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Effect of Surface Properties on Gait Characteristics
Objectives: The purpose of the study was to quantify lower limb foot kinematics, Center Of Mass (COM) and Center Of Pressure (COP) across three different surface terrain. Methods/Statistical Analysis: Thirty-one female walked over 7 m walkway at self-selected speed on three different surface terrain randomly A) Levelled surface, B) Soft urethane mat, C) Destabilising rock surface. A total of 8 infrared motion capture cameras and pressure measurement system were used to record the participant’s gait. As a statistical measure, one-way repeated measure ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc test was used to observe differences across three surface terrains. Findings: The effect of surface condition on decreased speed and shorter stride length was observed. The difference was much larger on uneven surface condition with ankle externally rotated and shorter cop trajectory than even and control surface terrain. Surface characteristics imposed a greater challenge for maintaining dynamic balance by the control system which presumably changed the gait pattern for reducing the risk of fall. Application/Improvements: When designing footwear for outdoor, manufacturers should consider on the mechanism of the ankle joint which is prone to external rotation during destabilizing conditions. Thus, braces, lacing technique as well as outsole should be designed accordingly to reduce the risk of being injured.
Footwear Science, Kinematics, Gait Analysis, Surface Terrain.
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