CGA FAQ, Naming a gait lab: What people said...

Dear all,

Looking for some interaction here. I hate the three words "Gait Analysis

Gait is a word that no-one ever uses outside of our own small professional
circle. I'm fed up of having to spell the name of my job out whenever anyone
asks me what I do.
Analysis sounds very technical ... and a laboratory is somewhere where
unspeakable things in lurid green test-tubes are poured down the throats of
defenceless animals by men in white coats with humped backs and mad staring
eyes. No wonder the kids we see often look terrified when they arrive.

The only thing that stops me from renaming our laboratory is the absence of
any sensible alternative.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

Richard Baker
Gait Analysis Service Manager
Hugh Williamson Gait Laboratory
Royal Children's Hospital
Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
Tel: +613 9345 5354, Fax: +613 9345 5447

I think most people have replied to me rather than the list which is
unfortunate because I was hoping this might stimulate a bit of interaction.
I've done a quick summary of people's responses below.

But first just a comment on "motion" or "movement" analysis. When I was a
kid and a doctor talked to you about "motions" and "movements" he was
talking about bowel function. I've never really been able to get over this -
particularly for a department within a hospital. Am I simply a victim of my
English upbringing or is this a wider concern?


I completely agree with you. An alternative name would be nice.

The facilities I use is called 'Laboratory of functional anatomy'.
Still, the word 'laboratory' is used, but 'gait' and 'analysis' is gone.
That's 2 out of 3!!!
Furthermore, 'Functional anatomy', cover other things that 'gait', as it
invites you to investigate jumping, running, dancing, standing on one (or
more) leg, throwing, sitting etc etc, which may make you job sound more
interesting and exotic at dinner parties ;-)

In a hospital setting I suggest that the facility could be named 'Dept. of
Clinical Biomechanics' or 'Dept. of movement analysis'.

Marius Henriksen

We have engineering workshops - why not a "Walking Workshop" - as you say it
sounds a lot more fun than an analysis lab and has the advantage of sounding
interactive rather than a place where people are unwilling victims with no
say in what goes on.

Su Stewart

I have successfully employed the phrase "Movement assessment centre" or
words to that affect when trying to recruit elderly volunteers to
partake in my PhD experiments.  I too found it hard to convince people
that it would be a pain-free experience when they heard gait analysis
and laboratory in the same sentence.
Hope it helps!

Karen Heasley

How about Locomotion Centre, or Human Locomotion Centre?


Seeing that the purpose of the gait lab is to detect "motion", the most
appropriate, and technically correct, not to mention politically correct as
well would be:

Motion Analysis Laboratory

But that's my two cents and you know that I could not resist this one.

Dan India

Well, doing a fairly straight swap of words, I get "Motion Clinic". Ana
suggested "Walking Centre". Other options for gait could be propulsion,
movement, walking, going, locomotion. Lab -> room or group, team,

It depends if you're naming a specific place, or talking about these types
of places in general. For a specific place, you could go for an almost
arbitrary name. How about the "Go Club" ? The "Moving Room" - "The Rovers" !

You can never get these names right though. My favourite name was the
"Preconception Clinic" in a maternity hospital, though perhaps they were
more clever than I thought, since they probably spent most of their time
teaching prospective parents what it's _really_ like to have children. [for
non-native english readers, preconception can mean "before the fertilisation
of a foetus", and also "an opinion formed without knowledge"]. Actually, the
more I think about it, the more I think they chose a great name.

Come to think of it, maybe "Motion Clinic" would be a bad choice.

How about asking around the hospital to see what other people (outside the
gait world) call it for short ?

Tim Pitt

Not hugely inspiring but the only thing that springs to mind is: Movement
Study Centre.  Hope you find the name you are looking for.

Kim Cox

try "movement assessment or evaluation "
laboratory is also used for many clinical activities such as the
cardiac or sleep lab

Alberto Esquenazi

We changed our name a few years ago and went with Motion Analysis Center for
some of the same reasons you are talking about.

Gordon J. Alderink

How about something involving Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Center?

Patty Payne

Good Luck ... should the new name be an "-ology" (study of) or an
"-onomy" (science of) word?  If we're studying walking then maybe a large
sign in the corridor that says "Ambulology Dept. ->" <grin>

Edmund Cramp

I totally agree. Our centre in the new Alberta Children's Hospital will
be named the Movement Assessment Centre because we a) assess more than
gait; b) clearly are not a 'laboratory' of mad scientists, as you have
noted; and c) the initials (MAC) are easy to remember and say.  I don't
know what the kids will think when they realize that they don't get any
Big MACs when they come see me, but I think that I can win that battle!

Cheers, Barbara Loitz-Ramage

Hehehe, I know what you mean Richard. We called our facility the Motion
Analysis Lab, but that is not really all that much better, if at all. The
Intermountain Shriners Hospital uses Movement Lab. CCMC uses the Center for
Motion Studies (I think that's right). Penn State uses CELOS the Center for
Locomotion Studies.

Give you are in Australia how about The Walkabout Center....

George Gorton.

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