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We test whether locomotor posture is associated with body mass and lower limb length in humans and explore how body size and posture affect net joint moments during walking. We acquired gait data for 24 females and 25 males using a three-dimensional motion capture system and pressure-measuring insoles. We employed the general linear model and commonality analysis to assess the independent effect of body mass and lower limb length on flexion angles at the hip, knee, and ankle while controlling for sex and velocity. In addition, we used inverse dynamics to model the effect of size and posture on net joint moments. At early stance, body mass has a negative effect on knee flexion (p < 0.01), whereas lower limb length has a negative effect on hip flexion (p < 0.05). Body mass uniquely explains 15.8% of the variance in knee flexion, whereas lower limb length uniquely explains 5.4% of the variance in hip flexion. Both of the detected relationships between body size and posture are consistent with the moment moderating postural adjustments predicted by our model. At late stance, no significant relationship between body size and posture was detected. Humans of greater body size reduce the flexion of the hip and knee at early stance, which results in the moderation of net moments at these joints.


This article originally appeared in PLOS|One, available at DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0172112

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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