Women/men differences

Influence of sex and fatigue on human locomotion: neuromuscular and biomechanical adjustments of the lower limb.Research project of Thibault Besson

Supervision: Jérémy ROSSI & Pr Guillaume MILLET

Why take interest in the differences in locomotion between men and women? First of all, over the last decade, we have observed a real expansion of women's sport and particularly running. Indeed, in addition to the health, well-being and fitness aspect, the participation rate of women in endurance races continues to increase. Despite this growing popularity, the vast majority of scientific studies are carried out on men. However, there are differences between the sexes: morphological, in muscular and tendon properties, in footwear habits, etc. These disparities could be at the origin of the differences observed in the biomechanics of running or even in the type of injury in running, and thus seem important to consider by manufacturers of sports equipment. As the financing of this research industrial, the research projects carried out will follow two main objectives: applied objectives and fundamental objectives.

However, the majority of these studies have focused on very localized tiring tasks and the results do not necessarily transfer to the fatigue experienced by an athlete at the end of an endurance race. Only a few studies have compared men and women in terms of neuromuscular fatigue after prolonged running. From these partial results, it would be interesting to characterize the differences in fatigue depending on sex over a larger number of participants and running distances. This is the first objective of our research.

The applied studies will aim to evaluate the biomechanical properties of human locomotion through products provided by the Decathlon company while keeping the difference between men and women as a common thread. In recent years, considerable research efforts have been carried out with the aim of increasing performance and/or reducing injuries associated with running. However, gender specifics are not considered by shoe manufacturers; they usually only appear in the size and color of the shoe. Therefore, the second objective of this thesis project is to observe the possible biomechanical adaptations induced by shoes, combined or not with a fatigue task in men and women.