Effects of Changes in Illumination Level and Slope on Fall-Related Biomechanical Risk Factors While Walking for Elderly Women Jeon, Hyun-Min; Park, Sang-Kyoon;
Objective : The purpose of this study was to investigate biomechanical changes of the lower limb including dynamic stability with changes in illumination (300Lx, 150Lx, and 5Lx) and slope (level and downhill) as risk factors for elderly falls. Method : Fifteen elderly females were selected for this study. Seven infrared cameras (Proreflex MCU 240: Qualisys, Sweden) and an instrumented treadmill (Bertec, USA) surrounded by illumination regulators and lights to change the levels of illumination were used to collect the data. A One-Way ANOVA with repeated measures using SPSS 12.0 was used to analyze statistical differences by the changes in illumination and slope. Statistical significance was set at . Results : No differences in the joint movement of the lower limbs were found with changes in illumination (p>.05). The maximum plantar flexion movement of the ankle joints appeared to be greater at 5Lx compared to 300Lx during slope gait (p<.05). Additionally, maximum extension movement of the hip joints appeared to be greater at 5Lx and 150Lx compared to 300Lx during slope gait (p<.05). The maximum COM-COP angular velocity (direction to medial side of the body) of dynamic stability appeared to be smaller at 150Lx and 300Lx compared to 5Lx during level gait (p<.05). The minimum COM-COP angular velocity (direction to lateral side to the body) of dynamic stability appeared smaller at 150Lx compared to 5Lx during level gait (p<.05). Conclusion : In conclusion, elderly people use a stabilization strategy that reduces walk speed and dynamic stability as darkness increases. Therefore, the changes in illumination during gait induce the changes in gait mechanics which may increase the levels of biomechanical risk in elderly falls.
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