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forward motion characterized by both feet being simultaneously off the ground surface at a point during the gait cycle (contrast with walking, where one of the feet is always in contact throughout the gait cycle); during running the lower limb adopts a more varus position, the centre of gravity follows a more vertical path, there is greater lower-limb/foot deceleration, and a need for greater shock absorption and propulsive forces than for walking Table 1
Table 1: Comparison of gait during walking and running
WalkingSlow runningFast running
Contact phase (60%)
  • Heel contact

  • Midstance (flat foot)

  • Propulsion (toe off)

Shorter contact phase (50%)Short contact phase (40%)
5 cm base of gait (intermalleolar distance)>5 cm base of gait
Short swing phase (40%)Longer swing phase (70%)Long swing phase (80%)
Short period of double support (10%)40% of cycle without support (= airborne phase)60% of cycle without support (= airborne phase)
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