Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science, Kinesiology - Athletic Training Concentration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Barry Munkasy

Committee Member 1

Jessica Mutchler

Committee Member 2

Ron Snarr

Committee Member 3

Nicholas Murray

Committee Member 3 Email


Committee Member 4

Thomas Buckley

Committee Member 4 Email



College athletes are often exposed to many training sessions, stresses, and injuries throughout their collegiate career. They often experience pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion and many other feelings following participation.. Much research has focused on the acute effects of collegiate athletics, but the long term effect has not been well studied. Sports are often divided into groups based on the nature of play; the three main groups are non-contact, contact, and collision sports. Differences have not been observed between the three sport groups and their ability to complete activities of daily living such as walking following four years of college athletic participation. Purpose: To evaluate the effects of participating in four years of collegiate athletics on gait initiation by examining the displacement and velocity during the three phases of gait initiation, S1, S2, and S2 in the medial/lateral (M/L) and anterior/posterior (A/P) directions’ as well as gait by evaluating velocity, heel-to-heel base of support, double support time. Methods: Eighteen participants completed 10 trials of walking down a pressurized instrumented walkway, at a self-selected pace prior to starting athletic participation in year 1 and following the last competition in year 4. The 10 trials were averaged and non-parametric tests were run to examine between group and within group differences. Results: Significant results within groups were found for the contact group S2 M/L displacement (p=0.028); the non-contact S3 M/L displacement (p=0.028); contact S3 A/P velocity (p=0.046); non-contact S3 M/L velocity (p=0.028); non-contact heel-to-heel base of support (p=0.028). Additionally, there were between group significance for baseline S2 M/L displacement (p=0.011); as well as post S3 M/L velocity (p=0.032). No significant differences were found for variables within the S1 phase of gait initiation. Conclusion: The results suggest that following four years of collegiate athletic participation there was no significant difference in gait initiation or gait when compared to baseline data across the three groups: non-contact, contact, and collision athletes. This indicates that following a collegiate athletic career that athletes do not present with an altered gait despite the sport group that they participate in.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material