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Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Buddhadev, Harsh H. (Harsh Harish)

Second Advisor

Robey, Nathan

Third Advisor

Chalmers, Gordon R.


Hindfoot and forefoot motion during the stance phase of walking provide insights into the forward progression of the body over the feet via the rocker mechanisms. These segmental motions are affected by walking speed. Increases in walking speed are accomplished by increasing step length, cadence, or both. It is unknown if taking short, medium, and long steps at the same speed would also increase hindfoot and forefoot motion similarly to walking speed. We examined effects of different step lengths at the same preferred walking speed on peak forefoot and hindfoot motions related to the foot rocker mechanisms. Twelve young healthy adults completed walking trials under three step length conditions as marker position and force platform data were captured synchronously. Feet and lower extremity motion were measured via marker positions for the combined Oxford foot and conventional gait models. Peak hindfoot and forefoot joint angles associated with the heel, ankle, and forefoot rockers were identified. When walking at the same preferred speed with increase in step length, the peak hindfoot-tibia plantarflexion angle (pp=0.016) in midstance associated with heel and ankle rockers, respectively, increased with step length. The peak forefoot-hallux dorsiflexion angle in late stance indicating forefoot rocker motion also increased with step length (p=0.004). When foot kinematics are compared across different individuals or the same individual across different sessions, researchers and clinicians should consider the influence of step length as a contributor to differences in foot kinematics observed.




Foot rockers, Oxford foot model, gait


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Gait in humans; Walking; Foot--Movements; Kinematics




masters theses




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