Gait Symmetry in School-Aged Children and Young Adults Whilst Walking at Slow, Normal and Fast Speeds
This investigation recorded normative or reference gait symmetry data. The gait patterns of a large sample of healthy primary school-aged children and young adults were recorded whilst walking along a level walkway with shoes at varying speed. The effect of age and walking speed on gait symmetry was investigated. A sample of 737 healthy able-bodied children (5 to 13 yrs) and 82 young adults (19.6 ± 1.6 yrs) participated in this study. Each participant wore athletic shoes or runners and completed 6 to 8 walks across a GAITRite mat (80 Hz) at self-selected slow, free and fast speeds. Gait parameters extracted were step and stride length, stance duration, step time, swing time, single support and double support. Temporal measures were normalized to the gait cycle. Symmetry measures were calculated from these gait parameters. Symmetry was found to be unaffected by speed or age. Step and stride symmetry differentials (combining conditions) fell around 0.8 cm, whereas symmetry differentials (combining conditions) for stance duration, step time, swing time, single support and double support fell around 0.7%. This shows that gait is highly symmetrical in healthy children and young adults. This appears to be an invariant quality of human gait but may change with pathology.
Keywordsgait symmetry children young adults
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