We are always very proud to share new studies conducted by established research centers in Italy and around the world that use our technologies.
Today we talk about an interesting article about age-related changes in the smoothness of gait.
This is a study carried out by the University of Cagliari in collaboration with the Politecnico of Milan which aims to provide an overview of locomotor maturation in developing children and first adolescents through an analysis of spatio-temporal and symmetry parameters with our G-WALK inertial sensor.
It is important to highlight that good walking abilities are essential not only to ensure adequate social integration and independence but they are also the key cofactors for a longer life expectancy. Although the changes in the gait associated with age have been extensively studied, there is still no evidence regarding the period in which the complete maturation of the gait (characterized by maximum stability and consequent fall risk minimization) is achieved.
Thanks to this research it has been possible to deepen this aspect through the acquisition of the trunk accelerations during the walking of a group of 8-13 years old children to calculate the spatio-temporal parameters and the harmonic Ratio (HR), which is a representative metric of the smoothness of the gait and symmetry. For the acquisitions the G-WALK system was used, a light and easy–to-use inertial sensor even for the little patients. Candidates were asked to walk 30 m along a straight path at a spontaneous speed and in a natural manner.
The results show that older children have a gait characterized by an increased speed and stride length and reduced cadence compared to younger participants but the spatio-temporal parameters remain exactly unchanged once normalized considering the individual anthropometric features. This indicates an improvement in the gait symmetry, which suggests that the process of gait maturation is still ongoing for the age groups tested here.
The technique used, easy to use, minimally invasive and ecological, represents a useful investigation tool to detect slight gait alterations deriving from problems in the development of a child and for the early detection of signs of neurological or orthopedic conditions.
Special thanks go to prof. Massmiliano Pau and his team that is constantly engaged in research and dissemination of innovative studies that use our technologies in different fields and cases.
Click here to access to the whole article: www.tandfonline.com