Prolonged sitting has been associated with negative health effects. Walking workstations have become increasingly popular in the workplace. There is a lack of research on the biomechanical effect of walking workstations. This study analyzed whether walking while working alters normal gait patterns. A total of 9 participants completed 4 walking trials at 2.4 and 4.0 km·h−1: baseline walking condition, walking while performing a math task, a reading task, and a typing task. Biomechanical data were collected using standard motion capture procedures. The first maximum vertical ground reaction force, stride width, stride length, minimum toe clearance, peak swing hip abduction and flexion angles, peak swing and stance ankle dorsiflexion, and knee flexion angles were analyzed. Differences between conditions were evaluated using analysis of variance tests with Bonferroni correction (P ≤ .05). Stride width decreased during the reading task at both speeds. Although other parameters exhibited significant differences when multitasking, these changes were within the normal range of gait variability. It appears that for short periods, walking workstations do not negatively impact gait in healthy young adults.
Daniel M. Grindle, Lauren Baker, Mike Furr, Tim Puterio, Brian Knarr and Jill Higginson
R. Tyler Richardson, Elizabeth A. Rapp, R. Garry Quinton, Kristen F. Nicholson, Brian A. Knarr, Stephanie A. Russo, Jill S. Higginson and James G. Richards
Musculoskeletal modeling is capable of estimating physiological parameters that cannot be directly measured, however, the validity of the results must be assessed. Several models utilize a scapular rhythm to prescribe kinematics, yet it is unknown how well they replicate natural scapular motion. This study evaluated kinematic errors associated with a model that employs a scapular rhythm using 2 shoulder movements: abduction and forward reach. Two versions of the model were tested: the original MoBL ARMS model that utilizes a scapular rhythm, and a modified MoBL ARMS model that permits unconstrained scapular motion. Model estimates were compared against scapulothoracic kinematics directly measured from motion capture. Three-dimensional scapulothoracic resultant angle errors associated with the rhythm model were greater than 10° for abduction (mean: 16.4°, max: 22.4°) and forward reach (mean: 11.1°, max: 16.5°). Errors generally increased with humerothoracic elevation with all subjects reporting greater than 10° differences at elevations greater than 45°. Errors associated with the unconstrained model were less than 10°. Consequently, use of the original MoBL ARMS model is cautioned for applications requiring precise scapulothoracic kinematics. These findings can help determine which research questions are suitable for investigation with these models and assist in contextualizing model results.