The Validity of Summing Lower Extremity Individual Joint Kinetic Measures

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 California State University, Northridge
  • 2 University of Southern California
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In the analysis of human movement, researchers often sum individual joint kinetics to obtain a single measure of lower extremity function. The extent to which these summed measures relate to the mechanical objectives of the task has not been formally validated. The criterion validity of these measures was established with comparisons to the mechanical objective of two multiple-joint tasks. For the Work task 18 participants performed a loaded barbell squat using 4 resistances while instrumented for biomechanical analysis. For the Power they performed 2 predetermined amounts of work at both self-selected and fast speeds. Using inverse dynamics techniques, the peak net joint moment (PM) was calculated bilaterally in the sagittal plane at the ankle, knee, and hip and was summed into a single measure. This measure was correlated with the task objectives using simple linear regression. Similar procedures were used for the average net joint moment (AM), peak (PP), and average (AP) net joint moment power, and the net joint moment impulse (IM) and work (IP). For the Work task all 6 measures were significantly correlated with the task objective, but only AM, PM, and IP had correlation coefficients above 0.90. For the Power task, IM was not significantly correlated with the task objective, and only AP had a correlation coefficient above 0.90. These findings indicate that the validity of summing individual kinetic measures depends on both the measure chosen and the mechanical objective of the task.

Dept. of Kinesiology, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330-8287

Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab, University of Southern California, Dept. of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, 1540 E. Alcazar, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006.

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