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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 October;171(5):541-50

language: English

Differences between body segment parameter models in analysing elite race walkers in competition

Hanley B., Bissas A.

Biomechanics Department, Carnegie Faculty, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK


Aim. The aim of this study was to measure differences in segment centre of mass position, velocity and acceleration in elite race walkers using two different body segment parameter models. Knowledge of how results differ between models can inform researchers as to the appropriate choice with regard to their own participants.
Methods. Video data of thirty men and thirty women race walkers were recorded during competition using two camcorders operating at 50 Hz. Two popular body segment parameter models (Dempster and de Leva) were applied individually to the digitised data. Positional, velocity and acceleration values were obtained for each participant at four relevant points during the gait cycle.
Results. The whole body centre of mass vertical position was significantly lower when using the de Leva model compared to Dempster. The vertical position of the centre of the mass of the thigh was also significantly lower in women when using the de Leva model. The upper arm provided significantly different velocity and acceleration data at particular points between the models. The actual difference between positions of the centre of mass of the foot tended to be quite small.
Conclusion. The analysis showed that the position of centres of mass (in the vertical direction) was most affected by choice of body segment parameter model. Differences in linear velocity and acceleration were largely non-significant, but extra care is advised when analysing the upper arm segment. Usage of de Leva’s model is recommended, particularly when analysing women participants.

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