The Effect of Foot Strike on Impact Forces While Running

The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether there was a difference in the impact forces of a heel strike and forefoot strike when running. This research is beneficial to athletes because excessive and repetitive impact forces on the legs can lead to injuries such as shin splints and tendonitis.

To determine whether there was a difference in the impact forces between the foot strikes, 18 participants ran on a treadmill at six miles per hour with an accelerometer attached to the outside heel of their shoe. Each ran four trials, two with a heel strike and two with a forefoot strike. The maximum acceleration of each trial was used along with the participantís mass to calculate the impact force. A two-sample t test was conducted to compare the mean impact forces of the heel strike and the forefoot strike.

The average force of the heel strike was 3435.28 N and the average force of the forefoot strike was 2829.15 N. There was a difference of 606.12 N between the two foot strikes. After analyzing the two-sample t test, it was found that there was a statistical difference in the impact forces of each foot strike. There was evidence in both the data and the statistical test that the heel strike had a greater impact force than the forefoot strike, which accepted the hypothesis that the heel strike would have a greater impact force than the forefoot strike.

Research Conducted By:

Greg Fehmer
Fraser High School

Jordan Olszewski
South Lake High School

 

 

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