Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Community Service Day!

We have a friend from church who works for a local rehabiliation hospital in their "Motion Analysis Center". He emailed us along with many other friends to see if we would be willing to help him and his co-workers with their "walking study". They are in the process of implementing a new protocol for studying the walking patterns of disabled patients. However, before they can begin using this clinically, they needed to collect walking data on 50 or more “normal” kids without any known disability or walking issues using this new protocol. This data will be averaged by age and, for the next decade or more, will serve as the comparison data against which their patients’ walking patterns will be compared.

So Wednesday, my three older boys had the privelege of being part of this study that will probably help thousands of disabled children and young people in their quest to walk like a "normal human being"!

When we got there...the boys had their weight and height taken along with measurements of their hips and legs. They had a series of about 50 little reflective spheres stuck on various spots of the body(mostly on their feet and legs) and then they had to walk 10-15 times back and forth a 10-meter walkway while ten state-of-the-art, high-speed video cameras recorded the motion of the markers on to a computer. When the boys were all done they could "see" how they walked on the computer. On the computer all that could be seen was "dots" from the reflective spheres.

My younger ones were too young for the study but the friend allowed them to also have the spheres stuck to them and let them dance on the "walkway" while it was recorded so that they could "see" themselves on the computer as well.

All total it took us about an hour and a half total out of our day for them to get through the study! It made my "momma heart" proud that the boys were willing to do this for the sake of others!

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