Are there associations with age and sex in walking stability in healthy older adults?

Daan van Kooten, Florentina Hettinga, Kim Duffy, Jo Jackson, Matthew J.D. Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The variability of the centre of pressure (COP) during walking can provide information in relation to stability when walking. The aim of this study was to investigate if age and sex were associated with COP variability, COP excursions, and COP velocities during walking. One-hundred and fourteen older adults (age 65.1 ± 5.5 yrs.) participated in the study. A Kistler force platform (1000 Hz) recorded the ground reaction forces and COPs during walking at a self-selected walking speed. The stance phase was divided, using the vertical GRF, into four sub-phases: loading response (LR), mid-stance (MSt), terminal stance (TSt), and pre-swing (PSw). The standard deviations of the COP displacement (variability), the COP velocity, and COP excursion in the medial–lateral and anterior–posterior directions, as well as the resultant magnitude were assessed. When controlling for walking speed, a greater age was associated with a higher variability and excursion of the COP during LR only suggesting that stability is maintained during the majority of the stance phase. During LR lower COP velocity was significantly associated for females for anterior-posterior and total COP, which may be a strategy to facilitate stability before, and moving into, MSt and TSt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date13 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


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