The determinants of gait transitions in normal weight and obese children
Due to the rising prevalence of childhood obesity, effort must be made to encourage children to participate in physical activity more regularly. However, obese children are less likely to participate in regular physical activity, which may be influenced by difficulties running or transitioning between walking and running. Identifying factors contributing to difficulties during such fundamental skills may be used to inform targeted training programmes, thus enabling obese children to participate in more activities of moderate-to-vigorous intensity. Unfortunately, no research has investigated the biomechanics of running or walk-to-run transitions in obese children along with the associated metabolic costs and perceived effort of these activities. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate biomechanical (joint movements and muscle activity), physiological (energy expenditure) and perceptual differences during the walk-to-run transition between obese, overweight and non-obese children.
Student: Stacey Kung (PhD candidate)
Collaborators: Dr Sarah Shultz, Prof Stephen Legg, Dr Phil Fink (Massey University)