The purpose of the study was to investigate the selected walking conditions (self-paced walking, big step walking with leading and big step walking without leading) of young individuals with VI and how their posture and gait can be improved through some simple gait training. The intent of the investigation was to help young individuals with VI have normal and healthy posture and gait, and to reduce the potential risk of future musculoskeletal injuries and to increase their opportunities of participating in physical activities and sports.
Thirteen school students (6 males and 7 females) with VI served as participants for this study. A Fire-I video system with an Acer laptop computer was used to record the gait patterns of the participants. A MaxTRAQ 2-D motion analysis software was used to digitize the walking trials on video and analyze the selected kinematic data. The participants performed a self-paced walking first, then performed the big step walking with leading, at last performed the big step walking without leading. The selected kinematic variables included stride length and frequency, average speed, the range of motion and maximum angular velocities of the shoulder, trunk, hip, knee, and ankle joints. A Repeated Measures ANOVA with the Holm's sequential Bonferroni procedure (p < 0.05) was employed to determine the differences of the selected kinematic variable of the walking paces among the VI participants.
The results demonstrated that on the big step walking with and without leading conditions, the gait pattern of these youths would be instantly improved in terms of the trunk posture, the stride length, walking speed, and heel strike and toe-off and the confidence in walking.
It is concluded that proper gait training is important and essential for the youths with VI, and the big step walking with leading training in a safe and familiar environment has an immediately positive effect on the gait pattern for the youth with VI.
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