How to compare knee kinetics at different walking speeds?

Evy Meinders*, Marjolein J. Booij, Josien C. van den Noort, Jaap Harlaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Walking speed is a confounding factor in biomechanical analyses of gait, but still many studies compare gait biomechanics at comfortable walking speed (CWS) that is likely to differ between groups or conditions. To identify gait deviation unrelated to walking speed, methods are needed to correct biomechanical data over the gait cycle for walking speed. Research question: How to compare knee kinetics over the gait cycle at different walking speeds? Methods: 22 asymptomatic subjects walked on a dual-belt treadmill at CWS and 4 fixed speeds. Knee moments in sagittal (KFM) and frontal plane (KAM) were calculated via inverse dynamics. The net moment differences between CWS and fixed speed were expressed as a root-mean-square error (RMSE) normalized to the range of the variable. Two methods to correct for walking speed were compared. In method 1, KFM and KAM values were estimated based on interpolation between speeds at each percentage of the gait cycle. In method 2, principal component analysis was used to extract speed related features to reconstruct KFM and KAM at the speed of interest. The accuracy of both methods was tested using a leave-one-out cross validation. Results: Walking speed influenced the magnitude and shape of KFM and KAM. To account for these speed influences using both methods, leave-one-out cross validation showed low normalized RMSE (< 5 %), with little difference between the two methods. RMSE for both reconstruction methods were up to 60 % lower than the RMSE between CWS and fixed speed. Significance: Both methods could accurately correct knee kinetics over the gait cycle for the effects of walking speed. Walking speed dependency should be incorporated in each gait laboratory's reference dataset to be able to identify gait deviations unrelated to gait speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Dutch Arthritis Society (ReumaNederland), grantnumber LLP-23 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


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