Biomedical Engineering Letters

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 333–338 | Cite as

Variations in gait features in elderly adults during walking considering their balance

  • Hyuk-Jae Choi
  • Han-Sung Kim
  • Jeicheong Ryu
  • Gyoosuk Kim
  • Chang-Yong Ko
Original Article


The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of balance on the spatiotemporal features, lower-limb kinematics, and center of mass (COM) of the non-faller elderly during walking. In this study, 20 healthy elderly women (age, 76.2 ± 5.6 years; height, 150.1 ± 3.2 cm; weight, 55.8 ± 9.0 kg) were enrolled. Based on the Berg balance scale (BBS), the elderly were classified into two groups: poor balance (PB; BBS scores <46; n = 10; 43.8 ± 1.8) and good balance (GB; BBS scores ≥46; n = 10; 50.4 ± 2.5). The two groups had no differences in terms of the spatiotemporal features and range of motion (ROM) of the vertical COM (all p > 0.05). The ROM of the mediolateral COM was greater in PB than in GB. Hip transversal movements in the two groups were different. The impairment of the lateral balance function might contribute to an increase in the incidence of fall events in the elderly with poor balance.


Berg balance scale Non-faller elderly Center of mass Spatiotemporal features Joint motion 



This work was supported from the research program (R7520-16-0005) by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of the republic of Korea and the Institute of Information & communications Technology Promotion of Korea.

Conflict of interest

There are no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

All procedures were performed according to a protocol approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Korea Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Engineering Center (KOREC-IRB-130702-1).

Supplementary material

13534_2017_45_MOESM1_ESM.docx (303 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 303 kb)


  1. 1.
    Rubenstein LZ. Falls in older people: epidemiology, risk factors and strategies for prevention. Age Ageing. 2006;35(suppl 2):ii37–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Newstead AH, Walden GJ, Gitter AJ. Gait variables differentiating fallers from nonfallers. J Geriatr Phys Therapy. 2007;30(3):93–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barak Y, Wagenaar RC, Holt KG. Gait characteristics of elderly people with a history of falls: a dynamic approach. Phys Therapy. 2006;86(11):1501–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chiu S-L, Chou L-S. Variability in inter-joint coordination during walking of elderly adults and its association with clinical balance measures. Clin Biomech. 2013;28(4):454–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chamberlin ME, Fulwider BD, Sanders SL, Medeiros JM. Does fear of falling influence spatial and temporal gait parameters in elderly persons beyond changes associated with normal aging? J Gerontol Ser A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005;60(9):1163–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Middleton A, Fritz SL. Assessment of gait, balance, and mobility in older adults: considerations for clinicians. Curr Transl Geriatr Exp Gerontol Rep. 2013;2(4):205–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alexander NB, Hausdorff JM. Guest editorial linking thinking, walking, and falling. J Gerontol Ser A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008;63(12):1325–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zatsiorsky V, Seluyanov V. The mass and inertia characteristics of the main segments of the human body. In: Matsui H, Kobayashi K, editors. Biomechanics. Human Kinetics Publishers; 1983. P. 1152–9.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hahn ME, Chou L-S. Can motion of individual body segments identify dynamic instability in the elderly? Clin Biomech. 2003;18(8):737–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Orendurff MS, Segal AD, Klute GK, Berge JS. The effect of walking speed on center of mass displacement. J Rehabilit Res Dev. 2004;41(6A):829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hayot C, Sakka S, Lacouture P. Contribution of the six major gait determinants on the vertical center of mass trajectory and the vertical ground reaction force. Hum Mov Sci. 2013;32(2):279–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Saunders JB, Inman VT, Eberhart HD. The major determinants in normal and pathological gait. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1953;35(3):543–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hilliard MJ, Martinez KM, Janssen I, Edwards B, Mille M-L, Zhang Y, Rogers MW. Lateral balance factors predict future falls in community-living older adults. Arch Phys Med Rehabilit. 2008;89(9):1708–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Choi HJ, Ko CY, Kang S, Ryu J, Mun M, Jeon HS. Effects of balance ability and handgrip height on kinematics of the gait, torso, and pelvis in elderly women using a four‐wheeled walker. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2015;15(2):182–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Medical and Biological Engineering and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyuk-Jae Choi
    • 1
  • Han-Sung Kim
    • 2
  • Jeicheong Ryu
    • 1
  • Gyoosuk Kim
    • 1
  • Chang-Yong Ko
    • 1
  1. 1.Rehabilitation Engineering Research InstituteIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Health ScienceYonsei UniversityWonjuRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations