View Full Version : Summary of responses to: gait lab design advice needed

John_ _bickerstaffe
12-04-2006, 03:25 AM

Firstly, many thanks to everyone who responed to my original e mail. It is
good to know there is back up around when you need it. I have summarised the
responses in terms of the design of the room and design features which are
peculiar to gait labs from the responses sent along with a couple of websites
and meetings we have had.Many thanks also go to Richard Jones at Salford
University who advised us recently on refinements to our plans.

The only factors I have not listed are those for force plates which are set
into the floor as ours will be set into a walkway.The consesnsus appeared to
say to design in a sufficiently large pit to accept force plates of various
specs now and in the future. Additionally you should ensure that the pit
allows the plates to be powered from beneath. Ducting should be available
allowing cabling to pass from the force plates to the control desk under the
floor. An alternative to this is a raised floor.

Below is a copy of our requirements sent to our architiects recently.

Recommendations for Gait Clinic Build (5.12.06)

The following is a collation of findings from:

a) meeting with R. Jones Lecturer at Salford University at the School of
Prosthetics and Orthotics on 8.11.06 with J. Schooling and J. Bickerstaffe.

b) the results of a question placed on the international biomechanics
mailbase Biomechl which is subscribed to by all leading gait analysis labs
worldwide. I have summarised the answers provided.

c) Vicon website

d) Qualysis website


f) CMAS clinical gait analysis standards (2004), revised 2006.


Should be unobstructed for the disabled.


The ceiling should be a tiled suspended ceiling, and will need to support a
metal frame or butterfly hooks to suspend a calibration object if we plan to
use a static calibration object (there should be a number of these).

The ceiling should be as high as possible.

We would like to have attachment points which we could attach a safety beam
from the ceiling should we decide to install a beam in future for work with
spinal injury cases. This would be placed directly over the force plates
capable of holding half a tonne.

If a safety harness is to be used then crossbeams should be installed in the
ceiling perpendicular to the length of the lab. The optimum arrangement is one
beam above the centre of the calibration volume and two beams positioned five
feet on either side of the centre beam. This is to be used for spinal cord
injured walking, people with very poor balance.

Camera mountings

Ideally we would want to have various ways of fixing cameras

Scaffolding track around the room for cameras on which cameras are fixed but
moveable. Has approximately 40cm of space at the posterior aspect of each
camera to allow for access and panning of camera.

>From fixed mountings on the walls

>From ceiling (or have points of attachment which would take a camera for
future use)

No skylights should be placed in the gait lab area. If windows are placed in
the lab, you must provide a method for covering the windows to totally block
out light (i.e., black drapes).
Lighting (none reflective)

Being able to reduce the lighting in the room would be beneficial to reduce
glare on screens and avoid further reflections. Recessed fluorescent lights
with diffusers are recommended. No lights should be directly over the force
plates. Light switches should be duplicated at the entrance door and at the
control desk. Lighting should be even with no shadows high up on the walls.
This makes for better video quality.


This should be none slip / none reflective, hospital blue vinyl, flooring (and
not buffed).

Force plates situated in centre of room

Small conduit to run force plate cables through to the control desk.

Power points

As many as possible all double sockets 20 around the room to allow for
various camera positions.

Power supply

Constant power supply, away from large power units and free from areas of
vibration e.g. dental compressors.

If conduits are to be placed in the wall, you can position the video cable
conduits and electrical outlets in the following manner to provide
comprehensive coverage. You will need at least one electrical outlet (110-
120V) every six to eight feet. Double electrical outlets are preferable.
Treadmills should be powered by a separate AC power service.

Separate supply for force plates on floor and or on wall if surface mounted.

Power required for

EMG apparatus
Video camera system
Motion capture system
Force plates


Ducting around room for wiring at two heights with power outlets (double
sockets) every 3 feet.

Conduits for cabling

For leads from force plates to desk (solid rubber if to be surface mounted)
For mains supply to cameras at two levels
Ceiling for potential expansion into ceiling mounted cameras.
For camera cables
For video cables

You should provide camera cable conduits (minimum 1.5-2.0 inch diameters)
beginning at two feet above the floor surface. About eight of these will
provide the maximum flexibility in positioning the cameras - place one close
to each corner of the room and one in the centre of each wall. Remember that
the conduit down to the data collection system must accommodate all the
cables - this will need to be at least four to five inches in diameter.

Storage for spare cabling

Examination area
Patient examination area with an examination table and storage for supplies
such as tape, markers, electrodes, etc. This area is often used as patient
changing area.
This should be attached to the subject analysis area so that people can walk
from the examination area to the data collection area. This area should have
some storage for electrodes, markers and tape. This should be wheelchair
accessible with a sink available.

The doors should be wide enough for wheelchair access.
The examination area should be patient friendly and offer privacy with a
screened area.
Many gait related tests are performed with a minimum of clothing on the
subject so it is important that the laboratory area is maintained at a
comfortable temperature for the subject during the testing.
Computer Network (LAN)
It is important to plan for the computer network when the lab is built. While
it is possible to use a number of different LAN types we recommend
100MHz "Twisted Pair" with a local hub or switch for the best reliability and
speed. Since virtually all the computers and printers in the lab may be
connected to the LAN network it is important to provide plenty of LAN
connections within the gait lab and any connecting offices or work areas. Make
sure that LAN cables can be run between the various lab areas. We strongly
recommend that the gait lab maintain its own network switch or hub within the
lab for reliability.
Desk space

For trust PC / Qualysis work / wide screen
Force plate readout
Video screen
EMG equipment

Number of power sockets and whereabouts every two metres

Video cameras X 3
Treadmill supply X1
Motion analysis cameras X 6
Force plates X2 (in floor and wall mounted)
PC supply X1
Printer supply X1
Up to four monitors X4

All cabling from PCs, video, force plates, QMT cameras, EMG to meet at control
desk. Have facility to incorporate other cameras / + power requirements.

All conduits to be 50% larger than original estimate to allow for expansion.

Cover for force plates.

Hope this is helpful to everyone on the mailbase and thankyou again for your

John Bickerstaffe
Orthopaedic Triage Dept
Tameside and Glossop PCT

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