Determinants of the gait transition speed during human locomotion: kinematic factors

J Biomech. 1995 Jun;28(6):669-77. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(94)00120-s.


The overall purpose of this investigation was to examine whether any kinematic factors could be identified as determinants of the preferred transition speed (PTS) during human locomotion. Initially, a set of four criteria was established that must be satisfied by a variable in order to be considered a determinant of the PTS. Three of the criteria were able to be examined by searching previous literature in addition to being tested experimentally, while a fourth stringent criterion was tested during this study. The experimental hypothesis of this study was that selected variables would conform to the four criteria. An extensive literature search identified four variables that met the first three criteria. From these four variables, only one (maximum ankle angular velocity) was found that also met the fourth criterion, while another (maximum ankle angular acceleration) was very close to meeting all criteria. It was hypothesized that gait transitions are effected to prevent overexertion of the dorsiflexor muscles that perform at or near maximum capacity during fast walking (at the PTS).

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Deceleration
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Running / physiology
  • Walking / physiology