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The role of physical activity in changes in walking mechanics with age.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22445586     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
While age-related declines in walking mechanics have been documented, it remains unclear if changes in walking mechanics with age occur as a natural consequence of aging and to what extent these changes are related to a reduction in fitness and physical activity with aging. The study aim was to determine if the walking mechanics of an older (>50) yet highly active population are different from a younger population (<40). Gait mechanics data for 79 middle-aged (50-64yrs) and 54 older (65-80yrs) individuals with ≥7500 steps/day, based on a 7 day activity monitoring history, and 33 younger adults (ages 18-40) were collected. The older subjects did not reduce self-selected walking speed relative to the younger subjects. However, the walking speed was maintained by increasing cadence while reducing stride-length for middle-aged and older subjects. Middle-aged and older adults had less ankle dorsi-flexion landing at heel-strike and older adults also had less plantar flexion at toe-off. Small decreases in the ankle dorsi-flexion moments (p=0.019, p=0.008) and increases in the hip extension moments (p=0.004, p=0.005) were found for two normalized walking speeds for the middle-aged and older adults compared to the young adults. These results provide quantitative evidence that increased activity with aging can mitigate declines in walking performance and mechanics with age. The high volume of walking activity in the older subjects did not fully prevent changes in gait mechanics, but may have minimized the magnitude of age-related changes on ambulatory function relative to other reports of older inactive subjects.
Authors:
Katherine A Boyer; Thomas P Andriacchi; Gary S Beaupre
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Gait & posture     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-2219     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9416830     Medline TA:  Gait Posture     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; Bone and Joint Center, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA, USA.
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