The Physiologic Cost Index of walking (PCI) is a measure of the energy cost of walking, especially in children. It can be used to evaluate walking in handicapped children


(1) heart rate at rest in beats per minute

(2) heart rate when walking in beats per minute

(3) walking speed in meters per minute



= ((heart rate when walking) - (heart rate at rest)) / (walking speed)



• A low PCI indicates an energy-efficient gait.

• For children 3 to 12 years of age walking at preferred gait speed (freely chosen walking speed) have a PCI between 0.38 (walking barefoot) and 0.40 (walking with shoes) beats per meter (Butler et al, page 609).

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