Does Strategy of Downward Stepping Stair Due to Load of Additional Weight Affect Lower Limb's Kinetic Mechanism?

Ryew, Checheong;Yoo, Taeseok;Hyun, Seunghyun

  • Received : 2020.09.04
  • Accepted : 2020.09.13
  • Published : 2020.12.31


This study measured the downward stepping movement relative to weight change (no load, and 10%, 20%, 30% of body weight respectively of adult male (n=10) from standardized stair (rise of 0.3 m, tread of 0.29 m, width of 1 m). The 3-dimensional cinematography and ground reaction force were also utilized for analysis of leg stiffness: Peak vertical force, change in stance phase leg length, Torque of whole body, kinematic variables. The strategy heightened the leg stiffness and standardized vertical ground reaction force relative to the added weights (p<.01). Torque showed rather larger rotational force in case of no load, but less in 10% of body weight (p<.05). Similarly angle of hip joint showed most extended in no-load, but most flexed in 10% of body weight (p<.05). Inclined angle of body trunk showed largest range in posterior direction in no-load, but in vertical line nearly relative to added weights (p<.001). Thus the result of the study proved that downward stepping strategy altered from height of 30 cm, regardless of added weight, did not affect velocity and length of lower leg. But added weight contributed to more vertical impulse force and increase of rigidity of whole body than forward rotational torque under condition of altered stepping strategy. In future study, the experimental on effect of weight change and alteration of downward stepping strategy using ankle joint may provide helpful information for development of enhanced program of prevention and rehabilitation on motor performance and injury.


  1. A. Silder, S. L. Delp, and T. Besier, "Men and women adopt similar walking mechanics and muscle activation patterns during load carriage," Journal of biomechanics, vol. 46, no. 14, pp. 2522-2528, 2013.
  2. S. H. Hyun and C. C. Ryew, "Effect of wearing positions of load on the dynamic balance during gait," Journal of exercise rehabilitation, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 152, 2018. doi: 10.12965/jer.1835120.560.
  3. J. Wang and J. Gillette, "Carrying asymmetric loads during stair negotiation," Gait & posture, vol. 53, pp. 67-72, 2017.
  4. K. A. Hamel, N. Okita, J. S. Higginson, and P. R. Cavanagh, "Foot clearance during stair descent: effects of age and illumination," Gait & Posture, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 135-140, 2005.
  5. R. Riener, M. Rabuffetti, and C. Frigo, "Stair ascent and descent at different inclinations," Gait & posture, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 32-44, 2002. Stair ascent and descent at different inclinations.
  6. M. Spanjaard, N. D. Reeves, J. Van Dieen, V. Baltzopoulos, and C. N. Maganaris, "Lower-limb biomechanics during stair descent: influence of step-height and body mass," Journal of experimental biology, vol. 211, no. 9, pp. 1368-1375, 2008. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.014589.
  7. M. S. Roys, "Serious stair injuries can be prevented by improved stair design," pplied ergonomics, vol. 32, no.2, pp. 135-139, 2001.
  8. W. Freedman and L. Kent, "Selection of movement patterns during functional tasks in humans," Journal of motor behavior, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 214-226, 1987.
  9. J. H. van Dieen and M. Pijnappels, "Effects of conflicting constraints and age on strategy choice in stepping down during gait," Gait & posture, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 343-345, 2009.
  10. J. H. van Dieen, M. Spanjaard, R. Konemann, L. Bron, and M. Pijnappels, "Balance control in stepping down expected and unexpected level changes," Journal of biomechanics, vol. 40, no. 16, pp. 3641-3649, 2007.
  11. M. Pijnappels, M. F. Bobbert, and J. H. van Dieen, "Contribution of the support limb in control of angular momentum after tripping," Journal of biomechanics, vol. 37, no. 12, pp. 1811-1818, 2004.
  12. E. E. Gerstle, K. G. Keenan, K. O'Connor, and S. C. Cobb, "Lower extremity muscle activity during descent from varying step heights," Journal of electromyography and kinesiology, vol. 42, pp. 57-65, 2018.
  13. L. Ren, R. K. Jones, and D. Howard, "Dynamic analysis of load carriage biomechanics during level walking," Journal of biomechanics, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 853-863, 2005.
  14. M. Hall, E. R. Boyer, J. C. Gillette, and G. A. Mirka, "Medial knee joint loading during stair ambulation and walking while carrying loads," Gait & posture, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 460-462, 2013.
  15. S. M. Hsiang and C. Chang, "The effect of gait speed and load carrying on the reliability of ground reaction forces," Safety Science, vol. 40, no. 7-8, pp. 639-657, 2002.
  16. A. Silder, T. Besier, and S. L. Delp, "Running with a load increases leg stiffness," J Biomech, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 1003-8, Apr 13 2015.
  17. S.-H. Hyun and C.-C. Ryew, "Effect of lower limb kinetic on carrying infant by hip seat carrier during high heel gait," Journal of exercise rehabilitation, vol. 14, no. 6, p. 1092, 2018. doi: 10.12965/jer.1836376.188.
  18. A. Lee, S. Hyun, and C. Ryew, "Landing with Visual Control Reveals Limb Control for Intrinsic Stability," International Journal of Internet, Broadcasting and Communication, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 226-232, 2020.
  19. S. R. Bullimore and J. F. Burn, "Consequences of forward translation of the point of force application for the mechanics of running," Journal of theoretical biology, vol. 238, no. 1, pp. 211-219, 2006.
  20. J. H. van Dieen, M. Spanjaard, R. Konemann, L. Bron, and M. Pijnappels, "Mechanics of toe and heel landing in stepping down in ongoing gait," Journal of biomechanics, vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 2417-2421, 2008.
  21. R. J. Butler, H. P. Crowell III, and I. M. Davis, "Lower extremity stiffness: implications for performance and injury," Clinical biomechanics, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 511-517, 2003.