Ergometric evaluation of pathological gait

G. A. Cavagna, L. Tesio, T. Fuchimoto, N. C. Heglund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At each step of walking, the center of gravity of the body moves up and down and accelerates and decelerates forward with a combined movement that allows an appreciable transfer (R) between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy, as occurs in a pendulum. The positive work and power to lift the center of gravity, to accelerate it forward, and to maintain its motion in a sagittal plane, the amount of R, the maximal height reached during each step by the center of gravity, and the step length and frequency are all determined by a microcomputer a few minutes after a subject walks on a force platform. This method is applied to the analysis of pathological gait in the attempt to measure quantitatively the alteration of the normal locomotory movement of the center of gravity. The strides of the patient are compared with the strides of normal subjects; in addition, the movement of the center of gravity of the patient during the stance on the affected limb is compared with the movement of the center of gravity during the stance on the unaffected limb, thus giving an index of the asymmetry of locomotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-613
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology


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