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Leg stiffness measures depend on computational method
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics, Structural Mechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5819-4544
2014 (English)In: Journal of Biomechanics, ISSN 0021-9290, E-ISSN 1873-2380, Vol. 47, no 1, 115-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Leg stiffness is often computed from ground reaction force (GRF) registrations of vertical hops to estimate the force-resisting capacity of the lower-extremity during ground contact, with leg stiffness values incorporated in a spring-mass model to describe human motion. Individual biomechanical characteristics, including leg stiffness, were investigated in 40 healthy males. Our aim is to report and discuss the use of 13 different computational methods for evaluating leg stiffness from a double-legged repetitive hopping task, using only GRF registrations. Four approximations for the velocity integration constant were combined with three mathematical expressions, giving 12 methods for computing stiffness using double integrations. One frequency-based method that considered ground contact times was also trialled. The 13 methods thus defined were used to compute stiffness in four extreme cases, which were the stiffest, and most compliant, consistent and variable subjects. All methods provided different stiffness measures for a given individual, but the between-method variations in stiffness were consistent across the four atypical subjects. The frequency-based method apparently overestimated the actual stiffness values, whereas double integrations' measures were more consistent. In double integrations, the choice of the integration constant and mathematical expression considerably affected stiffness values, as variations during hopping were more or less emphasized. Stating a zero centre of mass position at take-off gave more consistent results, and taking a weighted-average of the force or displacement curve was more forgiving to variations in performance. In any case, stiffness values should always be accompanied by a detailed description of their evaluation methods, as our results demonstrated that computational methods affect calculated stiffness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 47, no 1, 115-121 p.
Keyword [en]
Biomechanics, Locomotion, Lower-extremity, Methodology, Spring-mass model
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140823DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.09.027ISI: 000331008200017ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84890858142OAI: diva2:693319

QC 20140204

Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-01-31 Last updated: 2014-03-14Bibliographically approved

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