The Impact of Different Periods of Walking Experience on Kinematic Gait Parameters in Toddlers
|Year of publication
|Article in Periodical
|Magazine / Source
|INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH
|MU Faculty or unit
|gait; children; motor development; temporal-spatial parameters; kinematic analysis
|This study aimed to analyse the kinematic differences in gait between three groups of toddlers who differed in their weeks of independent walking (IW) experience, but not in anthropometrical characteristics, to determine the relationship between walking experience without the side effect of morphological differences on gait parameters. Twenty-six toddlers participated in this study. Depending on the week of their IW, toddlers were divided into three groups: Group 1 (1–5 weeks of IW), Group 2 (6–10 weeks of IW), and Group 3 (11–15 weeks of IW). Each toddler walked barefooted over a 2-m long pathway, and 3D kinematic data were obtained. A decrease in the upper limb position, hip flexion, and step width, i.e., changes towards the adult gait pattern, were observed in Group 3. Less experienced walkers exhibited a wider step width despite no statistically significant difference in body mass and height between groups. Results of this study show no statistically significant difference in step length between groups, suggesting that step length is more related to height than to the walking experience. The increased step length in more experienced walkers reported in previous studies may therefore be a result of different heights and not walking experience.