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What are the six determinants of an energy efficient gait?

A typical walking gait pattern is determined by a number of critical biomechanical functions that are referred to as the determinants of gait. These 6 determinants of gait had been introduced by Saunders back in 1953, and have been extensively adopted with many alterations and minor issues. The determinants of gait are regarded as essential as they facilitate a much more economical locomotion from the minimizing the up and down center of mass motion leading to a reduction in the metabolic energy needed for movement. The basic principle underpinning this is that the better management of these types of determinants of gait results in a rise in energy conservation and more efficient motion. This theory which does underpin these determinants of gait are in disagreement with the ‘inverted pendulum’ model that considers the static stance leg acts as a pendulum that follows an arc. The biomechanics community will continue to debate the worth of these two models.

The 6 determinants of gait and the way they have an impact on the centre of mass (abbreviated as COM) displacement as well as energy preservation are:

1. Pelvic rotation: The pelvis pivots side to side throughout normal gait to help with the progression of the opposite side by means of decreased hip joint flexion and extension. This influences the decrease in metabolic energy and the improved energy conservation by lessening the up and down COM motion.

2. Pelvic tilt: In the course of typical gait there's a dipping of the swing period side of the pelvis that is controlled by the hip joint abductor muscle group. The muscle actions reduces the raising of the COM through the change from hip flexion to extension. This would lessen the use of metabolic energy and increase energy preservation by lessening up and down center of mass movements.

3. Knee flexion throughout the stance phase: The knee is extended at heel strike and after that begins to flex when the foot is on the floor. The knee joint flexion will reduce the pinnacle with the vertical trajectory of the COM resulting in some energy conservation.

4. Movement at the foot and ankle: The ankle joint rockers at heel strike and mid-stance brings about a decline in COM displacement via the shortening of the leg play a role by lessening the center of mass vertical displacement.

5. Knee movement: The motion of the knee relates to those of the ankle and foot movements and results in the lowering of the COM up and down displacement and results in decreases with the COM displacement and energy cost.

6. Lateral displacement of the body: the lateral motion of the pelvis or a relative adduction of the hip joint is mediated by the influence of the tibiofemoral angle as well as relative adduction of the hip to reduce up and down COM movement. It's deemed that this particular determinant has a key part in ensuring the efficiency in normal walking.

These 6 determinants of gait are practically interesting since they allow us to focus on certain key factors to hold the COM motion smooth and help the effectiveness of gait. Nevertheless, some recent research questions if most or most of the determinants are actually that critical in the general scheme of the events which happen during the walking cycle. Despite that taking into consideration these types of determinants is fundamental in comprehending gait impairment.