Dear list members.
Many thanks for many good replies. Here is the summary

Original message:

Dear list members
I would be happy to get a hint about where to look for lower extremities
kinematics (especially knee and ankle joint angles) during:
walking up/down stairs
walking up/down hills

I'm also interested in the comparison of these movements to normal gait.

Best regards,
Baldur Thorgilsson,
Kine ehf,
Skulagata 26, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
tel: +354 580 8300, +354 5808302, fax +354 5808309

Dear Baldur,

Rakie Cham and I did some stuff on going down ramps.

Redfern MS, DiPasquale JM: Biomechanics of descending ramps. Posture & Gait
6: 119-125, 1997.

Cham R, Redfern MS: "Heel contact dynamics during slip events on level and
inclined surfaces," Safety Science (Special Issue), 40(7-8):559-576, 2002.

Hope this helps.

-Mark Redfern

Mark S. Redfern, PhD
William Kepler Whiteford Professor
Departments of Bioengineering, Otolaryngology, and Rehabilitation Science
University of Pittsburgh

Coincidently, I am looking at stair ascent, level gait and stair descent
activities for my phd study.

here are several papers you can get info about:

Costigan PA, Deluzio KJ, and W. UP, Knee and hip kinetics during normal
stair climbing. Gait and Posture, 2002. 16: p. 31-37.

Benson L, DesJardins J and LaBerge M, Stair descent Loading Pattern for TKR
Wear Simulation. 48th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society,

And also try to search under name: Morrison JB
These papers are for knee.

For ankle joint angles, i am sorry that i couldn't help.

hope these help


Rachael Tan
Bioengineering Science Research Group
Building 5
University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BJ

Tel: + 44 (0) 2380 597665

Dear Mr. Thorgilsson,

Please, try the sites:


Gait & Posture Journal

Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages 119-125 (October 1997)
Biomechanics of descending ramps

Mark S. Redfern and James DiPasquale
revised 4 January 1997;accepted 20 January 1997.

This study investigated the biomechanics of human gait while descending
ramps. Fifteen
young, healthy subjects (20-30 years) walked self-paced down an instrumented
ramp while
ground reaction forces (GRF) and sagittal plane body movements were
recorded. Ramp angles
were set at 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 degrees. Joint angles for the ankle, knee
and hip were
found to be most affected by ramp angle during the second half of stance.
The primary
change in kinematics occurred at the knee while lowering the body to the
next step down
the ramp. Step length and period decreased as ramp angle increased; however,
gait speed
did not significantly change. Shear GRFs were found to increase with ramp
Calculated sagittal plane joint moments at the knee, and to a lesser extent
the ankle and
hip, were affected by ramp angle. Knee extension moments showed large
increases with
increased ramp angle. An increasing dorsiflexion moment of the ankle with
increasing ramp
angle was found during the first 20% of stance phase. These results suggest
that young,
healthy individuals maintain relatively constant gait kinematics,
particularly during the
first half of stance phase, while descending ramps. This requires
significant increases in
the moment at the knee as ramp angle is increased.

Keywords: Body movements, Gait, Ramp angle, Biomechanics

Normal Gait

Best Regards,

Wagner de Godoy
Gait Laboratory
AACD - Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente
Disabled Children Care Association


I've included the library link for the Masters thesis I wrote while at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - in a nutshell, I was comparing
the static varus/valgus angle of the knee joint on anteroposterior
radiographs with the dynamic varus/valgus angle seen during walking and
stairclimbing. It was a pilot study, so there were a limited number of
subjects (male and female, no knee or hip OA, approximately 35-60 years of
age). There are several varus/valgus knee studies that I found helpful
listed in the reference section. You may also want to do a search for
papers by Bing Yu, my graduate advisor at UNC. He's done a lot with knee
biomechanics (ACL, OA related studies). Sorry - no ankle info. Good luck.

Rebecca Pipas Seabrook

I have a couple of research projects involving stairs and ramps, including
to theses that are not
yet defended. We mostly have looked at the inverse dynamics, support moment
and moment powers.
Here are links to the presentations:
Try this link for other related papers.

The first presentation was given at the ASB meeting in Toledo, 2003;
the second at the USB meeting in Dunedin, New Zealand, 2003.

D. Gordon E. Robertson


My apologies for not replying earlier. I published a paper from my MSc
thesis in 1991 in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on
stairclimbing kinematics. It looked at stairclimbing with young-adult
women on stairs of differing dimensions. Level walking was used as a
baseline for understanding the kinematics of the participants who were
divided into three groups: short (one SD below population mean), medium
(population mean), tall (one SD above population mean). Angular data for
the knee, hip, and ankle are included.

If you do not have access to this journal, please let me know and I will
mail you a hard copy if you provide me with a mailing address.


Lori A. Livingston, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
School of Health and Human Performance
Dalhousie University
6230 South Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3J5
Phone: (902) 494-1197
FAX: (902) 494-5120


In general the literature on slope walking is scarce. There are a couple
papers that give joint angles for incline walking, not all of which are very
useful. The most informative (in my opinon) were:

Redfern MS and J DiPasquale. Biomechanics of Descending Ramps. Gait and
Posture, 1997. 6: p. 119-125.

Kuster M, S Sakurai, and GA Wood. Kinematic and kinetic comparison of
and level walking. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon), 1995. 10(2): p. 79-84.

Leroux A, J Fung, and H Barbeau. Adaptation of the walking pattern to uphill
walking in normal and spinal-cord injured subjects. Exp Brain Res, 1999. 126
(3): p. 359-68.

Leroux A, J Fung, and H Barbeau. Postural adaptation to walking on inclined
surfaces: I. Normal strategies. Gait Posture, 2002. 15(1): p. 64-74.

Others are:

Wall JC, JW Nottrodt, and J Charteris. The effects of uphill and downhill
walking on pelvic oscillations in the transverse plane. Ergonomics, 1981. 24
(10): p. 807-16.

Buczek FL and PR Cavanagh. Stance phase knee and ankle kinematics and
during level and downhill running. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1990. 22(5): p.

Schwameder H, R Roithner, E Muller, W Niessen, and C Raschner. Knee joint
forces during downhill walking with hiking poles. J Sports Sci, 1999.
p. 969-78.

Simpson KJ, P Jiang, PA Shewokis, S Odum, and KT Reeves. Kinematic and
pressure adjustments to downhill gradients during gait. Gait and Posture,
1993. 1: p. 172-9.
Davis M, CJ Newsam, and J Perry. Electromyograph analysis of the popliteus
muscle in level and downhill walking. Clin Orthop, 1995. 310: p. 211-7.

Hope that helps!

Andrea Lay
Center for Human Movement Studies
School of Applied Physiology
281 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0356
Phone 404.894.1031
Fax 404.894.7593

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