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Center of mass (CoM) kinematics at slip onset and slip severity.

Margerum S; Cham R
Gait Posture 2005 Jun; 21(Suppl 1):S9
Epidemiological findings indicate that slip-precipitated falls are among the leading causes of injuries and source of high economic costs in older adults. Appropriate control of the center of mass in slipping is presumed to impact the severity of the perturbation and slip-initiated recovery biomechanics. The goal of this study is to investigate associations between the CoM kinematics evaluated at the onset of the slip, i.e. heel contact onto the slippery floor, and the severity of the slip. Sixteen healthy young (20-35 yrs) and 11 older (55-70 yrs) subjects were exposed to an unexpected slip after baseline gait characteristics were collected. Full body motion was tracked using an 8-camera VICON system (612) and CoM trajectory was derived. Slip severity was assessed based on the peak slipping velocity measured at the heel. ANOVA models were set-up to investigate the relationship between the CoM kinematics at slip onset and slip severity (p < 0.05). Maintaining the CoM closer to the leading (slipping) leg was associated with statistically significant decreases in slipping severity. Also, faster medialqateral CoM transfers to the leading (slipping) leg resulted in slipping velocity reductions. The main effect of age was significant in the ANOVA model investigating the impact of CoM position on slipping velocity. The magnitude of a slipping perturbation is significantly influenced by specific aspects of the CoM kinematics. These findings may potentially be employed to determine if an individual is predisposed to a slip/fall.
Epidemiology; Injuries; Biomechanics; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Age-groups; Motion-studies; Models; Accidents; Accident-analysis; Surface-properties
Human Movement and Balance Laboratory, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 740 Benedum Hall, 3700 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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Journal Article
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Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
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Gait and Posture
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University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: August 5, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division