Ageing Effects on Medio-lateral Balance During Walking With Increased and Decreased Step Width

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Nagano, Hanatsu, Begg, Rezaul ORCID: 0000-0002-3195-8591 and Sparrow, William A (2013) Ageing Effects on Medio-lateral Balance During Walking With Increased and Decreased Step Width. In: 2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2013). IEEE, Piscataway, pp. 7467-7470.


The current study used falls direction to categorize falls and explore age-related effects on the biomechanics of medio-lateral balance control. Minimum lateral margin (MLM) was defined as the critical swing phase event where the medio-lateral length between center of mass (CoM) and stance heel became minimum and accordingly, any lateral balance perturbation at MLM was considered to increase the risk of balance loss lateral to the stance foot. Lateral center of pressure (CoP) displacement from toe-off to MLM was also monitored to assess the risk of medio-lateral balance perturbation. Gait testing involving 30 young and 26 older male subjects was conducted under the three step width conditions: preferred and ±50% wider and narrower. For an overall description of gait, spatio-temporal parameters were also obtained. Typical ageing effects on spatio-temporal parameters such as lower step velocity, shorter step length and prolonged double support time were found, emerging most clearly in narrower, followed by wider and least in preferred width walking. MLM and CoP lateral displacement were not differentiated between the two age groups, but older adults demonstrated significantly more variable MLM and CoP in their non-dominant limb when walking with non-preferred widths. Variability of step width reduced in increased and decreased step width conditions while MLM and CoP variability increased, suggesting less consistent medio-lateral CoM control despite consistent foot control in altered width conditions. In summary, older adults were found to have less consistent control of CoM with respect to the non-dominant stance foot when walking with narrower and wider widths possibly due to more variable medio-lateral CoP control. Proceedings of a meeting held 3-7 July 2013, Osaka, Japan.

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Item type Book Section
DOI 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6611285
Official URL
ISBN 9781457702150 (print) 9781457702143 (online)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords age issues, gait analysis, geriatrics, mechanoception, risk analysis, spatiotemporal phenomena, aging, biomechanics, educational institutions, foot, legged locomotion senior citizens, testing
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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