Researchers examined the relationship between gait stability and physical activity in older adults performing treadmill exercises.
Walking is a good physical activity, and previous studies have found that it provides improved gait stability in the elderly. As published in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, researchers recently used treadmill exercises to evaluate the association between gait stability and physical activity.
This European study involved 21 research participants who were young women between the ages 18 to 40 and 21 older women between the ages 65 to 75. The women were all physically healthy and were cleared of all medical conditions. Physical activity was assessed by having the subjects wear a multi-sensor activity monitor for an entire week. The researchers calculated gait in relation to speed, stride length stance and width, and swing during different treadmill walking speeds.
The results showed that gait variability was significantly and negatively associated with levels of physical activity in the older women. Older women with moderate, but not high levels of gait variability, and a moderate or high preferred walking speed were better able to meet the physical activity recommendations. These results have significance to those designing interventions aimed to improve physical activity levels in the elderly.
Written by Dr. MòNique J. Grant Coke, DNP, MPH, BSN, Medical Writer
Reference: Ciprandi, D., Bertozzi, F., Zago, M., Pimenta, C., Ferreira, L., Boari, G., Sforza,C. & Galvani, C. (2017). Study of the association between gait variability and physical activity. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity (2017) 14:19 DOI 10.1186/s11556-017-0188-0