Effects of constrained trunk movement on frontal plane gait kinematics

Mina Arvin, Jaap H. van Dieën*, Sjoerd M. Bruijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Previously it has been shown that constraining step width in gait coincides with decreased trunk displacements. Conversely, external stabilization of the upper body in gait coincides with decreased step width, but this may in part be due to changes in passive dynamics of the leg. In the present study, trunk kinematics during gait were constrained without external stabilization by using an orthosis, to investigate whether step width and dynamic gait stability in the ML direction are changed in relation to trunk kinematics. Nine healthy young adults walked on a treadmill at three different speeds with no intervention and while wearing a thoracolumbar orthosis. Based on marker trajectories, trunk COM displacement, body COM displacement and velocity, step width, and margin-of-stability in ML direction were calculated. The results showed that the orthosis significantly reduced trunk and body COM displacements. As hypothesized, the restriction of trunk movement coincided with significantly decreased step width, while the margin-of-stability was not affected. These findings indicate that, when trunk movements are constrained, humans narrow step width, while maintaining a constant margin-of-stability. In conclusion, the present results in combination with previous work imply that in gait a reciprocal coupling between trunk kinematics and foot placement in the frontal plane subserves control of stability in the frontal plane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3085-3089
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2016


  • Balance control
  • Dynamic stability
  • Foot placement
  • Walking


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