Effects of age on dynamic balance measures and their correlation during walking across the adult lifespan
Journal: Sci Rep
Takeshi Yamaguchi et al
In this study, we aimed to discover (1) the effects of age on dynamic balance measures, including the margin of stability (MOS), whole-body angular momentum (H), and misalignment of the desired and measured centers of pressure (dCOP and mCOP, respectively) in the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions, (2) the relationship between gait parameters and these balance measures, and (3) the relationships between these balance measures. We used the kinetic and kinematic data of 151 participants aged 20-77ֲ years from a publicly available database. Participants were divided into three groups: young, middle-aged, and old. The step width of the old group was higher than that of the young group. Age-related differences in dynamic measures were found in the ML direction and not in the AP direction: MOS, peak-to-peak range of H, and dCOP-mCOP in the old group were greater than in the young group. ML MOS positively correlated with the frontal peak-to-peak range of H. The ML peak-to-peak range of H positively correlated with ML dCOP-mCOP across the adult lifespan. Our findings provide new insights for understanding the effects of age on dynamic balance and the relationships between the metrics. Older adults walked with a larger step width, resulting in a large stability margin in the ML direction, although with increased moment and momentum around the center of mass in the frontal plane.