How Gait Affects Your Life
The human gait is a fascinating component of the body. Factors including nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardiorespiratory systems all play a role. Specifically, age, personality, footwear, mood, and sociocultural factors all affect the way we move. For these reasons, everyone’s gait is unique in their own way.
According to one study, the prevalence of gait disorders increases to 60% in people over 80 years compared to 10% in people aged 60–69 years. Gait doesn’t just affect the older population. Due to the time spent on our feet, gait affects our every step. Think about how many steps you take a day. It may be 5,000. It may be 10,000. Or even 25,000. Whatever it is, multiply that by your entire lifespan and you have an inconceivable number. That’s the magnificence and resilience of the human body.
What Is Gait?
In scientific terms, human gait refers to locomotion achieved through the movement of human limbs. In simple terms, gait is a person’s manner of walking (or running). One can have a narrow gait or a wide gait. One may overpronate, or supinate. One may have high arches versus fallen arches. As simple as walking or running sound, gait is the result of many complex systems.
To move forward there are several stages of movement: walk, jog, skip, run, and sprint. Foot strike is one variable. These include:
- Forefoot Strike – toe-heel: ball of foot lands first
- Midfoot Strike – heel and ball land simultaneously
- Heel Strike – heel-toe: heel of foot lands, then plantar flexes to ball
The foot strike on the surface is simple. However, again there are external forces including your footwear that may affect how your foot hits the ground. Compare yourself running barefoot versus with shoes. The differences are likely stark.
Another variable is sex. According to a 2013 study, females tend to walk with smaller step width and more pelvic movement.
Gait analysis is a tool used to identify biomechanical trends and abnormalities in your foot cycle. Here at Feet First Clinic, we employ 3D video in order to further analyze gait. Video analysis involves being recorded while walking on a treadmill. The video software allows us to slow and stop and zoom in on specific areas during your gait in order to educate you about your foot type and pattern.
Gait Concerns? We Can Help!
We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort as possible. Call us even to ask about a quick question and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!
Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!