Ground reaction forces during gait in pregnant fallers and non-fallers.
McCrory JL; Chambers AJ; Daftary A; Redfern MS
Gait Posture 2011 Oct; 34(4):524-528
Pregnant women are at a high risk of experiencing a fall. To our knowledge, ground reaction forces (GRFs) in pregnant fallers and non-fallers have not been reported. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of pregnancy and fall history on GRFs during walking. METHODS: Forty one pregnant subjects in the mid 2nd and 3rd trimesters (pregnant fallers: n=15, pregnant non-fallers: n=14), and 40 control women walked at a freely chosen walking speed along an 8m walkway. A force plate, hidden in the walkway, was used to collect GRFs (1080Hz). Kinematic data (120Hz) were collected from a marker placed on the lumbar spine to estimate walking velocity. GRF variables included mediolateral Center of Pressure (COP) excursion, and GRFs normalized to body mass. A two factor ANOVA (trimester x fall group) was used to compare subject demographics, and walking velocity (a=0.05). A two factor ANCOVA (trimester×fall group, covariate: velocity) was performed to examine other GRF variables (Bonferroni corrected a=0.006) and the mediolateral COP excursion (a=0.05). RESULTS: Walking velocity was greater in the control group (p<0.05). No differences were seen in the GRFs or COP movement between trimesters or between pregnant fallers and non-fallers. CONCLUSIONS: When walking velocity was considered in the statistical model, ground reaction forces are essentially unchanged by pregnancy.
Pregnancy; Women; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-statistics; Biomechanics; Force; Motion-studies; Reaction-rates; Body-weight; Demographic-characteristics; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Performance-capability; Mathematical-models; Statistical-analysis; Ground-control; Walking-surfaces; Physiology;
Author Keywords: Gait; Center of pressure; Ground reaction forces; Pregnancy; Walking
Jean L. McCrory, Division of Exercise Physiology, Department of Human Performance and Applied Exercise Science, West Virginia University, 8315 Health Sciences Center - South, PO Box 9227, Morgantown, WV 26506-9227, USA
Gait and Posture
University of Pittsburgh