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Stair negotiation behaviour of older individuals: Do step dimensions matter?

Ackermans, TMA, Francksen, NC, Casaña-Eslava, RV, Lees, C, Baltzopoulos, V, Lisboa, PJG, Hollands, MA, O'Brien, TD and Maganaris, CN (2020) Stair negotiation behaviour of older individuals: Do step dimensions matter? Journal of Biomechanics. ISSN 1873-2380

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Stair falls are a major health problem for older people. Most studies on identification of stair fall risk factors are limited to staircases set in given step dimensions. However, it remains unknown whether the conclusions drawn would still apply if the dimensions had been changed to represent more challenging or easier step dimensions encountered in domestic and public buildings. The purpose was to investigate whether the self-selected biomechanical stepping behaviours are maintained when the dimensions of a staircase are altered. Sixty-eight older adults (>65 years) negotiated a seven-step staircase set in two step dimensions (shallow staircase: rise 15 cm, going 28 cm; steep staircase: rise 20 cm, going 25 cm). Six biomechanical outcome measures indicative of stair fall risk were measured. K-means clustering profiled the overall stair-negotiating behaviour and cluster profiles were calculated. A Cramer's V measured the degree of association in membership between clusters. The cluster profiles revealed that the biomechanically risky and conservative factors that characterized the overall behaviour in the clusters did not differ for the majority of older adults between staircases for ascent and descent. A strong association of membership between the clusters on the shallow staircase and the steep staircase was found for stair ascent (Cramer's V: 0.412, p < 0.001) and descent (Cramer's V: 0.380, p = 0.003). The findings indicate that manipulating the demand of the task would not affect the underpinning mechanism of a potential stair fall. Therefore, for most individuals, detection of stair fall risk might not require testing using a staircase with challenging step dimensions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0903 Biomedical Engineering, 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences, 0913 Mechanical Engineering
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Applied Mathematics (merged with Comp Sci 10 Aug 20)
Nursing & Allied Health
Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 10:08
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 07:59
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2020.109616
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12169
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