2016 Volume 28 Issue 5 Pages 1459-1464
[Purpose] The time-series waveforms of mechanical energy generation, absorption, and transfer through the joints indicate how movements are produced and controlled. Previous studies have used these waveforms to evaluate and describe the efficiency of human movements. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of trunk flexion on mechanical energy flow in the lower extremities during gait. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were 8 healthy young males (mean age, 21.8 ± 1.3 years, mean height, 170.5 ± 6.8 cm, and mean weight, 60.2 ± 6.8 kg). Subjects walked at a self-selected gait speed under 2 conditions: normal gait (condition N), and gait with trunk flexion formed with a brace to simulate spinal curvature (condition TF). The data collected from initial contact to the mid-stance of gait was analyzed. [Results] There were no significant differences between the 2 conditions in the mechanical energy flow in the knee joint and negative mechanical work in the knee joint. However, the positive mechanical work of the knee joint under condition TF was significantly less than that under condition N. [Conclusion] Trunk flexion led to knee flexion in a standing posture. Thus, a strategy of moving of center of mass upward by knee extension using less mechanical energy was selected during gait in the trunk flexed posture.