• Biomechanical analysis of older adults stepping up: a method of evaluating balance

      Michel-Pellegrino, Valerie; Hewson, David; Hogrel, Jean-Yves; Duchêne, Jacques; Troyes University of Technology (Human Kinetics, 2008-04-30)
      The aim of this study was to analyze differences in biomechanical parameters between elderly and control participants when stepping up, to evaluate control of balance. Eleven control and 14 elderly participants performed a step from an initial static posture onto a 7-cm-high force plate. For the spontaneous-velocity condition, elderly participants performed a slower progression velocity than control participants. Elderly participants spent proportionally more time in stance phase, with a corresponding decrease in swing phase, than the control participants, irrespective of movement velocity. In contrast, at spontaneous velocity the parameters related to ground-reaction force (GRF) showed that anteroposterior and mediolateral forces at toe-off of the support limb and the slope of vertical force during weight transfer were significantly smaller for the elderly than for control participants. These GRF parameters depended on the stepping-up velocity. The elderly develop a spatiotemporal strategy and reduced movement velocity to control support balance.