Influence of an infant walker on onset and quality of walking pattern of locomotion:an electromyographic investigation

Percept Mot Skills. 1977 Dec;45(3 Pt 2):1323-9. doi: 10.2466/pms.1977.45.3f.1323.


Acquisition of bipedal locomotor skill in human infants was studied electromyographically with regard to the deprivation or enrichment behavior resulting from the frequent and regular use of an infant walker. Subjects were six sets of male, fraternal twins. One randomly selected sibling from each set underwent a training program, commencing at the age of 300 days, spending a total of 2 hr. per day in a walker. Siblings not included in this group were subjected to no special training. EMG recordings were taken of all subjects at specified intervals in order to establish a model of the typical motor pattern at various stages of skill development. These data were then contrasted with EMG data similarly obtained from the walker-trained subjects. Use of an infant walker modified the mechanics of the infant's locomotion in a number of important ways. It was shown that use of the walker enables an infant to commit substantial mechanical errors yet succeed in bipedal locomotion. Inasmuch as the mechanics of walker-assisted and non-assisted bipedal locomotion are dissimilar in so many important ways, positive transfer from walker-training appears questionable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Electromyography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Locomotion*
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Equipment*
  • Pregnancy
  • Twins, Dizygotic
  • Walkers*