The development and maturation of running in children


Project Description

The aim of this project is to investigate the development and maturation of the muscle synergy patterns during running in children aged 1-8 years. We will measure the position in space of the children and muscle activity (EMG) during walking and running at comfortable speeds both overground and on a treadmill. We are interested in also investigating the effects of added weight on the muscle synergy patterns by including children of all weight-groups. Children with overweight or obesity might have a delayed onset of the development of running. This could be explained in the increased weight of the child. If we succeed in finding a causal relationship between children with overweight and the development of running, then we might be able to inform the prevention of obesity in children.

Project Details

Start Date: Sep, 2017
Duration: 3 Years
Funding: NWO
Placeholder Image | from Google

Muscle Synergies

Muscle synergies are a tool to investigate the development of locomotion in children. We know from previous research that some of the same muscle synergies are present at birth as they are when children start to independently walk. Does this also apply to running? By investigating children from an early age shortly after the onset of walking, we want to investigate whether the muscle synergies differ between walking and running and whether running is developed at the age of 2 years old.

The influence of weight on running

We wish to investigate how increased or decreased weight influences the muscle synergy patterns in children during running. Does overweight in children lead to a later development of running or is it the opposite? We hope to find the causal relationship between the development of running and overweight in children.

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PhD Project of

Margit Hanssen (PhD Student)

Margit Hanssen

PhD Student
Nadia Dominici (Supervisor)

Nadia Dominici