Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 885–891 | Cite as

Utilization of Mechanical Energy During Push-Off in Human Walking

  • Hung-Bin Chen
  • William Brett Johnson
  • Liang-Wey ChangEmail author
Original Article



Notable disagreements have emerged from research on the role of ankle during push-off, the resolution of which is crucial to the understanding of the human movement science or the clinical treatment in rehabilitation. This research proposed a new symbolic convention of energy flow diagram to manifest where the ankle power generated during push-off is transmitted to in order to ease of interpreting the function of the ankle.


Gait data of eight healthy young adults at self-selected speeds were analyzed. Energetic data of the pelvis and lower limb were used to construct an energy flow diagram at the instant of peak ankle power generation during push-off.


Our results suggest that the ankle mainly contributes to increase the kinetic energy of the ipsilateral leg in preparation for swing during push-off. The magnitude of the power flowing to the pelvis, which could be used for forward propulsion, was only 10% of that generated by the ankle.


The energy flow diagram with the proposed convention is a useful analytic tool with applications across many disciplines, for example, evaluating the energy performance of elite athletes, designing the powered prostheses, and revealing the compensatory movement strategy of people with disabilities.


Ankle power Push-off Biomechanics Energy flow Gait 



This study was funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Grant Numbers NSC101-2221-E-002-036 and NSC102-2221-E-002-041).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Taiwanese Society of Biomedical Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine and College of EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, College of EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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