Ageing Effects on the Mechanical Energy Cost of Walking

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Nagano, Hanatsu, Sparrow, William A and Begg, Rezaul ORCID: 0000-0002-3195-8591 (2013) Ageing Effects on the Mechanical Energy Cost of Walking. In: World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering May 26-31, 2012, Beijing, China. Long, Mian, ed. IFMBE Proceedings, 39 . Springer, Heidelberg, 168-171 .


The mechanics of human gait have been considered to minimize the mechanical energy costs of transporting the body. With ageing, however, there are adaptations to gait that may be less mechanically efficient than younger adults’ locomotion. The current study compared the mechanical energy efficiency of gait in young and older adults by characterizing the whole body center of mass mechanics. The efficiencies of the inverted-pendulum model during the single support phase and step-to-step transition during double support were investigated. Older adults walked slower than young controls with shorter and wider steps, and consequently their total energetic cost was lower due to the reduced kinetic energy associated with shorter steps and lower walking velocity. There was, however, no evidence of age-related impairments to mechanical energy efficiency. It was concluded that in preferred speed unobstructed walking ageing leads to gait adaptations that encourage greater stability without increasing the mechanical energy cost.

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Item type Book Section
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-29305-4_46
Official URL
ISBN 9783642293047 (print) 9783642293054 (online) 1680-0737
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords gait, centre of mass, ageing, inverted-pendulum, double support
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
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