The effect of visual focus on spatio-temporal and kinematic parameters of treadmill running
AuthorsLucas-Cuevas, Ángel G.
Priego Quesada, Jose I
AffiliationNottingham Trent University
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AbstractThe characteristics of a treadmill and the environment where it is based could influence the user’s gaze and have an effect on their running kinematics and lower limb impacts. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of visual focus on spatio-temporal parameters and lower limb kinematics during treadmill running. Twenty six experienced runners ran at 3.33 m s−1 on a treadmill under two visual conditions, either looking ahead at a wall or looking down at the treadmill visual display. Spatio-temporal parameters, impact accelerations of the head and tibia, and knee and ankle kinematics were measured for the final 15 s of a 90 s bout of running under each condition. At the end of the test, participants reported their preference for the visual conditions assessed. Participants’ stride angle, flight time, knee flexion during the flight phase, and ankle eversion during contact time were increased when runners directed visual focus toward the wall compared to the treadmill display (p < 0.05). Whilst head acceleration was also increased in the wall condition (p < 0.05), the other acceleration parameters were unaffected (p > 0.05). However, the effect size of all biomechanical alterations was small. The Treadmill condition was the preferred condition by the participants (p < 0.001; ESw = 1.0). The results of the current study indicate that runners had a greater mass centre vertical displacement when they ran looking ahead, probably with the aim of compensating for reduced visual feedback, which resulted in larger head accelerations. Greater knee flexion during the flight phase and ankle eversion during the contact time were suggested as compensatory mechanisms for lower limb impacts.
CitationLucas-Cuevas, Á.G., Quesada, J.I.P., Gooding, J., Lewis, M.G., Encarnación-Martínez, A. and Perez-Soriano, P., (2018). 'The effect of visual focus on spatio-temporal and kinematic parameters of treadmill running'. Gait & posture, 59, pp, 292-297. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.07.039
JournalGait & Posture