Required coefficient of friction during turning at self-selected slow, normal, and fast walking speeds

J Biomech. 2014 Apr 11;47(6):1395-400. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.01.032. Epub 2014 Feb 17.


This study investigated the relationship of required coefficient of friction to gait speed, obstacle height, and turning strategy as participants walked around obstacles of various heights. Ten healthy, young adults performed 90° turns around corner pylons of four different heights at their self selected normal, slow, and fast walking speeds using both step and spin turning strategies. Kinetic data was captured using force plates. Results showed peak required coefficient of friction (RCOF) at push off increased with increased speed (slow μ=0.38, normal μ=0.45, and fast μ=0.54). Obstacle height had no effect on RCOF values. The average peak RCOF for fast turning exceeded the OSHA safety guideline for static COF of μ>0.50, suggesting further research is needed into the minimum static COF to prevent slips and falls, especially around corners.

Keywords: Biomechanics; Friction; Friction demand; Gait; RCOF; Required coefficient of friction; Slips and falls; Speed; Turning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Friction*
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Walking*
  • Young Adult