Power to the Foot! Understanding and Applying Distal Power Calculations in Biomechanics

Dr. Kota Z. Takahashi & Dr. Eric C. Honert

'Distal power' calculation (also called unified deformable segment analysis in the literature) has a myriad of potential applications in biomechanics: (1) to understand energetic functions of the foot and ankle in various tasks (e.g., walking, running, and other sports-specific tasks), species or populations (e.g., individuals with and without pathologies) and (2) to quantify energy storage and return from assistive devices, such as prostheses, orthoses, and footwear. In this tutorial, we encourage participants from various specialties within ISB (e.g., sports or clinical biomechanics, orthopedics, comparative biomechanics, and orthotics & prosthetics) to learn and apply distal power calculations in their research areas. Sample data files from human walking will be provided during the tutorial, but attendees are highly encouraged to bring their unique data for an interactive discussion of the results and interpretations.


Dr. Kota Takahashi is an assistant professor in the Department of Health & Kinesiology at the University of Utah, USA. His research is dedicated to discovering the energetic functions of the human foot and ankle, including perspective from muscle and joint mechanics, metabolic energy, and thermoregulation. He applies these concepts to understand mobility impairments and to prescribe wearable devices (e.g., footwear, orthoses, and prostheses) for individuals with various health conditions (e.g., aging, diabetes, and limb loss).

Dr. Eric Honert is a manager of biomechanics in the Performance Fit Lab at BOA Technology Inc. in Denver, Colorado, USA. His research seeks to understand how the role of the ankle and foot in gait and other tasks along with using wearable technology to understand multi-directional movements in realistic scenarios. He utilizes both in-lab and in-field (e.g. on-trail) testing to understand how footwear can enhance athlete performance.