Dynamic stability differences in fall-prone and healthy adults

Kevin P. Granata, Thurmon E. Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Typical stability assessments characterize performance in standing balance despite the fact that most falls occur during dynamic activities such as walking. The objective of this study was to identify dynamic stability differences between fall-prone elderly individuals, healthy age-matched adults, and young adults. Three-dimensional video-motion analysis kinematic data were recorded for 35 contiguous steps while subjects walked on a treadmill at three speeds. From this data, we estimated the vector from the center-of-mass to the center of pressure at each foot-strike. Dynamic stability of walking was computed by methods of Poincare analyses of these vectors. Results revealed that the fall-prone group demonstrated poorer dynamic stability than the healthy elderly and young adult groups. Stability was not influenced by walking velocity, indicating that group differences in walking speed could not fully explain the differences in stability. This pilot study supports the need for future investigations using larger population samples to study fall-prone individuals using nonlinear dynamic analyses of movement kinematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Falls
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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