Gender recognition, Gender differences, Torso sway, Pelvic obliquity, Locomotion


Studies on human perception have identified pelvis and torso motion as key discriminators between male and female gaits. However, while most observers would advocate that men and women walk differently, consistent findings and explanations of sex differences in gait kinematics across modern empirical studies are rare. In the present study we evaluated sex differences in whole body gait kinematics from a large sample of subjects (55 men, 36 women) walking at self selected speeds. We analyzed the data through comparisons of discrete metrics and whole curve analyses. Results showed that in the frontal plane, women walked with greater pelvic obliquity than men, but exhibited a more stable torso and head. Women had greater transverse plane pelvis and torso rotation as well as greater arm swing. Additional sex differences were noted at the hip and ankle. These kinematic results are in line with anectdotal observations and qualitative studies. In order to understand these observations and substantiate some of the explanations previously set forth in the biomechanics literature, we also explored possible reasons for dynamic sex effects, and suggested applications that may benefit from their consideration.

Original Publication Citation

Bruening DA, Frimenko RE, Goodyear CD, Bowden DR, Fullenkamp AM. Sex differences in whole body gait kinematics at preferred speeds. Gait Posture. 2015 Feb;41(2):540-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.12.011. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


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Life Sciences


Exercise Sciences

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor