Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI)

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Shoe Design and Development Centre (SDDC)

The Times of India, Aug 21 2015

Different types of human gait; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Aug 21 2015

U Tejonmayam

Institute studying human gait to standardised make standardized footwear and treat abnormalities

Often in pep talks of personality development, one comes across references to human gait, the way we walk. With the head held high, a straight spine and measured steps are considered markers of a confident personality . But, walking patterns are never so simple. Human gait is prone to multiple abnormalities, some of which are often voluntary and occur unconsciously. Abnormal gait comprises uncontrollable walking patterns which may be inher ited or caused by factors like diseases or injuries. These abnormalities could affect the entire leg or certain parts like knee or certain parts like knee or ankle. But often, these are left unattended until symptoms like severe pain in the pelvic or knee joints appear.

At the revamped laboratory ofCSIR: Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), experts are analysing the gait and motion of different individuals . Their mission: to design and develop standardised corrective footwear for the Indian foot to prevent or treat gait-related problems. They are also studying the gait of those with diabetes, obesity and with disorders that affect nerves controlling the voluntary muscles to prescribe them therapeutic footwear.

Unlike other laboratories in the country which provide only clinical solutions to patients with movement disorders, scientists at the Shoe Design and Development Centre (SDDC) said the gait analysis laboratory in CLRI seeks to understand the posture and foot biomechanics during various activities like walking, running and jumping. The researchers are not only trying to develop standardised footwear, but are also working on orthotics and prosthetics to improve the movement of the disabled.

The laboratory has facilities like eight infrared cameras to conduct joints kinematics (motion) through 3D motion analysis system, four multi-axial force platforms for kinetic (movement) studies of human locomotion and posture.

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