SMI researcher, Ernst Albin Hansen, featured on nature.com.
The role of stride frequency for walk-to-run transition in humans
It remains unclear why humans spontaneously shift from walking to running at a certain point during locomotion at gradually increasing velocity. We show that a calculated walk-to-run transition stride frequency (70.6 ± 3.2 strides min−1) agrees with a transition stride frequency (70.8 ± 3.1 strides min−1) predicted from the two stride frequencies applied during treadmill walking and running at freely chosen velocities and freely chosen stride frequencies. The agreement is based on Bland and Altman’s statistics. We found no essential mean relative difference between the two transition frequencies, i.e. −0.5% ± 4.2%, as well as limits of agreement of −8.7% and 7.7%. The particular two freely chosen stride frequencies used for prediction are considered behavioural attractors. Gait is predicted to be shifted from walking to running when the stride frequency starts getting closer to the running attractor than to the walking attractor. In particular, previous research has focussed on transition velocity and optimisation theories based on minimisation of, e.g., energy turnover or biomechanical loadings of the legs. Conversely, our data support that the central phenomenon of walk-to-run transition during human locomotion could be influenced by behavioural attractors in the form of stride frequencies spontaneously occurring during behaviourally unrestricted gait conditions of walking and running.
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