Racial differences in gait mechanics.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The effect of race has rarely been investigated in biomechanics studies despite racial health disparities in the incidence of musculoskeletal injuries and disease, hindering both treatment and assessment of rehabilitation. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that racial differences in gait mechanics exist between African Americans (AA) and white Americans (WA). Ninety-two participants (18-30 years old) were recruited with equal numbers in each racial group and sex. Self-selected walking speed was measured for each participant. 3D motion capture and force plate data were recorded during 7 walking trials at regular and fast set speeds. Step length, step width, peak vertical ground reaction force, peak hip extension, peak knee flexion, and peak ankle plantarflexion were computed for all trials at both set speeds. Multivariate and post-hoc univariate ANOVA models were fit to determine main and interaction effects of sex and race (SPSS V26, α = 0.05). Self-selected walking speed was slower in AA (p = 0.004, ƞp 2  = 0.088). No significant interactions between race and sex were identified. Males took longer steps (regular: p < 0.001, ƞp 2  = 0.288, fast: p < 0.001, ƞp 2  = 0.193) and had larger peak knee flexion (regular: p = 0.007, ƞp 2  = 0.081, fast: p < 0.001, ƞp 2  = 0.188) and ankle plantarflexion angles (regular: p = 0.050, ƞp 2  = 0.044, fast: p = 0.049, ƞp 2  = 0.044). Peak ankle plantarflexion angle (regular: p = 0.012, ƞp 2  = 0.071, fast: p < 0.001, ƞp 2  = 0.137) and peak hip extension angle during fast walking (p = 0.007, ƞp 2  = 0.083) were smaller in AA. Equivalency in gait measures between racial groups should not be assumed. Racially diverse study samples should be prioritized in the development of future research and individualized treatment protocols.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hill, CN; Reed, W; Schmitt, D; Sands, LP; Queen, RM

Published Date

  • November 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 112 /

Start / End Page

  • 110070 -

PubMed ID

  • 33035843

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2380

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9290

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2020.110070


  • eng