Let's take the dog for a gait…

Niamh Gill, Crystal Kean, Matthew G. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: In 1872, Eadweard Muybridge was hired to research unsupported transit in horses, i.e. the trot and the gallop. This research was the first instance of the use of photography to analyse movement and was the ultimate precursor to motion capture for biomechanical assessment of movement utilised today. With the expansion of the field continuing, the term “gait” has become synonymous with walking and is often used interchangeably. In this editorial, we discuss the term “gait” and its’ origin in the context of scientific research and aim to address the heterogeneous taxonomy associated with the ambiguous use of the term “gait”. Research question: What is the ambiguous use of the term gait? Methods: A non-systematic review was conducted of the original research and short communications in the 2019 issues of Gait and Posture Results: A total of 219 titles were characterised as directly addressing locomotion. Of these, a total of 108 titles quantified the form of locomotion (e.g. walk/ing, run/ing) and 111 titles utilised the word “gait” to describe the task. However, 104 of these clarified the form of locomotion either within the abstract or the main text of the manuscript. Significance: “Gait” is not mutually exclusive to humans nor walking. The ambiguity associated with the use of this term demonstrates the importance of quantifying the type of locomotion being studied. Ultimately, such efforts will allow the streamlining search strategies for appropriate research for academics, clinicians, and scientists alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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