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Effects of age-related gait changes on the biomechanics of slips and falls

Thurmon Lockhart UGent, Jeffrey C Woldstad and James L Smith (2003) ERGONOMICS. 46(12). p.1136-1160
abstract
A laboratory study was conducted to examine gait changes associated with aging and the effect of these changes on initiation of slips and frequency of falls utilizing newly defined biomechanical parameters of slips and falls. Twenty-eight participants from two age groups (young and old) walked around a circular track at a comfortable pace wearing a safety harness. A slippery floor surface was placed on the walking track over the force plate at random time intervals without the participants' awareness. Synchronized kinetic and kinematic measurements were obtained on both slippery and non-slippery walking surfaces. The results indicated that older participants' horizontal heel contact velocity was significantly faster, step length was significantly shorter, and transitional acceleration of the whole body centre-of-mass (COM) was significantly slower than younger participants. Older participants' initial friction demand, as measured by required coefficient of friction (RCOF), was not significantly different than their younger counterparts. Additionally, older participants slipped longer and faster, and fell more often than younger participants. A comparison of horizontal heel contact velocity for participants who fell with participants who did not fall indicated that, in general, fallers' horizontal heel contact velocity was faster than non-fallers. However, a comparison of RCOF for participants who fell with participants who did not fall suggested that RCOF was not a totally deterministic factor influencing actual fall events. These findings suggest that gait changes associated with aging (especially higher horizontal heel contact velocity and slower transition of the whole body COM) affect initiation of slip-induced falls.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
coefficient of friction, heel velocity, gait, biomechanics, aging, friction demand, slip distances, slips and falls, WALKING, SHOES, RESISTANCE, FRICTION, BALANCE, MEN
journal title
ERGONOMICS
Ergonomics
volume
46
issue
12
pages
1136 - 1160
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000184982300002
JCR category
ENGINEERING, INDUSTRIAL
JCR impact factor
0.853 (2003)
JCR rank
4/32 (2003)
JCR quartile
1 (2003)
ISSN
0014-0139
DOI
10.1080/0014013031000139491
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1207180
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1207180
date created
2011-04-11 22:33:41
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:45:50
@article{1207180,
  abstract     = {A laboratory study was conducted to examine gait changes associated with aging and the effect of these changes on initiation of slips and frequency of falls utilizing newly defined biomechanical parameters of slips and falls. Twenty-eight participants from two age groups (young and old) walked around a circular track at a comfortable pace wearing a safety harness. A slippery floor surface was placed on the walking track over the force plate at random time intervals without the participants' awareness. Synchronized kinetic and kinematic measurements were obtained on both slippery and non-slippery walking surfaces. The results indicated that older participants' horizontal heel contact velocity was significantly faster, step length was significantly shorter, and transitional acceleration of the whole body centre-of-mass (COM) was significantly slower than younger participants. Older participants' initial friction demand, as measured by required coefficient of friction (RCOF), was not significantly different than their younger counterparts. Additionally, older participants slipped longer and faster, and fell more often than younger participants. A comparison of horizontal heel contact velocity for participants who fell with participants who did not fall indicated that, in general, fallers' horizontal heel contact velocity was faster than non-fallers. However, a comparison of RCOF for participants who fell with participants who did not fall suggested that RCOF was not a totally deterministic factor influencing actual fall events. These findings suggest that gait changes associated with aging (especially higher horizontal heel contact velocity and slower transition of the whole body COM) affect initiation of slip-induced falls.},
  author       = {Lockhart, Thurmon and Woldstad, Jeffrey C and Smith, James L},
  issn         = {0014-0139},
  journal      = {ERGONOMICS},
  keyword      = {coefficient of friction,heel velocity,gait,biomechanics,aging,friction demand,slip distances,slips and falls,WALKING,SHOES,RESISTANCE,FRICTION,BALANCE,MEN},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {1136--1160},
  title        = {Effects of age-related gait changes on the biomechanics of slips and falls},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0014013031000139491},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2003},
}

Chicago
Lockhart, Thurmon, Jeffrey C Woldstad, and James L Smith. 2003. “Effects of Age-related Gait Changes on the Biomechanics of Slips and Falls.” Ergonomics 46 (12): 1136–1160.
APA
Lockhart, T., Woldstad, J. C., & Smith, J. L. (2003). Effects of age-related gait changes on the biomechanics of slips and falls. ERGONOMICS, 46(12), 1136–1160.
Vancouver
1.
Lockhart T, Woldstad JC, Smith JL. Effects of age-related gait changes on the biomechanics of slips and falls. ERGONOMICS. 2003;46(12):1136–60.
MLA
Lockhart, Thurmon, Jeffrey C Woldstad, and James L Smith. “Effects of Age-related Gait Changes on the Biomechanics of Slips and Falls.” ERGONOMICS 46.12 (2003): 1136–1160. Print.