LOCO - Unit Laboratory of physiology and biomechanics of locomotion (Version française )

Place Pierre de Coubertin, 1-2
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

Téléphone : +32 10 47.44.32
Fax : +32 10 47.31.06
E-mail : Patrick.Willems@loco.ucl.ac.be

Academic staff

For further information please see the university directory

The principal domain of research of our lab is the physiology and the biomechanics of terrestrial locomotion. Movement in sports (particularly in gymnastic) are also studied.


The energy expenditure in children during walking.

In this study, we measured the oxygen consumption during walking at different speeds in adults and in 3 to 12 years old children. 

  The mechanical work done by children during walking at different speeds

The mechanical work can be divided into different parts: (1) the external work necessary to sustain the displacement of the center of mass of the body relative to the surroundings, (2) the internal work done to accelerate the body segments relative to the center of mass of the body and (3) the internal work done during the double contact phase of walking by the back leg which generates energy that will be absorbed by the front leg (see picture). This last part is not counted in the 'classic' measurements of the positive muscular work done during walking. Using force platforms, we studied the effect of speed and age (size) on the internal work done by one leg against the other. We also measured the total mechanical work done during walking at different speeds in adults and in 3-12 years old children (paper in preparation).



The bouncing mechanism of running in children

The natural frequency of the body bouncing system depends on the body mass and the stiffness of the elastic structures responsible for the rebound. Between the age of initiation of running and adulthood, body mass increases more than five times, but the effect of growth on stiffness is unknown. In this study, we investigated the factors affecting the freely chosen step frequency, and measured the mechanical work done to move the center of mass of the body during running at various speeds in children of different age.

Services to Society Teaching

Students in physiotherapy design a robot driven by the EMG of the biceps muscles

Responsable : Philippe Gérard - Contact : pHg