Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr RossSanders

Abstract

Understanding head motion in children may contribute to development of effective strategies to improve coordination of children. The purpose of this study was to investigate head motion in children during stationary running. Twelve healthy 8-year-old children participated in this study and underwent a running proficiency test based on the Test for Gross Motor Proficiency (TGMO). Subjects were then videotaped while running for one minute "on the spot". Reflective markers were digitised for analysis of head motion relative to the external environment, and relative to the trunk. Resultant and component head angular velocities were calculated for each subject over five consecutive stride cycles. The relationship between these head movement variables and running proficiency was also investigated. Independence of head and trunk movement was also investigated to determine whether joint independence is an invariant characteristic of running skill proficiency. Temporal characteristics of head angular velocity profiles were also compared to investigate the consistency of head stabilisation for each subject. Research indicated that head stabilisation of all children during running in place was sufficient to maintain maximum possible quality of visual and vestibular information used for development of running skill. No significant relationship was found between head angular velocity and running proficiency, although one low proficiency subject exhibited consistent head stabilisation patterns across five stride cycles. Head stabilisation of the participants in this study was found to be well within the limit of reliability for visual and vestibular information. The timing of head stabilisation during the stride cycle was inconsistent for all running proficiency levels, and further investigation is necessary to validate these findings, particularly for subjects with low motor skill proficiency.

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