Wearing a Safety Harness During Treadmill Walking Influences Lower Extremity Kinematics Mainly Through Changes in Ankle Regularity and Local StabilityBy Decker, Leslie M.; Cignetti, Fabien; Stergiou, Nicholas; Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Volume 9, Number 8
Publication Date: February 3, 2012
Study investigated harness related changes in gait patterns as evaluated from lower extremity kinematics during treadmill walking. The study was undertaken in light of wearing a harness during treadmill walking being a common practice in biomedical engineering research to ensure participants’ safety, although its influence on gait is unknown. For the study, 10 participants without disabilities walked on a treadmill at their preferred speed for 3 minutes with and without wearing a harness. For the harness condition, participants were fitted into the LiteGait partial weight bearing system and no weight support was provided. Lower extremity kinematics was assessed in the sagittal plane from the mean standard deviation and coefficient of variation of the hip, knee, and ankle ranges of motion, as well as from the sample entropy and the largest Lyapunov exponent of the joints’ angles. Smaller Lyapunov exponent and sample entropy values reflect more stable and periodic patterns, while larger values reflect more unstable and irregular behaviors. Wearing the harness increased the mean range of motion of the hip, the standard deviation and coefficient of variation of the knee, and the sample entropy and Lyapunov exponent of the ankle. In particular, the harness effect sizes for both the sample entropy and Lyapunov exponent of the ankle were large, likely reflecting a meaningful decline in the neuromuscular stabilizing control of this joint. The authors conclude that wearing a harness during treadmill walking marginally influences lower extremity kinematics; however, in cases where differences in gait patterns would be expressed through modifications in these variables, having study participants walk with a harness may mask or reinforce such differences.
Assistive Products Discussed: LITEGAIT I
LITEGAIT MX (MODELS LG100MX, LG200MX, & LG300MX)
Published by: BioMed Central Ltd (Website:http://www.biomedcentral.com)
Link to text: http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/pdf/1743-0003-9-8.pdf