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An investigation of the spatio-temporal parameters of gait and margins of stability throughout adulthood

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Age-related changes in the way of walking may induce changes in dynamic stability. Therefore, the relationship between age, spatio-temporal characteristics and margins of stability was examined. One hundred and five healthy adults aged between 20 and 89 years old were analysed on spatio-temporal characteristics and margins of stability using three-dimensional motion analysis. Subjects walked barefoot over a 12-m-long walkway at their preferred walking speed. Covariance among gait characteristics was reduced using a factor analysis, identifying domains of gait. The influence of age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and leg length on domains of gait and margins of stability was investigated using linear mixed models. A stepwise linear regression identified domains of gait predicting the variance in margins of stability. Four domains of gait explaining 74.17% of the variance were identified. Age had a significant influence on the medio-lateral margin of stability and the ‘variability', ‘pace' and ‘base of support' domain. BMI significantly influenced the medio-lateral margin of stability; gender and leg length had no influence on either of the margins of stability. The ‘base of support’ domain predicted 26% of the variance in the medio-lateral margin of stability. When considering the margins of stability, especially when comparing multiple groups, age, BMI and spatio-temporal parameters should be taken into account.
Journal: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
ISSN: 1742-5689
Volume: 17
Pages: 1 - 11
Publication year:2020