Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Moss

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Patricia Frye

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The problem of this study was to determine the effect an ankle brace worn for stability had on ground reaction forces. Ground reaction forces present when performing a step down from a height of 8.0 in. while wearing an Active Ankle Brace were compared to the ground reaction forces when not wearing the brace. Subjects (N=50) were randomly assigned to a testing condition. A metronome set at a rate of 100 bpm controlled the walking cadence of the subjects. Subjects were told to walk with a normal gait pattern, at the required cadence, and to use a heel strike landing. Each subject completed 20 trials, 10 with the ankle brace and 10 without the brace. Dependent variables measured were peak impact force, vertical loading rate, maximum medial force, maximum lateral force, and time to peak force. Significant differences were found between subjects across the dependent variables, between the 10 trials in vertical loading rate, between the brace and no-brace conditions in maximum lateral force, and in time to peak force between the brace and no-brace conditions. The researcher concluded that the ankle brace: (a) did not affect the peak impact force, (b) affected the vertical loading rate across the trials for subjects, (c) did not affect the maximum medial force, (d) affected the maximum lateral force by decreasing it for the brace condition, and (e) affected the time to peak force by increasing it for the brace condition. Recommendations for further study include replicating the study and investigating the effect of the brace on ground reaction forces in a variety of movement patterns.