At similar angles, slope walking has a greater fall risk than stair walking

Riley C. Sheehan, Jinger Gottschall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury for all age groups with over half of the falls occurring during slope and stair walking. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the different factors related to fall risk as they apply to these walking tasks. More specifically, we hypothesized that compared to level walking, slope and stair walking would have greater speed standard deviation, greater ankle dorsiflexion, and earlier peak activity of the tibialis anterior. Twelve healthy, young male participants completed level, slope, and stair trials on a 25-m walkway. Overall, during slope and stair walking, medial-lateral stability was less, anterior-posterior stability was less, and toe clearance was greater in comparison to level walking. In addition, there were fewer differences between level and stair walking than there were between level and slope walking, suggesting that at similar angles, slope walking has a greater fall risk than stair walking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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