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Title: Contributions to successful trip recovery in younger and older adults
Author: Roos, Paulien E.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3534 8654
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2007
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Fall injuries lead to substantial health, economic and social costs. Fall risk increases with age, with tripping the main cause of falls. The aim of this thesis was to further understand the biomechanical contributions to successful trip recovery in younger and older adults. A combined experimental and computer simulation approach was utilised. A 10-segment torque-driven model of trip recovery was developed and evaluated for the first phase of trip recovery. Ground contact was modelled with spring-damper systems. Hill-type torque generators generated segmental motion based on ramped activation functions. Trips were induced by applying a horizontal force at the toe o f the swing limb. A trip recovery experiment was also performed to address the research questions and obtain model input. A group of younger (n=8) and older (n=7) participants completed a trip recovery protocol in which kinematic, kinetic and EMG data were collected. Main findings included that, during elevating strategy recoveries, younger adults were able to reduce the body's normalised forward angular momentum more with their recovery limb (0.011 m/s) than older adults (0.004 m/s), due primarily to increased knee joint moment. Older adults more often adopted a lowering strategy (79% of trips) than younger adults (41% of trips). Older adults exhibited a relatively high coactivation at the ankle o f the recovery limb during elevating strategy recoveries. Younger adults showed varying muscle responses, while older adults had more consistent muscle activation responses. Younger adults used their arms more effectively during trip recovery to reverse the body's forward angular momentum (13%) than older adults (-3%). Older adults did not always increase their recovery step to provide more stability, as younger adults did. This is possibly due to their slow response and movement velocity. It was suggested that during elevating strategy recoveries younger adults used an energy absorbing strategy, with absorption at the knee, whilst older adults used a pivoting strategy, which can be described by pendular motion with a rotational spring at the base.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available