A New Quantitative Gait Analysis Method Based on Oscillatory Mechanical Energies Measured near Body Center of Mass
Human locomotion involves the modulation of whole-body mechanical energy, which can be approximated by the motion dynamics at the body’s center of mass (BCOM). This study introduces a new method to measure gait efficiency based on BCOM oscillatory kinetic energy patterns using a single inertia measurement unit (IMU). Forty-seven participants completed an overground walk test at a self-selected speed. The average oscillatory energy (OE) at BCOM during walking was derived from measured acceleration data. The total OE showed a positive correlation with forward-walking velocity. The ratio of total OE to constant forward kinetic energy for healthy adults varied from ~1–5%, which can be considered the percent of oscillatory energy required to maintain gait posture for a given forward-walking velocity. Mathematically, this ratio is proportional to the square of the periodic peak-to-peak displacement of BCOM. Individuals with gait impairments exhibited a higher percentage of oscillatory energy, typically >6%. This wearable IMU-based method has the potential to be an effective tool for the rapid, quantitative assessment of gait efficiency in clinical and rehabilitation settings.
BCOM, energy partitioning, gait analysis, IMU, oscillatory energy
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Derek Cheung, Jeff Cheung, Vicky Cheung, and Li Jin. "A New Quantitative Gait Analysis Method Based on Oscillatory Mechanical Energies Measured near Body Center of Mass" Sensors (2022). https://doi.org/10.3390/s22228656