Effects of Age and Step Length on Joint Kinetics During Stepping Task

Publication Date



Following a balance perturbation, a stepping response is commonly used to regain support, and the distance of the recovery step can vary. To date, no other studies have examined joint kinetics in young and old adults during increasing step distances, when participants are required to bring their rear foot forward. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine age-related differences in joint kinetics with increasing step distance. Twenty young and 20 old adults completed the study. Participants completed a step starting from double support, at an initial distance equal to the individual's average step length. The distance was increased by 10% body height until an unsuccessful attempt. A one-way, repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine the effects of age on joint kinetics during the maximum step distance. A two-way, repeated measures, mixed model ANOVA was used to determine the effects of age, step distance, and their interaction on joint kinetics during the first three step distances for all participants. Young adults completed a significantly longer step than old adults. During the maximum step, in general, kinetic measures were greater in the young than in the old. As step distance increased, all but one kinetic measure increased for both young and old adults. This study has shown the ability to discriminate between young and old adults, and could potentially be used in the future to distinguish between fallers and non-fallers.

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Journal of Biomechanics





First Page


Last Page



Biomedical Engineering



This document is currently not available here.