A study of lower-limb mechanics during stair-climbing

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1980 Jul;62(5):749-57.


The motions, forces, and moments at the major joints of the lower limbs of ten men ascending and descending stairs were analyzed using an optoelectronic system, a force-plate, and electromyography. The mean values for the maximum sagittalplane motions of the hip, knee, and ankle were 42, 88, and 27 degrees, respectively. The mean maximum net flexion-extension moments were: at the hip, 123.9 newton-meters going up and 112.5 newton-meters going down stairs; at the knee, 57.1 newton-meters going up and 146.6 newton-meters going down stairs; and at the ankle, 137.2 newton-meters going up and 107.5 newton-meters going down stairs. When going up and down stairs large moments are present about weight-bearing joints, but descending movements produce the largest moments. The magnitudes of these moments are considerably higher than those produced during level walking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena*
  • Electromyography
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Locomotion*
  • Male
  • Movement*
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Photography / instrumentation