Kinetic measures of restabilisation during volitional stepping reveal age-related alterations in the control of mediolateral dynamic stability

Jonathan C Singer, William E McIlroy, Stephen D Prentice
Journal of Biomechanics 2014 November 7, 47 (14): 3539-45
Research examining age-related changes in dynamic stability during stepping has recognised the importance of the restabilisation phase, subsequent to foot-contact. While regulation of the net ground reaction force (GRFnet) line of action is believed to influence dynamic stability during steady-state locomotion, such control during restabilisation remains unknown. This work explored the origins of age-related decline in mediolateral dynamic stability by examining the line of action of GRFnet relative to the centre of mass (COM) during restabilisation following voluntary stepping. Healthy younger and older adults (n=20 per group) performed three single-step tasks (varying speed and step placement), altering the challenge to stability control. Age-related differences in magnitude and intertrial variability of the angle of divergence of GRFnet line of action relative to the COM were quantified, along with the peak mediolateral and vertical GRFnet components. The angle of divergence was further examined at discrete points during restabilisation, to uncover events of potential importance to stability control. Older adults exhibited a reduced angle of divergence throughout restabilisation. Temporal and spatial constraints on stepping increased the magnitude and intertrial variability of the angle of divergence, although not differentially among the older adults. Analysis of the time-varying angle of divergence revealed age-related reductions in magnitude, with increases in timing and intertrial timing variability during the later phase of restabilisation. This work further supports the idea that age-related challenges in lateral stability control emerge during restabilisation. Age-related alterations during the later phase of restabilisation may signify challenges with reactive control.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"