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Children in Japan Learn to Walk in a Subtly Different Way! How?!

16.08.2022 10:03 AM
Children in Japan Learn to Walk in a Subtly Different Way! How?!
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Children in Japan Learn to Walk in a Subtly Different Way! How?!

Experts said a baby's gait may mature a little differently, depending on where in the world they grow up.

By age seven, most studies indicate that the distance and timing of a child's footsteps matches the coordination of adult walking, regardless of where the child grows.

However, at the same time, other studies have found subtle "step-by-step" fluctuations in how older children walk. These differences appear to persist as long as a person's slender lower limbs continue to grow, into early adolescence, and can be influenced by culture.

And in South Africa, for example, researchers have found that elementary school-aged children already display a mature angle of hip rotation when they walk. However, in France, it takes children up to 12 years of age to develop a similar mature gait pattern.

And a new study from Japan found more subtle differences in the way a child learns to walk as an adult.

Unlike children in South Africa, children in Japan did not show a significant change in hip rotation movements as they got older.

Researchers in Japan, observing a large group of schoolchildren, found that children closer to the age of 12 had greater ankle strength than younger children.

Their stride length was also smaller and their cadence was faster than 6, 7 and 8 years old.

In other parts of the world, such as Mexico, studies of childhood gait have also found a decrease in steps and step lengths as the child gets older, but the rhythm of these steps either remains the same or decreases after the age of seven.

The authors of the new study wrote: "The gait motility and motility of Japanese children aged 6 to 12 years differ from those reported in children from other countries. Age-related changes in stride rhythm appear to be similar worldwide; however, The normal values differ slightly from those in our study."

Although the differences are subtle, they are worth knowing about. A baby's gait assessment can tell pediatricians a lot about their patient's overall health and physical development, and whether they are growing in a typical way.

The current study in Japan was an attempt to provide those criteria. The researchers used a 3D gait analysis system to see how children aged 6 to 12 used their lower limbs to walk.

Among the 424 children in Japan, researchers found four significant developmental differences.

Compared with the younger children, the older children in the study increased the number of steps they took each minute, a rate known as cadence. Their stride length was also reduced compared to 9-10-year-olds.

Moreover, when walking, the older children in the study used less range of motion in their knees and tended to point their toes more.

"We think differences in lifestyle, construction and cultural factors all influence the gait of Japanese children," says health scientist Tadashi Ito of Nagoya University. "This is unlikely to affect the health of Japanese children. But it points to characteristics that are different from those of children in other countries." .

In revealing these subtle differences, Ito adds that the study findings "provide an important tool for assessing normal and pathological gait and can determine the efficacy of orthopedic treatment and rehabilitation for gait disorders."

Obviously, the way children move is different from the way adults move. Most of us can tell the difference at a glance. The reason these differences exist is a common curiosity. Is there a natural progression in learning that involves walking like an adult? Or is something physically changing in the child as he grows?

Can culture play a role?

Studies of cultural differences between human gait are scarce, and studies that study a variety of age groups are scarce.

Findings such as the study in Japan certainly suggest a relationship. Science Alert.

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