Comparison of mechanical work and metabolic energy consumption during normal gait

Ray G. Burdett, Gary S. Skrinar, Sheldon R. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

The validity of using mechanical measures of work to indicate the metabolic energy consumption during normal gait was examined. These mechanical measures were (a) mechanical work done on the center of mass per kilogram body mass per second (\documentclass{article}\pagestyle{empty}\begin{document}$ \dot W_{{\rm cm}} $\end{document}), calculated by integration of ground reaction forces measured by force platforms; (b) total body segmental work per kilogram body mass per second (\documentclass{article}\pagestyle{empty}\begin{document}$ \dot W_{{\rm seg}} $\end{document}), calculated from individual body segment energies measured by motion analysis; and (c) the sum of the normalized absolute moment impulses per second acting on the joints of the lower extremities (\documentclass{article}\pagestyle{empty}\begin{document}$ \dot M $\end{document}), calculated from both force and motion data. The metabolic energy consumption, determined by analysis of expired air, and the three mechanical measures of work were calculated for six normal subjects walking at five speeds. Each measure of mechanical work per second walked was highly correlated with metabolic energy consumption/kg · s (r = 0.89 for Wcm, r = 0.79 for \documentclass{article}\pagestyle{empty}\begin{document}$ \dot W_{{\rm seg}} $\end{document}, and r = 0.85 for M), but a poorer correlation was found between each measure of mechanical work per meter walked and net metabolic energy consumption/kg. m (r = 0.54 for Wcm, r = 0.28 for Wseg, and r = 0.03 for M). These mechanical parameters, particularly when measured per time, may be useful in comparing metabolic energy consumption between individuals or between different walking conditions for the same individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Mechanical work
  • Metabolic energy consumption
  • Normal gait

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