Date of Award

4-2001

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. David Guth

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The problem of the study was to describe the gait patterns of congenitally blind adults who veer when attempting to walk in a straight path. Specifically, the investigation compared the walking patterns of blind subjects to the walking patterns of sighted subjects as described in the literature and compared the symmetry between the right and left sides of the body. Results indicated: (a) no significant difference among the three trials for pelvic rotation, foot position at foot plant, knee angle, shoulder rotation, vertical displacement of the center of gravity, ankle angle, thigh angle, foot displacement, left step length, and trunk inclination; (b) a significant difference among the trials for medial/lateral displacement of the center of gravity or right step length; (c) a significant difference between the right and left legs for the ankle angle and thigh angle; (d) a significant difference among the four positions for pelvic rotation, ankle angle, knee angle, and thigh angle; (e) a significant difference in the first order interaction effect, leg by position, was found for pelvic rotation; (f) no significant difference between the right and left legs for foot angle; and (g) a significant difference between the right and left legs for step length. The conclusions were: (a) symmetry was not achieved for all the dependent variables between the right and left side of the body in trials that the subjects veered, and (b) blind walk gait and normal walk gait are more similar than dissimilar.

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