Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

3D Gait Analysis

What is it?:

Human gait refers to the way in which a person walks or runs. The gait cycle is a repetitive pattern and may appear seamless; however, it can be split into a number of distinct phases on each leg:

  1. Heel strike – the initial contact of the foot touching the ground
  2. Foot flat – the foot rolls forward to shock absorb and entire foot is in contact with the ground
  3. Mid-Stance – supported by a single leg, forward propulsion of the body occurs.
  4. Heel-off – when the heel begins to leave the floor but the toes are still in contact
  5. Toe-off – the toes leave the ground, just before the foot swings through for the next step
  6. Mid-swing – the foot is swinging through in preparation for the next step.

The 3D gait analysis we offer at SENS allows us to capture your walking and running motion at 250 Hz using our eight infrared camera set up, and capture the ground reaction forces generated using our piezoelectric force platform. With that, we can digitise your gait and analyse it frame by frame to see what is occurring at these six distinct phases.

Why is it important?:

Analysis of the gait cycle is important to gain information about lower limb function or dysfunction. Abnormal gait characteristics can potentially predispose you to injury and are often linked to the development of back, hip, knee, ankle and foot overuse injuries. It is nearly impossible to identify these abnormalities by simply looking at someone run, instead we need to capture the data in real time and analyse the kinetics and kinematics to identify what is occurring on a musculoskeletal level, without just relying on subjective observation.


The 3D analysis we perform involves using markers directly placed on your anatomical landmarks. This is important, as everyone’s gait is different; it is affected by age, gender, weight, joint alignment, asymmetry, previous injuries etc. Thus, when we digitise and process the data, it is individualised to you and highly accurate. Additionally, your data will be analysed by our highly experienced biomechanical staff who are very research active in the field.

Test protocol:

For 3D Gait Analysis, tight fitting clothing is required. Males are required to wear compression shorts and wear a very tight fitting top/or go shirtless. Females should wear compression shorts/sports leggings and a sports-bra. We will record your height, weight and then attach markers to your feet, legs, pelvis and upper body.

We will take standing and moving data from you firstly to develop a suitable model from the markers we have placed on your body. You will then be required to walk and/or run across the lab at a set speed. During these trials, it is important that you maintain this speed and strike the force plate (imbedded into the floor) with your right or left leg. We will capture three trials on each leg using our Qualisys Track Manager software. Once collected, the testing part of the test will be complete.

Post collection, our experienced staff will export your data to another software, titled Visual3D. This software allows us to build a digital skeleton model based on the marker placements on your body. From there we can analyse the kinematics of your walking and/or running and the magnitude of the forces acting on your limbs. We will compile a report that will detail your results, and highlight any recommendations based on your data. This process is time consuming; thus, we will send the results you within 2 weeks of the test date.


3 hour


£150 (inclusive of VAT)

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T: 01772 896379