Van Andel, S., Cole, M. H & Pepping, G. (2019). Associations between gait-related falls and gait adaptations when stepping onto a curb: A prospective falls study [accepted manuscript]. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity,27(3), Chilibeck, P. D.. 309-315. Canada: Human Kinetics. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2018-0124
Objectives. Examine gait regulation during the approach to stepping onto a curb for older adults who did or did not report gait-related falls over a 12-month follow-up. Methods. Ninety-eight participants aged 60 years and older were analyzed. Primary outcomes were step length adaptations (lengthening or shortening) during a curb approach and the occurrence of a gait-related fall during a 12-month follow-up. Results. Linear-mixed effects modelling indicated stronger adaptations towards the end of the approach. Participants who reported experiencing a gait-related fall showed a stronger relationship between the adjustment required and adjustment produced; indicating different gait adaptations during the step leading onto the curb. Discussion. The link between prospective gait-related falls and gait-adaptations indicated that older adults with reduced capabilities require stronger adaptations to complete tasks reminiscent of everyday life. This finding may provide insight into the mechanisms of falls in older adults and should inform new falls prevention interventions.
School of Behavioural and Health Sciences
Open Access Journal Article