Pelvis-thorax coordination in the transverse plane during gait

Gait Posture. 2002 Oct;16(2):101-14. doi: 10.1016/s0966-6362(01)00146-1.


The coordination between horizontal pelvic and thoracic rotations during treadmill walking was studied in ten subjects. Previous studies have considered the relative phase using the mean to characterize coordination mode, and the S.D. as an index of its stability. However, to use S.D. of relative phase as a measure for coordinative stability, the underlying oscillations have to be phase-locked at a certain value. Random fluctuations around this value can then be viewed as stochastic perturbations of a stable fixed point, resulting in a unimodal distribution of relative phase. Using methods of circular statistics this study shows that these conditions were not met in pelvis-thorax coordination. Spectral analyses revealed that, as walking velocity increased, a triphasic component emerged in the pelvic rotations, while the thoracic rotations remained harmonic across all walking velocities. These findings refute the use of standard relative phase measures to capture pelvis-thorax coordination. An alternative measure is introduced, namely the difference between the continuous Fourier phases of the component oscillations as determined for the main frequency of the thorax oscillation. With this measure, pelvis-thorax coordination was found to evolve from in-phase coordination towards antiphase coordination as walking velocity increased. This method may be used to assess reliably the properties of pelvis-thorax coordination in both healthy and pathological gait patterns in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / physiology*
  • Thorax / physiology*
  • Walking