Ability of the planar spring-mass model to predict mechanical parameters in running humans

SR Bullimore, JF Burn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The planar spring-mass model is a simple mathematical model of bouncing gaits, such as running, trotting and hopping. Although this model has been widely used in the study of locomotion, its accuracy in predicting locomotor mechanics has not been systematically quantified. We determined the percent error of the model in predicting 10 locomotor parameters in running humans by comparing the model predictions to experimental data from humans running in normal gravity and simulated reduced gravity. We tested the hypotheses that the model would overestimate horizontal impulse and the change in mechanical energy of the centre of mass (COM) during stance. The model provided good predictions of stance time, vertical impulse, contact length, duty factor, relative stride length and relative peak force. All predictions of these parameters were within 20% of measured values and at least 90% of predictions of each parameter were within 10% of measured values (median absolute errors:
Translated title of the contributionAbility of the planar spring-mass model to predict mechanical parameters in running humans
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686 - 695
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume248
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

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