Determination of toe-off event time during treadmill locomotion using kinematic data

John K De Witt
Journal of Biomechanics 2010 November 16, 43 (15): 3067-9
Researchers collecting gait kinematic data during treadmill locomotion are often interested in determining the times of toe off and heel strike for each stride. In the absence of additional hardware, only position data collected with motion-capture equipment may be available. Others have published methods for using kinematic data for detecting overground gait events. However, during treadmill locomotion, especially running, overground methods may not possess sufficient accuracy. The purpose of this paper is to describe a method for using kinematic data to determine the time of toe off during treadmill locomotion. Ten subjects walked and ran on a treadmill while a motion-capture system collected positional data from heel and toe markers. The treadmill was equipped with force platforms that allowed an accurate determination of foot-ground contact. The time of toe off was determined using the vertical component of the toe marker, and this method was found to have greater accuracy for event detection than other published methods. Researchers can use the described method to determine times of heel strike and toe off during treadmill locomotion using only kinematic data.

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