Kinematic analysis of human climbing up and down stairs at different inclinations

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the kinematics in humans during stair climbing and the influence of stair slope variation on gait cycle .The analysis of biomechanical aspect involved in stair ascent and descent can add to our understanding of the diverse and complicated processes involved in human locomotion and also be useful in the design of private and public environments where stairs are employed. Another application is in the field of gait rehabilitation. A comprehensive movement analysis of stair climbing can support the evaluation of joint replacement or prostheses development. A staircase was developed and designed that allowed the collection of kinematic data for multiple steps at different staircase inclinations. All components are characterized by a robust design which minimizes vibrations. Subjects ascended and descended a four-step staircase at three different inclinations (24°, 30°, and 42°). Kinematics was analyzed by a camera-based optoelectronic system. The data were further processed using kinovea and origin pro.8.5 softwares. Hip, knee and ankle kinematics in sagittal plane during stair ascent and descent were reported. Temporal gait cycle parameters were significantly affected by staircase inclination but Joint angles showed a relatively low but significant dependency on the inclination. This study presents a normative database, which could be used as reference data for assessment of stair locomotion.