The effects of shoe traction and obstacle height on lower extremity coordination dynamics during walking

Leslie Decker, Jeremy J. Houser, John M. Noble, Gregory M Karst, Nicholas Stergiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the effects of shoe traction and obstacle height on lower extremity relative phase dynamics (analysis of intralimb coordination) during walking to better understand the mechanisms employed to avoid slippage following obstacle clearance. Ten participants walked at a self-selected pace during eight conditions: four obstacle heights (0%, 10%, 20%, and 40% of limb length) while wearing two pairs of shoes (low and high traction). A coordination analysis was used and phasing relationships between lower extremity segments were examined. The results demonstrated that significant behavioral changes were elicited under varied obstacle heights and frictional conditions. Both decreasing shoe traction and increasing obstacle height resulted in a more in-phase relationship between the interacting lower limb segments. The higher the obstacle and the lower the shoe traction, the more unstable the system became. These changes in phasing relationship and variability are indicators of alterations in coordinative behavior, which if pushed further may have lead to falling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-903
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Dynamical systems theory
  • Locomotion
  • Obstacle clearance
  • Shoe traction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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