The Impact of Simulated Upper Limb Loss on Stride Length While Running

Faculty Sponsor

Brooke Starkoff


Arts and Sciences


Exercise Science

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


Upper limb loss (ULL) can inhibit numerous factors in daily life causing a disruption of equilibrium, which may impact biomechanical movements including overall balance, range of motion (ROM), stability, mobility, and ultimately stride length. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of simulated ULL on stride length while running in division 1 cross country athletes. Six participants volunteered for the study (M=3, F=3, Ages=18-21, M=177.9cm, 69.50kg; F=166.4cm, 62.68kg, respectively). Pre-screening procedures inquired about previous injuries and health status of each participant. Motion capture sensors were placed on the feet, knees, thighs, stomach, wrists, hands, biceps, and head of each participant, and Ace bandages were used as the method of binding arms. Each participant completed 2 trials of 20 meters of walking, jogging, and running on an indoor track under 3 different conditions (free arms, one arm bound, and both arms bound) for a total of 18 trials. Stride length was analyzed via motion capture system. A paired samples t-test compared means between the three conditions for each form of locomotion. When comparing running with free arms to both arms bound, results suggested a significant difference in stride length (p=0.006) as well as greater ROM, balance, stability, and mobility (p=0.014), rejecting the null hypothesis. Additionally, researchers found ULL may cause a decrease in proper running mechanics and a shorter stride length in running gait. Further research should be conducted to determine if simulated ULL accurately assesses effects of non-simulated ULL and its correlation on lower body mechanics.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Running division 1 cross country and track has helped me better understand proper biomechanical movements in a running gait cycle and I was interested in how stride length benefitted the efficiency of running. Additionally, injury is common within sport, and I became interested in discovering if the upper extremities played a significant role in the movement of the lower extremities. Furthermore, I hope to become an athletic trainer and coach in the future.

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