ISSN: 1899-1955
Human Movement
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3/2020
vol. 21
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Do older women with a fall history cross obstacles differently than older women with no fall history?

Eliane C. Guadagnin
1
,
Emmanuel S. da Rocha
2
,
Maarten F. Bobbert
3
,
Jacques Duysens
4
,
Felipe P. Carpes
1

1.
Applied Neuromechanics Research Group, Laboratory of Neuromechanics, Federal University of Pampa, Uruguaiana, Brazil
2.
Biomechanics and Kinesiology Research Group, Exercise Research Laboratory, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
3.
Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Free University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4.
Department of Movement Sciences, Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium
Human Movement 2020 vol. 21 (3), 47-53
Online publish date: 2020/01/28
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Purpose
Many falls in older people occur after tripping or slipping, mainly due to unsuccessful vertical clearances or horizontal distances. A first fall may be explained by several factors related to aging and can be a trigger to subsequent falls. It is unclear if a history of fall changes the kinematics of obstacle crossing, increasing the risk of trips. Here, we determined whether older women reporting a fall history showed different spatial-temporal kinematic parameters during obstacle crossing than non-fallers. In addition, we investigated the presence of asymmetries between the preferred and non-preferred lower limb during obstacle crossing in fallers and non-fallers.

Methods
This cross-sectional study recruited older women with a history of fall (n = 10) and without falls (n = 10). They had their kinematic parameters evaluated when walking at self-selected speed along an 8-m walkway, crossing an obstacle positioned in the middle of the walkway, with both preferred and non-preferred limb as the lead limb. The groups were compared, and effects of lower limb preference were also determined in both groups.

Results
No main effects of group were observed regarding the kinematic variables. An effect of leg preference was found for post-obstacle horizontal distance, which was greater for the preferred limb in both groups.

Conclusions
In conclusion, the kinematics of gait with obstacle crossing does not differentiate between older women with or without a history of recent fall.

keywords:

aging, gait, tripping, kinematics

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