The examination of synchronous three dimensional (3-D) kinetics and kinematics of walking in laboratory based analyses typically requires participants/patients to make foot contact with a force or pressure measuring device. However, it has been proposed that this may lead to targeting whereby participants modify their natural gait pattern in order to ensure contact with the device. This study aimed to determine the extent to which an embedded force plate (EFP) and two different pressure mats (PMs) affect natural gait kinematics. Male participants (n = 12, age 24.23 SD 4.22 years, height 1.74 m SD 0.10, mass 75.78 SD 6.90 kg) walked at a velocity of 1.25 ms(-1) along a 22 m walkway in four different conditions. (1) EFP, (2) FootScan (FS) PM, (3) MatScan (MS) PM, (4) no device (ND). 3-D angular kinematic parameters were collected using an eight camera motion analysis system. Differences in kinematics were examined using repeated measures ANOVAs. Significant differences were observed in hip abduction, knee flexion/extension and knee abduction between various conditions and may warrant consideration in future research. No significant differences were reported at the ankle joint in any conditions. Comparing the PMs, no significant differences were observed, however, significant differences between the MS and the EFP and ND conditions were identified. The research supports the efficacy of collecting gait kinematics at the ankle joint and in most variables measured at the knee and hip joints.
Keywords: Force plate; Gait; Kinematics; Pressure; Walking.
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