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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Perceptual and motor skills|
|State||Published - Aug 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems