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Energy Cost of the Human Walk: Assessment Methods and Devices
Silvia N. Miu, Doina Bucur and Georgeta M. Capris

Human gait on a horizontal plane is characterized by a power expenditure expressed by both an external power due to the ground reaction forces that allow the vertical and horizontal movement of the body centre of mass and an internal power due to the muscular activity. The authors worked out a new way of assessing the external work of the forward horizontal ground reaction forces. The sum of these can express the energy cost of human walk on a horizontal surface. The evaluation of the energy cost was done by an original software derived by the authors. Comparative tests were performed on several healthy subjects equipped both with our device and with the portable device Cosmed K4b. The validation of the measured values of the healthy subjects’ vertical ground reaction forces and their graphical display in time was achieved by comparing these with those given by the PEDAR-NOVEL equipment.

Keywords: Human gait, energy cost, ground reaction force, kinematic parameters, plantar pressure.

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