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Kinematic and Kinetic Gait Characteristics of Normal Children Walking at a Range of Clinically Relevant Speeds

van der Linden, Mariëtta L. Ph.D.; Kerr, Alison M. B.Sc. (Hons), M.C.S.P.; Hazlewood, M. Elizabeth M.C.S.P.; Hillman, Susan J. M.Sc.; Robb, James E. F.R.C.S.


Kinematic and kinetic data were obtained from 36 normal children who walked at five different clinically relevant speeds, which were mostly slower than normal speed. Speed groups were normalized for body height. Speed significantly affected most of the stride parameters, joint angles, joint moments, and the ground reaction force in all three planes of motion. The effects of speed were not always the same over the whole range of speeds studied. The clinical relevance of these findings is that when comparing pathologic gait characteristics with those of normal children, these should be derived from the same walking speed. This may help to differentiate between effects caused by speed and underlying pathology.

Study conducted at the Anderson Gait Analysis Laboratory, Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

From the Anderson Gait Analysis Laboratory, Lothian Primary Care Trust, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mr. J. E. Robb, Orthopaedic Department, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Sciennes Road, Edinburgh EH9 1LF, Scotland (e-mail:

Funded by the James and Grace Anderson Trust.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.