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Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Human Movement Science



First Page





During walking older adults' gait is slower, they take shorter steps, and rely less on ankle and more on knee and hip joint moments and powers compared to young adults. Previous studies have suggested that walking speed and step length are confounds that affect joint moments and powers. Our purpose was to examine the effects of walking speed and step length manipulation on net joint moments and powers in young and older adults. Sixteen young and 18 older adults completed walking trials at three speeds under three step length conditions as marker position and force platform data were captured synchronously. Net joint moments were quantified using inverse dynamics and were subsequently used to compute net joint powers. Average extensor moments at each joint during the stance phase were then computed. Older adults displayed greater knee extensor moment compared to young adults. Older adults showed trends (p < .10) of having lower ankle and higher hip moments, but these differences were not statistically significant. Average ankle, knee, and hip extensor moments increased with speed and step length. At the fast speed, older compared to young adults generated lower average ankle power (p = .003) and showed a trend (p = .056) of exerting less average moment at the ankle joint. Age-associated distal-to-proximal redistribution of net joint moments was diminished and not statistically significant when the confounding effects of walking speed and relative step length were controlled. These findings imply that age-related distal-to-proximal redistribution of joint moments may influence the different speeds and step lengths chosen by young and older adults.


This accepted article is published as Buddhadev, H., Smiley, A., Martin, P., Effects of age, speed, and step length on lower extremity net joint moments and powers during walking. Human Movement Science. 2020, 71; 102611. Doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2020.102611. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Elsevier B.V.



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Available for download on Monday, November 01, 2021

Published Version