Harvard College Honors Thesis in Human Evolutionary Biology: Kinematics and Impact Forces in Forefoot Strike Running versus Heel Strike Running
This was one of the first experiments that studied habitual barefoot runners (runners who have done a considerable amount of barefoot or minimally shod running
for at least 6 months). We compared the impact forces of these habitually barefoot runners to runners who normally run in standard running shoes. We found that habitually barefoot runners were more likely to forefoot strike while habitually shod runners were more likely to heel strike. This kinematic difference in foot strike generated profoundly different impact forces with forefoot strikers generating much less severe impact forces than heel strikers.
A reasonable hypothesis is that the impact forces experienced every time the foot touches down while running plays an important role in repetitive stress injuries and that by reducing the impact force, a runner will reduce their chance of getting repetitive stress injuries.
This hypothesis has not been tested directly. PDF
The primary source of data for a subsequent Nature publication was
from this thesis:
Lieberman DE, Venkadesan M, Werbel WA, Daoud AI,
D’Andrea S, Davis IS, Mang’Eni RO, Pitsiladis Y. Foot strike patterns
and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners.
Nature 463(7280), 531-535, Jan 28 2010.
Summer 2007: University of Michigan, School of Kinesiology, Katarina Borer. Mechanical, hormonal and temporal parameters for stimulation of osteogenesis in postmenopausal women.
We set out to determine an optimal walking exercise regime to maintain bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. We varied temporal and mechanical parameters of exercise by modifying 2 parameters of the exercise regime, one exercise session versus two sessions of half the duration and uphill versus downhill walking. Temporal parameters were varied to determine if the osteogenetic effect of walking could be produced to similar magnitudes multiple times in one day. Mechanical parameters varied the impact force experienced by the walker to determine the degree to which impact force affects the magnitude of the osteogenetic response. Osteogenetic response was assessed by measuring hormonal response and markers of bone resorption and bone deposition.
University of Michigan Kinesiology: Exercise Endocrinology Lab
Borer KT, Daoud AI, Lash RW, Gross MM, Kernozek T. Parameters of exercise that increase markers of bone formation relative to resorption in postmenopausal women. American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, Indianapolis, IN, May 28-31, 2008.
Summer 2006: University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Kathy Spindler. Genetic mapping of mouse adenovirus susceptibility.
Strains of inbred mice show differing susceptibility to mouse adenovirus. Candidate genes responsible for this variation in susceptibility are identified by locating the region(s) of the mouse genome to which this variation in susceptibility maps. These candidate genes can then be further investigated to identify their role in virus susceptibility and resistance. We identified polymorphic regions between two strains of mice, one susceptible to mouse adenovirus and the other resistant. Crossbred mice were then tested for susceptibility and polymorphic regions were genotyped in order to narrow down potential candidate genes.
University of Michigan Virology: Spindler Lab
Spindler KR, Welton AR, Lim ES, Duvvuru S, Althaus IW, Imperiale JE, Daoud AI, Chesler EJ. The Major Locus for Mouse Adenovirus Susceptibility Maps to Genes of the Hematopoietic Cell Surface-Expressed Ly6 Family. J Immunology, 184: 3055-62, Feb 17, 2010.