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Foot contact area

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  • Foot contact area

    A collegue wishes to measure the percentage of the plantar surface of the
    human foot in contact with the ground during standing as a means of
    assessing "flat-footedness". In the future this may form part of a screening
    test for recruits.

    So far we have considered taking digital photographs through a glass plate
    on which the subject is standing and using edge-detection and pixel counting
    image analysis to give both total plantar surface area and ground contact
    area. We have also contemplated an instrumented mechanical pin-board type
    arrangement in which the shape of the plantar surface is mapped directly.

    I'd be grateful of any information / ideas about how else this could be
    done, and especially if any "off the shelf" techniques exist for this. I'm
    afraid we at present have no feel for the spatial resolution that will be
    needed. If the measure proves useful, we are ultimately looking for an
    "idiot-proof" test that can be easily administered and give a result in
    approx. 2 minutes.

    Many thanks in advance for your help, I'll post the responses received.

    Mike Llewellyn Ph.D.
    Applied Physiology
    Centre for Human Sciences
    Defence Evaluation & Research Agency
    Farnborough, Hampshire UK.

    Tel UK + 1252 394113