IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC)

Effects of Aging on Human Gait Stability

Mustafa Maher Saleh, S. Parasuraman, C. Deisy and S.Padmavathy, D. Kingsly Jeba Singh, M. K. A. Ahamed Khan

School of Engineering Monash University, Malaysia


Biomechanics, Human Aging; Motion Stability, Trips and Falls; Spatiotemporal, Kinematics, Kinetics


This project aims to investigate the effects of aging on different gait parameters such as the spatiotemporal, kinetic and kinematic. Previous researches have focused on the effects of muscle fatigue on the gait characteristics under single and dual task conditions and other have focused on the effect of ageing and falls history on the Minimum Foot Clearance (MTC) during level walking. However, what was missing in most of the latest researches is a comprehensive analysis on all the major gait parameters that affect the stability. The findings on this project showed the relationship between the different gait parameters and the effect of such on the human motion stability. Results obtained showed that there is a difference in the cadence and stride length between healthy elderly people and young ones at normal walking speed (4Km/h). The findings also showed that elderly people have localized pressure distribution on their feet and a smaller ankle flexion angle that resulted in lower MTC. All these factors if not properly corrected and controlled can significantly induce fatigue, cause muscle and joints pain and even increase the chances of tripping.

Moticon's Summary

Falls among the elderly are a significant public health issue due to their high prevalence and associated costs. This study investigates the effects of aging and walking speed on gait parameters. Six young (23±1.5 years) and six elderly (62±3.9 years) healthy participants were examined using a 3D motion capturing system and Moticon sensor insoles. The study analyzed spatiotemporal, kinematic, and kinetic variables at different walking speeds. Results indicated that elderly participants had higher variability in stance time and reduced minimum toe clearance (MTC), increasing fall risk. Younger participants exhibited longer stance times and greater stride lengths, with significant differences observed at higher speeds. Hip angle extension increased with age, contributing to discomfort and fatigue. Ankle flexibility decreased in elderly participants, further heightening the risk of tripping. The authors conclude that aging negatively impacts gait parameters, particularly MTC and ankle flexibility, increasing the likelihood of falls. Walking speed significantly influences these changes.

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