College of Health Professions (CHP)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-05 10:41:21


Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020


Long distance running has become a highly-participated activity throughout the world, allowing individuals to reap the health benefits and become physically fit. The issue with endurance running, or long distance running, is that an overuse in the lower extremities often results in injuries in the leg, foot, ankle, or hip. Often, these lower extremity injuries are not caused by overuse, but rather, an issue with biomechanics. The purpose of this literature review is to study three biomechanical variables and how they relate to injuries. Cadence, foot strike pattern, and vertical oscillation are biomechanical variables that contribute to injury rates. Most of the studies used in this review look at how these variables relate to loading rate as an indirect method in predicting injury rates. An increase in cadence, a forefoot strike, and a lower vertical oscillation produce a lower loading rate on the legs, resulting in a decrease in injures. Vertical oscillation needs to be manipulated in further studies to conclude a relationship to injury rates. This review will allow current and future professionals to alter an individual’s gait pattern to help treat and reduce injuries in long distance runners.

Research Sponsor

Rachele Kappler

First Reader

Michael Pavlak

Second Reader

Taylor Gray

Honors Faculty Advisor

Rachele Kappler



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