Post-effect of forward and backward locomotion on body orientation in space during quiet stance

Alessandro Marco Nunzio, Carlo Zanetti, Marco Schieppati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neural circuits responsible for stance control serve other motor tasks as well. We investigated the effect of prior locomotor tasks on stance, hypothesizing that postural post-effects of walking are dependent on walking direction. Subjects walked forward (WF) and backward (WB) on a treadmill. Prior to and after walking they maintained quiet stance. Ground reaction forces and centre of foot pressure (CoP), ankle and hip angles, and trunk inclination were measured during locomotion and stance. In WF compared to WB, joint angle changes were reversed, trunk was more flexed, and movement of CoP along the foot sole during the support phase of walking was opposite. During subsequent standing tasks, WB induced ankle extension, hip flexion, trunk backward leaning; WF induced ankle flexion and hip extension. The body CoP was displaced backward post-WB and forward post-WF. The post-effects are walking-direction dependent, and possibly related to foot-sole stimulation pattern and trunk inclination during walking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Locomotion
  • Post-effects
  • Quiet stance
  • Walking backward
  • Walking forward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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