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Gait Posture. 2011 Mar;33(3):496-500. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.01.002. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

A biomechanical comparison of the running gait of mature and young females.

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Sport and Health Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.



Due to health and social advantages, the popularity of running among mature female runners is expanding steadily. However, the incidence of running injuries and associated conditions is vast among this group. This study aimed to quantify gait parameters of mature and younger female runners to assess whether certain running characteristics predispose to debilitating conditions. It was hypothesised that mature females would exhibit greater rearfoot eversion, knee internal rotation, knee external adductor moments and loading rate of ground reaction force when compared to younger runners.


Fifteen mature (40-60 years) and 15 young (18-24 years) females performed 10 running trials at 3.5 m s(-1) in the biomechanics laboratory. Both kinematic and ground reaction force data were collected. Signs of osteoarthritis and knee injuries were assessed using the Knee Osteoarthritis Observation Survey (KOOS) scale.


Mature females produced significantly higher peak rearfoot eversion, knee internal rotation, external adductor moment and loading rate of ground reaction force compared to the young participants (p<0.05).


Although all participants recorded "symptom free" on the KOOS scale, all variables of gait found higher among the mature group have previously been associated with development of overuse injuries and debilitating conditions, suggesting a possible predisposition towards these conditions among the mature group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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