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The determinants of the step frequency in walking in humans.

By G A Cavagna and P Franzetti


The mechanical power spent during walking in lifting and accelerating the centre of mass, Wext, has been measured at three given speeds maintained at different step frequencies: at any given speed, Wext is smaller the greater the step frequency used. The mechanical power spent in accelerating the limbs relative to the centre of mass during walking at a given speed, but with different step frequencies, Wint, was calculated from previous data obtained during free walking (Cavagna & Kaneko, 1977). At a given walking speed, Wint increases with the step frequency. The total power, Wtot = Wext + Wint, reaches a minimum at a step frequency which is 20-30% less than the step frequency freely chosen at the same period. The step frequency at which Wtot is minimum increases with speed in a similar way to the natural step frequency during free walking

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
DOI identifier: 10.1113/jphysiol.1986.sp016044
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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