Effects of level running-induced fatigue on running kinematics: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Marit A. Zandbergen*, Luca Marotta, Roos Bulthuis, Jaap H. Buurke, Peter H. Veltink, Jasper Reenalda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Runners have a high risk of acquiring a running-related injury. Understanding the mechanisms of impact force attenuation into the body when a runner fatigues might give insight into the role of running kinematics on the aetiology of overuse injuries. Research questions: How do running kinematics change due to running-induced fatigue? And what is the influence of experience level on changes in running kinematics due to fatigue? Methods: Three electronic databases were searched: PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus. This resulted in 33 articles and 19 kinematic quantities being included in this review. A quality assessment was performed on all included articles and meta-analyses were performed for 18 kinematic quantities. Results and significance: Main findings included an increase in peak acceleration at the tibia and a decrease in leg stiffness after a fatiguing protocol. Additionally, level running-induced fatigue increased knee flexion at initial contact and maximum knee flexion during swing. An increase in vertical centre of mass displacement was found in novice but not in experienced runners with fatigue. Overall, runners changed their gait pattern due to fatigue by moving to a smoother gait pattern (i.e. more knee flexion at initial contact and during swing, decreased leg stiffness). However, these changes were not sufficient to prevent an increase in peak accelerations at the tibia after a fatigue protocol. Large inter-individual differences in responses to fatigue were reported. Hence, it is recommended to investigate changes in running kinematics as a result of fatigue on a subject-specific level since group-level analysis might mask individual responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-75
Number of pages16
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Biomechanics
  • Fatigue
  • Impacts
  • Running
  • Shock attenuation
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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