Different flooring surfaces affect infants' crawling performance

Appl Ergon. 2022 Jan:98:103553. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103553. Epub 2021 Aug 21.


This study assessed the influence of different types of flooring on infants' crawling motion patterns and performance. Each participating infant (range: 8.7-12.4 months) was encouraged to crawl on a tatami mat made of woven straw as well as other flooring types such as hardwood, carpet, and joint mat. Material tests were conducted to quantify the friction and shock absorption of the flooring. A three-dimensional motion capture system was used to measure spatiotemporal and kinematic variables during hands-and-knees crawling. An increased crawling rate was associated with a faster cadence of cyclic arm movements, but not with crawling stride length. Hardwood flooring had a significantly lower crawling rate and longer duration of hand-floor contact than tatami, while the crawling stride length and range of motion of joint movements were hardly affected by flooring type. The results of this study suggest a drawback of hardwood flooring in terms of infants' effective quadrupedal locomotion.

Keywords: 3D motion capture; Crawling motion; Flooring.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Floors and Floorcoverings*
  • Hand*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Knee
  • Locomotion
  • Movement