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This study aims to investigate the effects of shoe traction and obstacle height on lower extremity relative phase dynamics (analysis of intralimb coordination) during walking to better understand the mechanisms employed to avoid slippage following obstacle clearance. Ten participants walked at a self-selected pace during eight conditions: four obstacle heights (0%, 10%, 20%, and 40% of limb length) while wearing two pairs of shoes (low and high traction). A coordination analysis was used and phasing relationships between lower extremity segments were examined. The results demonstrated that significant behavioral changes were elicited under varied obstacle heights and frictional conditions. Both decreasing shoe traction and increasing obstacle height resulted in a more in-phase relationship between the interacting lower limb segments. The higher the obstacle and the lower the shoe traction, the more unstable the system became. These changes in phasing relationship and variability are indicators of alterations in coordinative behavior, which if pushed further may have lead to falling.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Applied Ergonomics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 40, Issue 5 (September 2009) DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2008.12.005.

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Applied Ergonomics





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Answers to reviewer's comments-Applied Ergonomics_REVISED_11.13.08.pdf (194 kB)
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