Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Sport Science


Exercise, Sport & Movement Sci

Committee Chair

Douglas Powell

Committee Member

Max Paquette

Committee Member

Lawrence Weiss


Landing is associated with high external forces applied to the skeleton over a short time. A measure reflecting the musculoskeletal system’s acute response is stiffness. Greater lower extremity joint stiffness may predispose individuals to traumatic lower extremity injury. If arch height index (AHI) and stiffness (ASI) are associated with the acute leg-and-joint stiffness response to loading, they may also reflect injury susceptibility during landing. Purpose: To evaluate the association between AHI, ASI, and leg and joint stiffness. Methods: 55 recreational athletes performed 5 step-off landings from 40 centimeters. AHI and ASI were measured. Three-dimensional kinematics and GRF were collected. Ankle and knee joint angles and moments were calculated. Custom software was used to calculate ankle, knee, and leg stiffness. Correlation analysis was used to determine the association between measures of foot structure and stiffness variables. Independent t-tests were used to compare independent variables in high- and low- arched recreational athletes. Results: AHI (p= 0.001) and ASI (p= 0.014) between HA and LA individuals, and a weak but significant association was observed between AHI and leg stiffness (r = 0.272, p = 0.022). AHI was greater in HA individuals, while ASI was greater in LA individuals. Furthermore, ASI was marginally associated with leg stiffness (r = -0.024, p = 0.433). Conclusion: Since AHI accounts for only 7% of the variability in ankle, knee, and leg joint stiffness during landing, much remains to be determined.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.