Normative database of spatiotemporal gait parameters using inertial sensors in typically developing children and young adults

Gait Posture. 2020 Jul;80:206-213. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.05.010. Epub 2020 May 21.


Background: Inertial sensors are increasingly useful to clinicians and researchers to detect gait deficits. Reference values are necessary for comparison to children with gait abnormalities.

Objective: To present a normative database of spatiotemporal gait and turning parameters in 164 typically developing children and young adults ages 5-30 utilizing the APDM Mobility Lab® system.

Methods: Participants completed the i-WALK test at both self-selected (SS) and fast as possible (FAP) walking speeds. Spatiotemporal gait and turning parameters included stride length, stride length variability, gait speed, cadence, stance, swing, and double support times, and foot strike, toe-off, and toe-out angles, turn duration, peak turn velocity and number of steps to turn.

Results: Absolute stride length and gait speed increased with age. Normalized gait speed, absolute and normalized cadence, and stride length variability decreased with age. Normalized stride length and all parameters of gait cycle phase and foot position remained unaffected by age except for greater FSA in children 7-8. Foot position parameters in children 5-6 were excluded due to aberrant values and high standard deviations. Turns were faster in children ages 5-13 and 7-13 in the SS and FAP conditions, respectively. There were no differences in number of steps to turn. Similar trends were observed in the FAP condition except: normalized gait speed did not demonstrate a relationship with age and children ages 5-8 demonstrated increased stance and double support times and decreased swing time compared to children 11-13 and young adults (ages 5-6 only). Females ages 5-6 demonstrated increased stride length variability in the SS condition; males ages 7-8 and 14-30 ha d increased absolute stride length in the FAP condition. Similarities and differences were found between our values and previous literature.

Significance: This normative database can be used by clinicians and researchers to compare abnormal gait patterns and responses to interventions.

Keywords: APDM MobilityLab®; Children; Gait; Inertial sensors; Normative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Gait Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Walk Test
  • Walking Speed*
  • Young Adult