Volume 21 (2009) Issue 4 Pages 385-391
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate changes of gait strategy, by measurement of gait parameters and kinematic data of the lower limbs during walking on slopes with four different incline angles. [Subjects] A total of 23 healthy adults were recruited for the study. [Methods] Three-dimensional kinematic data were measured with a camera-based system, while subjects walked on an upslope at four different inclinations (0°, 8°, 16°, 24°). Data analyses were conducted using ANOVA with repeated measurements to determine the difference of gait parameters according to the slope inclinations.[Results] The kinematics during ascent of the slopes could be clearly distinguished from the kinematics of level walking. Spatio-temporal parameters were significantly affected by slope inclinations. The joint angle of the lower extremities in the sagittal plane was increased at slope inclinations greater than 16°. Ankle and knee joint angles in the frontal plane increased on the 16° and 24° slopes, and the hip joint angle increased on the 24° slope. The knee joint angle only increased on the 24° slope in the horizontal plane. [Conclusion] Alterations of the lower extremities in the sagittal plane were greater than in the other planes and the joint angles of the lower extremities were generally changed on slope of 16° or greater inclination. These results indicate the optimal inclination for slope climbing and may provide therapists with valuable therapeutic strategies for gait training on an inclined slope for patients with locomotion dysfunction.