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Title: Topological assessment of gait synchronisation in overground walking groups
Authors: Soczawa-Stronczyk, Artur A.
Bocian, Mateusz
Wdowicka, Hanna
Malin, Joseph
First Published: 17-Jun-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Human Movement Science, 2019, 66, pp. 541-553
Abstract: Walking is one of the fundamental forms of human gross motor activity in which spatiotemporal movement coordination can occur. While considerable body of evidence already exists on pedestrian movement coordination while walking in pairs, little is known about gait control while walking in more complex topological arrangements. To this end, this study provides some of the first evidence of spontaneous gait synchronisation while walking in a group. Nine subjects covered the total distance of 40 km at different speeds while assembled in a three-by-three formation. Two experimental protocols were applied in which the subjects were either not specifically asked to or specifically asked to synchronise their gait. To obtain results representative from the point of view of gait control, the movement coordination was quantified using the indirectly measured vertical component of ground reaction force, based on output from a network of wireless motion monitors. Bivariate phase difference analysis was conducted using wavelet transform, synchronisation strength measures derived from Shannon entropy, and circular statistics. A fundamental relationship describing the influence of the group walking speed on individuals’ pacing frequency was established, showing a positive correlation different from that previously reported for walking in solitude. A positive correlation was found between the average synchronisation strength within a group and group’s walking speed. The most persistent coordination patterns were identified for pedestrians walking front-to-back and side-by-side. Overall, the spontaneous gait synchronisation while walking in a group is relatively weak, well below the levels reported for walking in pairs.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.humov.2019.06.007
ISSN: 1872-7646
Embargo on file until: 17-Dec-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Elsevier 2019. After an embargo period this version of the paper will be an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Engineering

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