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[Simple locomotion and during load carrying in pregnant women].

[Article in French]

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Laboratoire de Physiologie de la Motricité, UA CNRS 385, CHU Pitié, Paris.


There have been few studies of the way women walk in pregnancy, though some of the causes of low back ache of which they complain have only been partially worked out. This is why this study has been carried out on ten women between the third and eighth month of pregnancy. The speed at which they walk and the parameters of the gait as well as the localization of the centre of gravity when keeping upright have been measured in these pregnant women as well as in twenty control women of the same age. The results show that the speed at which they walk whether with or without carrying a weight usually is identical at the beginning and the end of pregnancy. When walking normally the size of the steps taken are no larger in pregnant women than in the control patients (p less than 0.05). Though the results are not statistically significant the rhythm of the steps is faster as well as their being a reduction in the length of the steps between the third and eighth month of pregnancy. When carrying a weight the length of the steps does not change greatly with pregnancy (p less than 0.05) and it would seem therefore to be a good way of assessing the changes that locomotion undergoes in pregnancy. The fact that women do not walk faster or slower can give evidence that they adapt to the change in posture that happens in pregnancy and they make the best possible biomechanical use of the parameters of walking in order to economise total energy output of the organism.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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