Development Of A Model To Simulate The Single-limb Stance Phase Of Walking To Determine The Limits Of Stability
Hancock, Clifford Lee
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Falls during walking are the primary cause of injuries for older persons and present a high associated cost to society due to the resulting treatment. Hence, the control of balance while moving is an essential issue especially amongst the elderly population. Better understanding of why and how these falls occur could lead to better fall prevention methods, therapies, or devices. These changes could effectively decrease overall emergency room visits, create more room in hospitals for other demands, and decrease medical costs for fall-related disabilities and deaths amongst patients overall. This study attempted to develop an inverted pendulum model of the single-leg support phase of walking within the sagittal plane. Upon validating the model's use, the model was utilized to predict the limits of stability during this walking phase for various conditions including: eyes open with no obstacle, eyes open with an obstacle, and eyes closed without an obstacle. Additionally, the region between these limits of stability, coined the area of stability, was compared between elderly and young subjects and across the three conditions to determine whether their respective values significantly differed.