Normative data on gait is essential for clinical practice – especially in children whose gait pattern changes over time. Sets of normative gait data in healthy children vary significantly from one country to another. We decided to generate a specific reference database of gait parameters for French children.
Three hundred and eighty-two children (228 boys and 154 girls, aged between 6 and 12) were asked to walk as naturally as possible and at a self-selected speed on a GAITRite® track. Velocity, step count, cadence, step time, step length, cycle time, stride length, base width, swing time, stance time, single support time and double support time were recorded. Parameters were analyzed by age group, height group and BMI.
Velocity, step and stride length increased regularly with advancing age and height. Cadence decreased with height. All temporal parameters (except for double support) differed significantly (P<0.05) when comparing the 6-year-old group or the 7-year-old group with the 9-year-old group and older groups. A small number of temporal parameters (cadence, step time, cycle time and stance time) differed significantly when comparing 7-year-olds and 8-year-olds. Temporal parameters appeared rise in proportion height from 110cm to 130cm and then reached a plateau. Overweight was associated with a longer stance time and more double support.
The gait pattern in French children aged between 6 and 12 differs from those recorded elsewhere in the world; although gait parameters appear to change in much the same way with age worldwide, our values (even when normalized) are different. Our local database should be of value in French studies of childhood gait disorders. Given that gait patterns do not appear to mature by the age of 12, it would be valuable to study gait patterns in a population of teenagers.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Gait, Normative data, Children, BMI, France