Purpose. The aim of the study was to describe the gait kinematic behaviour of healthy Brazilian children aged 6-11 years old and examine the influence of age and gender on the analysed kinematic characteristics. Methods. A descriptive study that investigated the gait of 119 children (60 boys and 59 girls) aged 6-11 years was conducted. Data were stratified according to age (6-7 years, 8-9 years, 10-11 years) and gender and its impact over spatiotemporal gait parameters was assessed. An inexpensive yet satisfactorily valid and objective motion capture system was employed to compute gait parameters. Results. Non-normalised and normalised averages of stride length, step length, cadence and velocity from 119 participants were 1.23 ± 0.17 m and 1.8 ± 0.2, 0.63 ± 0.11 m and 0.9 ± 0.1 m, 117.9 ± 11.4 steps/min and 311.9 ± 23.9 steps/min, 72.5 ± 11.1 m/min and 27.9 ± 4.5 m/min, respectively. Stance and swing means (%GC) were 58.1% ± 3.3% and 41.9% ± 3.3%, respectively. Step and stride length increased with advancing age, while cadence decreased. A significant difference (p = 0.005) was found between Group 2 (8-9 years) and 3 (10-11 years) for normalised velocity. No significant differences between groups were found for other non-dimensional variables. Comparisons between boys and girls showed no differences (p > 0.05) in any spatiotemporal gait parameters. Conclusions. The gait kinematic behaviour of 119 Brazilian children was described using a low-cost instrumented gait analysis system. Gender was not a significant modifying factor for gait among the examined children. Our findings suggest a partially immature gait kinematic pattern in children aged between 6 to 11 years. Additional studies are needed to examine whether the differences between our results and those reported in the literature are due to issues of internal or external validity.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.