THE EFFECT OF GENDER ON THE COORDINATION OF THE ANKLE AND KNEE DURING THE STANCE PHASE OF RECREATIONAL RUNNING: A DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS APPROACH
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The increase in popularity of recreational running has been accompanied by a rise in injuries related to running, with female runners sustaining different patterns of injuries to their male counterparts, however the reasons behind this are unclear. A dynamical systems approach into the coordination between the knee and ankle in the sagittal plane of motion during recreational running was used to facilitate development into the understanding of the fundamental difference in running mechanics between males and female and how this may impact injury nature and location. Nine healthy participants (four male, five female) were involved in the present study. Two-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data was collected from the lower extremity for ten running trials per participant. All data was filtered and calculation of coordination and variability were derived using a vector coding technique. Significant gender differences were seen shortly after impact and during gait transitions; this was reflected with the differences in variability at these points. With this development in understanding of gender influence on running mechanics, future studies are encouraged to further develop the relationship this difference has to injury potential.
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