Reference Values and Determinants of Spatiotemporal and Kinetic Variables in Recreational Runners

Laurent Malisoux*, Christopher Napier, Paul Gette, Nicolas Delattre, Daniel Theisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Identifying atypical lower limb biomechanics may help prevent the occurrence or recurrence of running-related injuries. No reference values for spatiotemporal or kinetic variables in healthy recreational runners are available in the scientific literature to support clinical management. Purpose: To (1) present speed- and sex-stratified reference values for spatiotemporal and kinetic variables in healthy adult recreational runners; (2) identify the determinants of these biomechanical variables; and (3) develop reference regression equations that can be used as a guide in a clinical context. Study Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Methods: This study involved 860 healthy recreational runners (age, 19-65 years [38.5% women]) tested on an instrumented treadmill at their preferred running speed in randomly allocated, standardized running shoes with either hard or soft cushioning. Twelve common spatiotemporal and kinetic variables—including contact time, flight time, duty factor, vertical oscillation, step cadence, step length, vertical impact peak (VIP), time to VIP, vertical average loading rate, vertical stiffness, peak vertical ground-reaction force (GRF), and peak braking force—were derived from GRF recordings. Reference values for each biomechanical variable were calculated using descriptive statistics and stratified by sex and running speed category (≤7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and ≥15 km/h). Correlations and multiple regression analyses were performed to identify potential determinants independently associated with each biomechanical variable and generate reference equations. Results: The mean running speed was 10.5 ± 1.3 km/h and 9 ± 1.1 km/h in men and women, respectively. While all potential predictors were significantly correlated with many of the 12 biomechanical variables, only running speed showed high correlations (r > 0.7). The adjusted R2 of the multiple regression equations ranged from 0.19 to 0.88. Conclusion: This study provides reference values and equations that may guide clinicians and researchers in interpreting spatiotemporal and kinetic variables in recreational runners. Clinical Relevance: The reference values can be used as targets for clinicians working with recreational runners in cases where there is a clinical suspicion of a causal relationship between atypical biomechanics and running-related injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23259671231204629
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2023


  • biomechanics
  • gait retraining
  • ground-reaction forces
  • injury prevention
  • reference values


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