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Young-Hoo Kwon, Lonn Hutcheson, Jeffrey B. Casebolt, Joong-Hyun Ryu and Kunal Singhal

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of transversely sloped ballasted walking surface on gait and rearfoot motion (RFM) parameters. Motion analysis was performed with 20 healthy participants (15 male and 5 female) walking in six surface-slope conditions: two surfaces (solid and ballasted) by three slopes (0, 5, and 10 degrees). The gait parameters (walking velocity, step length, step rate, step width, stance time, and toe-out angle) showed significant surface effect (p = .004) and surface-slope interaction (p = .017). The RFM motion parameters (peak everted/inverted position, eversion/inversion velocity, and acceleration) revealed significant surface (p = .004) and slope (p = .024) effects. The ballasted conditions showed more cautious gait patterns with lower walk velocity, step length, and step rate and longer stance time. In the RFM parameters, the slope effect was more notable in the solid conditions due to the gait adaptations in the ballasted conditions. Ballast conditions showed reduced inversion and increased eversion and RFM range. The RFM data were comparable to other typical walking conditions but smaller than those from running.

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Andrew M. Murray, Joong Hyun Ryu, John Sproule, Anthony P. Turner, Phil Graham-Smith and Marco Cardinale

Purpose:

Running performance is influenced by the interaction of biomechanical and physiological factors. Miniaturized accelerometers worn by athletes can be used to quantify mechanical aspects of running and as a noninvasive tool to assess training status and progression. The aim of this study was to define and validate a method to assess running regularity and allow the estimation of an individual’s oxygen uptake (V̇O2) and/or blood lactate—[La]b—based on data collected with accelerometers and heart rate.

Methods:

Male adolescent endurance athletes completed an incremental submaximal aerobic stage test where V̇O2 and [La]b were measured. The test was terminated when [La]b concentration at the end of the stage exceeded 4 mmol/L. Two wireless triaxial accelerometers were placed on participants’ right shank and lower back throughout the test. The root mean square (RMS) and sample entropy (SampEn) were calculated for the vertical, mediolateral, and anteroposterior components of acceleration.

Results:

There were significant positive correlations of acceleration and entropy variables with [La]b and V̇O2, with moderate to high coefficients (r = .43–.87). RMS of the shank acceleration was the most highly related with both physiological variables. When the accelerometer was attached on the trunk, SampEn of the vertical acceleration had the strongest relationship with V̇O2 (r = .76, P < .01).

Conclusions:

The described method analyzing running complexity may allow an assessment of gait variability, which noninvasively tracks V̇O2 and/or [La]b, allowing monitoring of fatigue or training readiness for trained adolescent individuals.