The influence of age and physical activity on the control of mediolateral dynamic stability during walking

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Rawal, Yash
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Purpose: To understand how ageing and physical activity influences mediolateral stability during gait. Methods: 56 participants were recruited: 28 young adults (YA) and 28 older adults (OA);14 highly active and 14 inactive participants per group. The angle of divergence (θd) and minimum lateral distance (dmin) were calculated. Participants performed three walking conditions (normal, fast and modified tandem walking). Results: Relative to YA, OA exhibited greater dmin across all gait conditions, but exhibited a smaller θd for the right limb and net GRF analyses. There were no differences in dmin or the θd across all gait conditions between physical activity groups. Discussion: Greater stability, as evidenced by a greater dmin, may be a strategy used by OA to maintain stability. Stability was greater on the dominant limb compared to the non-dominant limb. It also suggests that running may not play a role in the control of mediolateral normal gait stability.
Gait, Older adults, Mediolateral stability, Physical activity