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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 692; doi:10.3390/s17040692

Investigation on Inter-Limb Coordination and Motion Stability, Intensity and Complexity of Trunk and Limbs during Hands-Knees Crawling in Human Adults

Department of Electronic Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ioannis Kompatsiaris, Thanos G. Stavropoulos and Antonis Bikakis
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Ambient Assisted Living, Ubiquitous and Mobile Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2062 KB, uploaded 28 March 2017]   |  


This study aimed to investigate the inter-limb coordination pattern and the stability, intensity, and complexity of the trunk and limbs motions in human crawling under different speeds. Thirty healthy human adults finished hands-knees crawling trials on a treadmill at six different speeds (from 1 km/h to 2.5 km/h). A home-made multi-channel acquisition system consisting of five 3-axis accelerometers (ACC) and four force sensors was used for the data collection. Ipsilateral phase lag was used to represent inter-limb coordination pattern during crawling and power, harmonic ratio, and sample entropy of acceleration signals were adopted to depict the motion intensity, stability, and complexity of trunk and limbs respectively. Our results revealed some relationships between inter-limb coordination patterns and the stability and complexity of trunk movement. Trot-like crawling pattern was found to be the most stable and regular one at low speed in the view of trunk movement, and no-limb-pairing pattern showed the lowest stability and the greatest complexity at high speed. These relationships could be used to explain why subjects tended to avoid no-limb-pairing pattern when speed was over 2 km/h no matter which coordination type they used at low speeds. This also provided the evidence that the central nervous system (CNS) chose a stable inter-limb coordination pattern to keep the body safe and avoid tumbling. Although considerable progress has been made in the study of four-limb locomotion, much less is known about the reasons for the variety of inter-limb coordination. The research results of the exploration on the inter-limb coordination pattern choice during crawling from the standpoint of the motion stability, intensity, and complexity of trunk and limbs sheds light on the underlying motor control strategy of the human CNS and has important significance in the fields of clinical diagnosis, rehabilitation engineering, and kinematics research. View Full-Text
Keywords: hands-knees crawling; accelerometer; inter-limb coordination; motion stability; motion complexity hands-knees crawling; accelerometer; inter-limb coordination; motion stability; motion complexity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ma, S.; Chen, X.; Cao, S.; Yu, Y.; Zhang, X. Investigation on Inter-Limb Coordination and Motion Stability, Intensity and Complexity of Trunk and Limbs during Hands-Knees Crawling in Human Adults. Sensors 2017, 17, 692.

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