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- faculteit der gedrags- en bewegingswetenschappen ( sectie neuromechanics )
My research focuses on the walking ability of people with several pathologies of the locomotor system, as well as able-bodied people. Special attention is paid to people walking with prostheses or orthoses. Walking ability is a multi-dimensional concept that depends on many factors. Therefore, from a human movement scientist’s point of view, I like to integrate mechanical, physiological and coordinative aspects of walking ability in these studies, with special attention to their inter-relation. I investigate how people optimize their gait pattern to walk either or both at adequate velocity, economy and stability. In addition, I investigate how physiological and mechanical aspects affect these criteria. The overall aim of the research is to understand how different factors influence walking ability and to apply this knowledge in the rehabilitation and training of patients with walking disorders.
- Relation between external mechanical work and metabolic energy cost of walking. In several studies on people with after transtibial amputation, total ankle arthroplasty and ankle arthrodesis we investigated whether the mechanical work for the step-to-step transition can explain the increased energy cost of pathological gait?
- The relation between physical capacity and walking ability in lower limb amputees. In this PhD project we investigate the relative load of the aerobic and muscular system of lower limb amputees during walking in order to test whether these systems can be limiting factors for improving walking ability.
- The cost for being stable. We investigate metabolic energy expenditure during static and dynamic balance tasks in order to validate measures for stability as well as to explore to what extend the effort for maintaining stability affect the energy cost of (pathological) movements.