A comparison of aquatic and dry land gait characteristics
Lim, Cheryl Xue Er.
Date of Issue2013
Walking in water is a commonly prescribed aquatic activity, simple to perform and of low impact. Buoyant and drag forces in water makes it a safe and effective environment for both therapy and training. Empirical data comparing the biomechanical characteristics of underwater and dry land locomotion is limited and not all-comprehensive. Gold standard measurements for ground reaction force and metabolic energy are also expensive and impractical. This study aims to contribute to existing literature by assessing gait kinematics, making estimations on kinetic and energetic variables, and comparing them to dry-land gait characteristics. Sixteen healthy female adults were videotaped while walking at self-selected, comfortable speeds on land and in water. Reflective markers placed over anatomical landmarks were digitised to obtain kinematic data. Land-validated equations were used to make the estimates. Paired t-tests revealed significant differences across stride length, stride duration, speed, contact time, swing time, (p < .001), as well as support phase duration (p < .05). Ankle, knee and hip joint ROM were significantly different (p < .001). Initial contact angles of the ankle and knee were also different (p < .05). Estimations of vertical ground reaction force, metabolic energy and mechanical work were realistic. Values for the water condition were significantly lower (p < .001). Differences were attributed mainly to buoyant and drag forces, and slower walking speed in water. Results give insight into locomotion in water and may be applied in therapy and training settings. Keywords – Gait; Underwater walking; Kinematics, Ground reaction force; Metabolic energy
DRNTU::Science::Biological sciences::Human anatomy and physiology::Human anatomy
Final Year Project (FYP)