A simple model of mechanical effects to estimate metabolic cost of human walking

Since the advent of energy measurement devices, gait experiments have shown that energetic economy has a large influence on human walking behavior. However, few cost models have attempted to capture the major energy components under comprehensive walking conditions. Here we present a simple but unified model that uses walking mechanics to estimate metabolic cost at different speeds and step lengths and for six other biomechanically-relevant gait experiments in literature. This includes at various gait postures (e.g. extra foot lift), anthropometric dimensions (e.g. added mass), and reduced gravity conditions, without the need for parameter tuning to design new gait trajectories. Our results suggest that the metabolic cost of walking can largely be explained by the linear combination of four costs-swing and torso dynamics, center of mass velocity redirection, ground clearance, and body weight support. The overall energetic cost is a tradeoff among these separable components, shaped by how they manifest under different walking conditions.

Published in:
Scientific Reports, 8, 1
Jul 20 2018
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 Record created 2018-07-23, last modified 2019-05-07

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