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Gait Patterns

  1. Bruce Abernethy,
  2. William W. Lu

Published Online: 14 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780471740360.ebs0523

Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering

How to Cite

Abernethy, B. and Lu, W. W. 2006. Gait Patterns. Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2006


Recording and analyzing human gait patterns has long held the interest of biomechanists, bioengineers, kinesiologists, and clinicians and therapists involved in pediatric, geriatric, and rehabilitative medicine. In large part this is because gait is one of the most fundamental and functionally critical of all human movements and the description, explanation, and understanding of gait patterns are as central to basic questions related to movement control and coordination as they are to applied ones related to the clinical identification and correction of abnormalities arising from disease, disuse, or injury. The essential kinematics, kinetics, and underlying neuromuscular contributions to the human walking and running gait patterns are now quite well understood although controversy still remains as to how best to model each of these patterns and as to what drivers trigger the transitions between these modes of coordination at critical speeds of travel or at critical changes in the nature of the terrain or the trajectory of travel. Recent computer models of gait are increasingly capable of accurately accounting for individual differences in gait patterns and these provide promise for aiding clinical assessment of disease onset and progression, surgical decision-making, and the assessment and enhancement of rehabilitative progress in the future.


  • gait;
  • walking;
  • running;
  • movement patterns;
  • motor control;
  • gait biomechanics;
  • locomotor patterns;
  • gait cycle