varied across the gait parameters. Average heel strike frame errors were 0.18 and 0.30 frames for the right and left foot, respectively, while average toe off frame errors were -2.25 and -2.61 frames, respectively, across all participants and all walking speeds. The temporal gait parameters based purely on heel strike have less error than the temporal gait parameters based on toe off. The Kinect sensor can follow the trend of the joint trajectories for the knee and hip joints, though there was substantial error in magnitudes. The walking speed was also found to significantly affect the identified timing of toe off. The results of the study suggest that the Kinect sensor may be used as an alternative device to measure some gait parameters for treadmill walking, depending on the desired accuracy level. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Gait & posture
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    • "Gait consists of a series of strides that naturally and rhythmically vary from stride-to-stride. While this phenomenon has been known for over a century [1], it has often been relegated as imprecise motor control—a position supported by numerous clinical populations that demonstrate an increase in variability in stride time intervals compared to healthy adults [2], [3], [4]. However, research over the past three decades examining the properties of adaptive and functional biological systems has challenged the traditional view of stride interval variability by showing that healthy and clinical populations may present with similar variability in their rhythms, despite having different functional behaviors [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous work has shown that fractal patterns in gait can be altered by entraining to a fractal stimulus. However, little is understood about how long those patterns are retained or which factors may influence stronger entrainment or retention. In experiment one, participants walked on a treadmill for 45 continuous minutes, which was separated into three phases. The first 15 minutes (pre-synchronization phase) consisted of walking without a fractal stimulus, the second 15 minutes consisted of walking while entraining to a fractal visual stimulus (synchronization phase), and the last 15 minutes (post-synchronization phase) consisted of walking without the stimulus to determine if the patterns adopted from the stimulus were retained. Fractal gait patterns were strengthened during the synchronization phase and were retained in the post-synchronization phase. In experiment two, similar methods were used to compare a continuous fractal stimulus to a discrete fractal stimulus to determine which stimulus type led to more persistent fractal gait patterns in the synchronization and post-synchronization (i.e., retention) phases. Both stimulus types led to equally persistent patterns in the synchronization phase, but only the discrete fractal stimulus led to retention of the patterns. The results add to the growing body of literature showing that fractal gait patterns can be manipulated in a predictable manner. Further, our results add to the literature by showing that the newly adopted gait patterns are retained for up to 15 minutes after entrainment and showed that a discrete visual stimulus is a better method to influence retention.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
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