CGA FAQ: Gender differences in Gait

Hello, this is Sang-Hyun Cho in S-Korea.  It is really long time since I
wrote here for the last time.   And I would like to send my special greetings
to Dr. Kirtley.

I am currently writing a paper about "gender difference in 3D gait
analysis", in other words, Should we use the separate set of normal data for
male & female, and why?.

I have found that the related paper is rare (Gender difference in joint
biomechanics durig walking: normative study in young adults. Kerrigan DC,
Todd MK, Della CU. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1998. 77(1): 2-7) , and I would
like to get opinions and informations about the topic. 

All I have heard unformaly was that "maybe the skeletal and habitual
characteristics of the two sex will have some influence."    And what I want
is to prove it using Vicon data(51 males and 47 female).

Any comment about the above will be greatly appreciated.
Cho, Sang-hyun MD. Ph.D.  (Doctor of Rehabilitation Medicine)
Assistant professor of Dept. of Rehabilitation Therapy, 
Yonsei University Wonju campus, College of Health Science
Wonju-si, Kangwon-do, ZIP 220-710, Rep. of KOREA
* H.P 011-366-8043   * E-mail =
* Home Page =  or
* MedMark PM&R =

Dear Sang-hyun and other Analyzers, This is an interesting question, which needs answering. I had my first year students look at one very basic aspect of the problem a couple of years ago. They recorded their cadence and stride length at a range of velocities. We were surprised to find that the females increased velocity primarily by increasing cadence, whereas the males used a combination of both stride length and cadence. This is not, however, a new finding - I discovered that it had been documented in Japanese subjects: Hirokawa, S. (1989). Normal gait characteristics under temporal and distance constraints. Journal of Biomedical Engineering 11: 449-456. What was even more interesting is that these gender differences did not seem to exist in a similar sample of US PT students (Dr. Jan Bruckner). So, perhaps we need to discuss cultural as well as gender-based influences on gait! Chris -- Dr. Chris Kirtley MD PhD Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
from BIOMCH-L 22/2/96  Hello, I am a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  I am presently completing my thesis on a topic you may find interesting.  I conducted a kinematic study trying to look at gender differences in walking with respect to movement of the pelvis. I video taped male and female subjects walking on a treadmill at two different speeds.  The women also walked a second time wearing high heeled shoes.  The shoes were introduced as a social factor and to try and force the women to walk differently. What I have found thus far is that there are basically no differences between men and women while walking.  I used ANOVA's to test my hypothesis.  Two variables that did show significant differences between gender were the right and left iliac crests.  I filmed the marker movement of these markers from the rear.  The tatol area of moven=ment of the markers placed here was less for men that women at both speeds. Neither the PSIS's or gluteal markers (placed on soft tissue) indicated that men walk differently from women. The ankle, knee and hip ankles during walking basically showed no gender differences either.  The one variable which was significant was the maximum hip angle during the stance phase.  The men seemed to extend their hips more than the women. I haven't finished analysing my data from the front camera. Here are some references you might find useful.  I would certainly appreciate any references or information you gain from other people on the list. Horton, J & Hall, T. (1989). Quadriceps Femoris Muscle Angle:  Normal Values and Relationships with Gender and Selected Skeletal Measures. Physical Therapy. 69(11):897-901. Safrit, M., Baumgartner, T., Jackson, A. & stamm, c. (1980).  Issues in Setting Motor Performance Standards.  Quest. 32(2):152-162. Thomas, J. & French, K. (19850.  Gender Differences Across Age in Motor Performance:  A MEta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin. 98(2):260-282. Vertinsky, P.  The Eternally Wounded Woman.  Manchester, Manchester University Press., 1990. Looking forward to your response. Regards, Michelle Johansen ================================================================== Interesting point.  I would think there are other factors that would figure into this question.  That is, non-biomechanical factors such as culture, the individuals self-esteem, etc. It has often been show that the way in which a person holds themselves and produces movement is dependent on such factors as enviroment, self-image, and the level of comfort the individual perceives.  It would seem these factors would have a magnified effect related to gender-specific gait. Good Luck! Brian T. Fay Local Area Network Administration & Maintenance Technical Aide Motion Analysis Laboratory Department of Kinesiology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 357C Louise Freer Hall 906 S Goodwin Ave Urbana, IL 61801 Phone: (217) 333-0058 E-mail: ================================================================= I read your message today about males and females and their differences in walking.  In my undergraduate biomechanics courses, we analyzed gait and compared males and females within our lab groups.  I cannot seem to find my report, but remember that our hypothesis was that men and women should have different walking patterns. This is mainly due to the difference in structure of the pelvis.  Women have a wider pelvis, and therefore should have a slightly different walk.  However, this is just my opinion, but I hope it helps add to the crowd.  I am interested to see what others have to say. Anxious to hear, Heather Hallenbeck Bioengineer 905 Glenwood Ave. Syracuse, NY  13207 (315)475-1585 email: ================================================================ These two articles deal with male versus female gait: Cutting JE, Proffitt DR, Kozlowski LT.  (1978).  A biomechanical invariant for gait perception.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 4, 3, 357-372. Kozlowski LT, Cutting JE.  (1977).  Recognizing the sex of a walker from a dynamic point-light display.  Perception and Psychophysics, 21, 6, 575-580. Regards, Brian ------------------------------------- Name: Brian L. Davis, PhD Department of Biomedical Engineering (Wb-3) Cleveland Clinic Foundation E-mail: Date: 02/13/96 Time: 09:44:13 ------------------------------------- ===================================================================== There is evidence that gender can be identified from gait.  A discussion of this is found in an article on social perception by Leslie Arthur and Reuben Baron (1983),  Toward an Ecological Theory of Social Perception, Psychological Review, vol 90 (3), 215-238.  See page 221-222. The sources they refer to are: Kozlowski & Cutting (1977) Perception & Psychophysics, 21, 575-580. Cutting (1978) Perception, 7, 393-405. Cutting, Proffitt, & Kozlowski (1978) A biomechanical invariant for gait perception.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 4, 357-372. All of these suggest gender differentiates gait sufficiently for perceivers to accurate guess gender when they only have access to illuminated dots placed to show gait. Hope this helps. -- Dr. Mark G. Kruger Department of Psychology Gustavus Adolphus College St. Peter, MN 56082 507-933-7415 ====================================================================== In regards to your question, you may want to look up Gait and Posture journal for an article in 1994 relating to 3-D kinematics of female walking. Alan Morris Research Engineer - Gait Laboratory Bloorview / Hugh MacMillan Health Centre 350 Rumsey Road Toronto, Ont. CANADA M4G-1R8 (416) 425-6220 x508 =================================================================== Dear Sang-Hyun Cho, In a very simple very reproducible test we found out that there is a significant statistical difference between steplength of men and women. Men take larger steps than women. We tested 120 elderly (50-100jrs) by having them walk ten steps and measure the distance afterwards. Although these results do not answer your questions, it is a hint that your suggestion about a clear significant difference is correct. Succes in finding an answer to your questions, Your's sincerely Liek Voorbij. Ir. A.I.M. Voorbij (MSc) Delft University of Technology Fac. of Industrial Design Engineering Dept. System and Product Ergonomics Jaffalaan 9 2628 BX Delft The Netherlands ============================================================= Try the following reference for starters: Basic kinematics of walking. Step length and step frequency. A review. V.M.Zatsiorky, S.L. Werner, M.A. Kaimin The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 34(2):109-134, 1994 A summary of published findings on differences in gait between men and women is given on page 127 of the above-referenced articles, and some literature references are given to support each statement. See also: Sex differences in the pattern of lower limb movement during treadmill walking.  Masahiro Yamasaki, Takashi Sasaki, and Masafumi Torii European Journal of Applied Physiology 62:99-103, 1991 It seems to me that most of the differences between male and female subjects which are reported in this article are attributable to different body sizes between men and women, but you should read it for yourself. I hope this helps. Amy Courtney  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= | Amy C. Courtney, Ph.D.           | | Dept. of Biomedical Engineering  | | The Cleveland Clinic Foundation  | | 9500 Euclid Avenue               | | Cleveland, Ohio 44195  USA       | |                                  | |          |  -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- ===================================================================== You should contact the Group of Prof. Antonio Pedotti, at : Centro di Bioingegneria, Fondazione Pro Juventute Don Gnocchi, Politechnico di Milano, Milano, Italy. Tel: +39-2-4009 2260 Fax: +39-2-2686 1144 This group has a very large data base of patients (in the region of thousands), and they use normalised data for Men, Women, and Children in their diagnosis strategies, so they must have identified a difference between the sexes . Maybe Dr. M. Ferrarin, or Prof. Pedotti can point you in the right direction, they have over 20 years experience in gait analysis. Good luck, sorry I couldn't be of any more help, Stephen Stephen J. Dorgan Dept. of ElectronicEngineering,                 e-mail : University College Dublin,                         Voice :  +353-1-7061857 Belfield,Dublin 4.                                         Fax :  +353-1-2830921 Ireland. My wife said it was her or sailing .............. I'll miss her.
Dr. Sang-Hyun Cho
Gender differences in 3D gait analysis data from 98 normal adults

Kerrigan DC, Todd MK, Della Croce U. Gender differences in joint biomechanics during walking: a normative study in young adults. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1998;77:2-7
Gender differences in Heelstrike transient

Ferber R, McClay Davis I, Williams DS 3rd: "Gender differences in lower extremity mechanics during running", Clinical Biomechanics. 18(4):350-7, 2003

Gender differences in subjects walking on tiptoes.

Era, P., Schroll, M., Ytting, H., Gause-Nilsson, I., Heikkinen, E., and Steen, B. (1996) Postural balance and its sensory-motor
correlates in 75-year old men and women: a cross-national comparative study. Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences
and Medical Sciences 51(2): M53-63.

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