Mechanisms of head stability during gait initiation in young and older women: a neuro-mechanical analysis

Maslivec, Amy, Bampouras, Theodoros ORCID logo ORCID: , Dewhurst, Susan ORCID logo ORCID: , Vannozzi, Giuseppe, Macaluso, Andrea and Laudani, Luca (2018) Mechanisms of head stability during gait initiation in young and older women: a neuro-mechanical analysis. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 38 . pp. 103-110.

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Decreased head stability has been reported in older women during locomotor transitions such as the initiation of gait. The aim of the study was to investigate the neuro-mechanical mechanisms underpinning head stabilisation in young and older women during gait initiation. Eleven young (23.1±1.1yrs) and 12 older (73.9±2.4yrs) women initiated walking at comfortable speed while focussing on a fixed visual target at eye level. A stereophotogrammetric system was used to assess variability of angular displacement and RMS acceleration of the pelvis, trunk and head, and dynamic stability in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions. Latency of muscle activation of the sternocleidomastoid, and upper and lower trunk muscles were determined by surface electromyography. Older displayed higher variability of head angular displacement, and a decreased ability to attenuate accelerations from trunk to head, compared to young in the anteroposterior but not mediolateral direction. Moreover, older displayed a delayed onset of sternocleidomastoid activation than young. In conclusion, the age-related decrease in head stability could be attributed to an impaired ability to attenuate accelerations from trunk to head along with delayed onset of neck muscles activation.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Publisher: Elsevier for International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology
ISSN: 1050-6411
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Sports and Physical Activity
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Depositing User: Theodoros Bampouras
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 09:51
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 19:19


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