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Steps to Take to Enhance Gait Stability

This article by researchers out of the University of Amsterdam aimed to analyze the implications of various characteristics of gait (stride length, stride frequency, walking speed) have on subjective stability during ambulation. In their study, researchers allude to the detrimental health effects of poor gait patterns and the negative physiological impacts (i.e. fall risks, musculoskeletal injury) they may have on elderly populations. Regarding this presented study, researchers drew upon a healthy cohort of subjects approximately 22 years of age. Individuals were required to walk on a treadmill at ever-increasing speeds and attempt to modify their stride length and frequency relative to an LED "efficiency" monitor. Ultimately, the experimental protocol delineated that two types of dynamic stability can be influenced by modifying gait patterns. According to researchers, the medio-lateral (side-to-side) margin of stability increased significantly by one increasing their stride frequency, whereas backward (front-to-back) margin of stability increased via an increase in walking speed and a decrease in stride length. Although this testing protocol was performed on less than fitting participants, it shed light on the influences of ambulatory gait patterns on dynamic, functional stability. Relative to the outcomes of these healthy participants, this information may encourage targeted gait strategies honing these aforementioned characteristics to mitigate fall risk and enhance self-confidence in elderly populations. Certainly, rehabilitative strategies for those elderly/physically frail are much different in terms of intensity and volume, but they aim to address very similar physiologic factors of balance, strength, and proprioceptive capacity.


See the detailed explanation of post to see my personal thoughts on the information and the take-home messages! Thanks. 07-14-2018 9:09am

Comment by Austin Dodds

    Added to this shelf by: Austin Dodds, on 07-14-2018 9:09am

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