THE COMBINED EFFECTS OF HEEL HEIGHT AND LOAD CARRIAGE ON POSTURE DURING GAIT: A PILOT STUDY

  • S. Lee
  • J. X. Li
Keywords: high-heeled shoes, load carriage, walking, posture

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: It is very common for women to walk in high-heeled shoes and carry a bag at the same time. These disturbances are combined and reduce stability during gait. Studies on gait pattern with high-heeled shoes report decrease in trunk flexion angle and increase in plantarflexion angle. High-heeled shoes shift the center of gravity of the subject anteriorly resulting in an unstable gait pattern (Gefen, 2002). Because feet provide a balance foundation for the body, unstable elevation of heel with high-heeled shoes will cause difficulty in balance. Previous studies with side load carriage done by Crosbie et al. (1994) also supported the unstable gait pattern and changes in posture due to the added load on one side. The effect of either heel height or load carriage would cause a compensatory postural adjustment differently, however, the combined effect on posture is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the combined effect of heel height and load carriage on posture during gait.