Fall risk assessments based on postural and dynamic stability using inertial measurement unit

Jian Liu, Xiaoyue Zhang, Thurmon E. Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objectives: Slip and fall accidents in the workplace are one of the top causes of work related fatalities and injuries. Previous studies have indicated that fall risk was related to postural and dynamic stability. However, the usage of this theoretical relationship was limited by laboratory based measuring instruments. The current study proposed a new method for stability assessment by use of inertial measurement units (IMUs). Methods: Accelerations at different body parts were recorded by the IMUs. Postural and local dynamic stability was assessed from these measures and compared with that computed from the traditional method. Results: The results demonstrated: 1) significant differences between fall prone and healthy groups in IMU assessed dynamic stability; and 2) better power of discrimination with multi stability index assessed by IMUs. Conclusion: The findings can be utilized in the design of a portable screening or monitoring tool for fall risk assessment in various industrial settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalSafety and Health at Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometer
  • Fall risk
  • Local dynamic stability
  • Postural stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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