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Comparison of Impulses Experienced on Human Joints Walking on the Ground to Those Experienced Walking on a Treadmill

Byung-Rok So, Byung-Ju Yi*, and Seog-Young Han
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 6, no. 2, pp.243-252, 2008

Abstract : It has been reported that long-term exercise on a treadmill (running machine) may cause injury to the joints in a human’s lower extremities. Previous works related to analysis of human walking motion are, however, mostly based on clinical statistics and experimental methodology. This paper proposes an analytical methodology. Specifically, this work deals with a comparison of normal walking on the ground and walking on a treadmill in regard to the external and internal impulses exerted on the joints of a human’s lower extremities. First, a modeling procedure of impulses, impulse geometry, and impulse measure for the human lower extremity model will be briefly introduced and a new impulse measure for analysis of internal impulse is developed. Based on these analytical tools, we analyze the external and internal impulses through a planar 7-linked human lower extremity model. It is shown through simulation that the human walking on a treadmill exhibits greater internal impulses on the knee and ankle joints of the supporting leg when compared to that on the ground. In order to corroborate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology, a force platform was developed to measure the external impulses exerted on the ground for the cases of the normal walking and walking on the treadmill. It is shown that the experimental results correspond well to the simulation results.

Keyword : Human body, impulse, treadmill, walking.

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