Coactivation of lower leg muscles during body weight-supported treadmill walking decreases with age in adolescents

Joan E. Deffeyes, Gregory M Karst, Wayne A. Stuberg, Max J. Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The kinematics of children's walking are nearly adult-like by about age 3-4 years, but metabolic efficiency of walking does not reach adult values until late in adolescence or early adulthood, perhaps due to higher coactivation of agonist/antagonist muscle pairs in adolescents. Additionally, it is unknown how use of a body weight-supported treadmill device affects coactivation, but because unloading will alter the activity of anti-gravity muscles, it was hypothesized that muscle coactivation will be altered as well. Muscle coactivation during treadmill walking was evaluated for adolescents (ages 10 to 17 years, M = 13.2, SD = 2.2) and adults (ages 22 to 35 years, M = 25.2, SD = 4.3), for thigh muscles (vastus lateralis/ biceps femoris) and lower leg muscles (tibialis anterior/gastrocnemius). Conditions included body weight unloadings from nearly 0% to 80% of body weight, while walking at a preferred speed (self-selected, overground speed) or a reduced speed. Unloading was accomplished using a lower body positive pressure support system. Coactivation was found to be higher in adolescents than in adults, but only for the lower leg muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-260
Number of pages20
JournalPerceptual and motor skills
Volume115
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Coactivation of lower leg muscles during body weight-supported treadmill walking decreases with age in adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this