Video: Studying altered strides gives kinesiology researcher a leg up

March 26, 2010

With the use of a unique dual treadmill a team of Penn Staters explore altered strides. The objective: keeping the pace and walking pain-free. Loss of a limb, an injury, pregnancy and aging are a just a few conditions that can cause people to favor a side or alter their gait, making walking both distressing and painful.

Assistant professor of kinesiology Jinger Gottschall and her team have designed, tooled, and built a one-of-a-kind dual treadmill on site. This unique device can record how subjects adjust their strides because of injury or structural irregularities. Many treadmills simulate walking on a flat surface, uphill or downhill. This Penn State treadmill can determine flaws in a walking pattern on a variety of uneven surfaces, mirroring yards, roads and sidewalks more accurately.

The data collected can help to establish how a subject's sensory system helps or hinders walking patterns or, put simply, how we favor or adjust because of discomfort or revisions to our natural mechanics, and what corrections can be made.

Watch the video of Gottschall's treadmill, produced by Patrick Mansell.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.