Neuromechanical response of the upper body to unexpected perturbations during gait initiation in young and older adults
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Control of upper body motion deteriorates with ageing leading to impaired ability to preserve balance during gait, but little is known on the contribution of the upper body to preserve balance in response to unexpected perturbations during locomotor transitions, such as gait initiation. Aim: To investigate differences between young and older adults in the ability to modify the trunk kinematics and muscle activity following unexpected waist lateral perturbations during gait initiation. Methods: Ten young (25 ± 2 years) and ten older adults (73 ± 5 years) initiated locomotion from stance while a lateral pull was randomly applied to the pelvis. Two force plates were used to define the feet centre-of-pressure displacement. Angular displacement of the trunk in the frontal plane was obtained through motion analysis. Surface electromyography of cervical and thoracic erector spinae muscles was recorded bilaterally. Results: A lower trunk lateral bending towards the stance leg side in the preparatory phase of gait initiation was observed in older participants following perturbation. Right thoracic muscle activity was increased in response to the perturbation during the initial phase of gait initiation in young (+ 68%) but not in older participants (+ 7%). Conclusions: The age-related reduction in trunk movement could indicate a more rigid behaviour of the upper body employed by older compared to young individuals in response to unexpected perturbations preceding the initiation of stepping. Older adults’ delayed activation of thoracic muscles could suggest impaired reactive mechanisms that may potentially lead to a fall in the early stages of the gait initiation.
Aging Clinical and Experimental Research;
Rum, L., Vannozzi, G., Macaluso, A. and Laudani, L. (2020) 'Neuromechanical response of the upper body to unexpected perturbations during gait initiation in young and older adults', Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. DOI: 10.1007/s40520-020-01592-2
Article published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research on 23 May 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01592-2.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
Showing items related by title, author, subject and abstract.
Age differences in anticipatory and executory mechanisms of gait initiation following unexpected balance perturbations Laudani, Luca; Rum, Lorenzo; Valle, Maria Stella; Macaluso, Andrea; Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Casabona, Antonino (Springer, 2020)Purpose. An age-related decline in anticipatory postural mechanisms has been reported during gait initiation; however, it is unclear whether such decline may jeopardize whole-body stability following unexpected balance ...
Mechanisms of head stability during gait initiation in young and older women: a neuro-mechanical analysis Maslivec, Amy; Dewhurst, Susan; Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Macaluso, Andrea; Laudani, Luca (Elsevier, 2017-11-23)Decreased head stability has been reported in older women during locomotor transitions such as the initiation of gait. The aim of the study was to investigate the neuro-mechanical mechanisms underpinning head stabilisation ...
Mair, J.L.; Laudani, Luca; Vannozzi, G.; De Vito, G.; Boreham, C.; Macaluso, A. (Springer, 2014-05)Purpose = An understanding of the neuromechanical responses to bench stepping with external loading is important for exercise prescription, especially in older women who are more at risk than men for disability. This study ...