Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


The purpose of this study was to systematically describe the three-dimensional trunk kinematics in normal subjects, to establish a baseline for comparison to future research in gait analysis and aid in the identification of pathological gait. Seventeen volunteers between the ages of twenty and fifty, who met criteria for normal subjects, participated in this study. Trunk kinematic data were collected using an optoelectronic technique. An ensemble average of trunk kinematic data in each of the cardinal planes was plotted in degrees of motion versus percentage of gait cycle. A distinct pattern of trunk kinematics during gait was found in this study. Trunk motion relative to the pelvis was of greater magnitude than motion relative to the lab in the frontal and transverse planes. Inter-subject variability ranged from 37% to 644%, with the greatest amount of variability occurring in measurements of trunk movement relative to the lab in all three planes. Stride to stride variability within subjects ranged from 28% to 182%, with the greatest amount of intra-subject variability in trunk movements relative to the pelvis.


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