Medical College of Wisconsin
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Step length and width variability while walking on a motion simulator mounted treadmill. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2016 Aug;2016:4577-4580



Pubmed ID





While devices which allow scientists to perturb normal walking are becoming increasingly common, postural adaptations to these perturbations have not been fully quantified. One way to quantify postural responses to perturbations are through the assessment of variability of step length and width. In the present study we determined variability of both step length and width while subjects walked under perturbations of varying amplitude in roll, pitch, yaw, anteroposterior, lateral, and combined roll, pitch, yaw directions. Step kinematics were quantified using motion analysis. The majority of changes in step length variability occurred in Pitch (p<;0.01), mediolateral (p<;0.05) and anteroposterior (p<;0.01) directions. Changes in step width variability were most apparent in combined Roll-Pitch-Yaw (p<;0.01) as well as Roll (p<;0.05), and Yaw (p<;0.05) directions. These data demonstrate that sinusoidal perturbations while walking on a treadmill are sufficient to disrupt normal postural control. These conditions therefore may be useful in constructing rehabilitation programs to improve dynamic balance.

Author List

Boerger T, Van Dehy J, Onushko T, Schmit B, Hyngstrom A


Allison Hyngstrom PhD Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy department at Marquette University
Brian Schmit PhD Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Exercise Test
Postural Balance
Young Adult