Format of Original
Journal of Applied Biomechanics
The imponance of momentum in compens:Hing for elderly individua ls ' strength deficits to achieve activities of daily li ving. such as rising from a cha ir ha.!o been demonstrated in earlier studies. Here we present a case·conlrol study of three hcallhy "noll-faJl ers" and two "frequ ent fall ers," AI l S c iders were community-li ving and were tested in the gai l laboratory. A four-camera Sclspot system was used to obtain whole-body momentum from an II-segmcnl kinemalic model. Ground reaction forces and kinematics were used 10 calculate lower extremity join! moments. With the exception of the whole-body's angular momentum about the vertical axis, linear and angular Illomenta during gail were minimum during mid-single limb support and maximum near heel cOnlact Whole-body momentum values for individuals wi th a hi story of falls were similar to those measured in non-fallers. However. subjects wi th a history of falls had between 17 and 37% smaller maximum ankle and knee torque values th an the subjccts without a history of falls duri ng ambulation. A comprehensive description of whole-body linear and angular momenta during steady-stale gait in older individuals is presented. While whole-body momentum characteristics and magnitude were similar between fa lle rs and non-fall ers. the consequences of the lesser torque values in the fallers ' knees and ankles 10 generate and control this momentum warrant fu rther investigation.