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Use of Reaction Force to Evaluate Older Adults’ Gait Patterns While Using a Walker to Walk

Institute of Creative Design and Management, National Taipei University of Business, No. 100, Sec. 1, Fulong Rd., Pingzhen Dist., Taoyuan City 324, Taiwan
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030043
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract

Walking is the most common activity in daily life. As people age, however, they begin to become imbalanced and need the assistance of mobility devices for walking, such as walkers. However, clinical gait measurement requires a lot of equipment to be worn; as walker users are seniors or disabled, this may cause them to be troubled in the assessment. Thus, this study used four load cells on the walker to estimate gait status. To understand the difference between the three groups of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), 60 volunteers, who served as the subjects, were divided into three groups according to BBS scores, 20 volunteers for each group. Data were obtained from four load cells; walker users were divided per the BBS to observe their stance, swing phases, and support force while walking. The results of the study found that participants in the study were able to walk smoothly with the walker, and differences between the three groups in stance, swing phases, and support force were observed. The main findings of this study were: (1) While walking, the stance and swing phases could be stabilized by the evaluated gait; and (2) even if the user can walk stably, body function can be evaluated by the support force. We hope that our method will be widely applied in the design of mobility devices and in the evaluation of seniors’ care; we also hope our study will contribute to increasing knowledge, generally, in this field. View Full-Text
Keywords: gait pattern; older adults; walker gait pattern; older adults; walker
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Yeh, P.-C. Use of Reaction Force to Evaluate Older Adults’ Gait Patterns While Using a Walker to Walk. Geriatrics 2019, 4, 43.

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