Running gait and its associated oxygen cost in children with developmental coordination disorder

Lay Chern Chia

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    199 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a condition diagnosed in children when their performance of movement skills is substantially below that expected given their chronological age and measured intelligence, in the absence of neuromuscular disorders. Children with DCD perform poorly in daily activities that require fine motor skills (such as using cutlery, dressing and writing), as well as gross motor skills such as running, throwing and kicking. This impaired motor competence may influence the ability of children with DCD to participate in physical activities, sports and games along with their peers, which in turn may have implications for the overall health and well-being of these children. One fundamental movement skill reported to be poorly executed by children with DCD that is vital for participation in many sports and games is running. However, previous research on this issue has been qualitative in nature and to date, no studies have quantitatively examined running in this population using the 'gold' standard 3-dimensional (3-D) motion analysis. This is important given the limitations of observational methods to detect discrete differences in running gait. Therefore, the purpose of the first study (Chapter 2) of this thesis was to quantitatively compare the kinematics and kinetics of running in boys with and without DCD using 3-D motion analysis. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected in boys with DCD (n = 14) and age matched typically developing (TD) controls (n = 14) while running at a standardised velocity of 8.8 km/h overground along a 15 m track using a 12-camera Vicon MX system and AMTI force plate. This study found similar thorax, pelvis, hip, knee and ankle joint kinematics, with the exception of reduced peak knee extension angle prior to foot contact in the boys with DCD compared with their TD peers. In addition, kinetic analyses revealed that the boys with DCD displayed decreased knee extensor moments, as well as decreased knee power absorption and ankle power generation during stance compared with the TD boys. The DCD group also displayed increased variability in sagittal plane kinematics at the hip and ankle during toe off compared with the TD group. This increased variability highlights the need for designing individualised training to target specific inefficiencies to improve running gait in these children. These kinematic and kinetic differences may also have implications for the oxygen cost of running at submaximal speeds, which in turn may influence performance in endurance activities and the onset of fatigue...
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2013

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