Faculty of Physical Therapy, Universidade de Vigo, Campus A Xunqueira s/n, 36005 Pontevedra, Spain
Identification of Body Balance Deterioration of Gait in Women Using Accelerometers
- Published on 2020
Background: This study presents a simple methodology for the evaluation of gait with accelerometers, for rapid and simple application, in which we employ current balance tests in clinical practice (Timed Up and Go, Chair Stand Test and Six-Minute Walk Test). The aim was to determine whether the accelerometric valuation of gait can detect alterations in balance. The sample of this cross-sectional research, made during the months of May and June 2018, was composed of 145 healthy adult women (x = 63.8 ± 8.41 years), from the city of Ourense (Spain). They walked with a triaxial accelerometer at the fourth lumbar vertebra for a distance of 20 m. The test was repeated three times, and the mean of the three measurements was used in the analysis. There was a reduction in the values of acceleration recorded along all three of the axes and in the root mean square as the age increased. This reduction was very significant for the minimum values registered along the vertical and transverse axes, and for the maximum values along the mediolateral axis. Only the maximum values of the vector module demonstrated significant differences among the three age groups. A regression model allowed us to identify the values that give more information on the Timed Up and Go Test, namely: the maximum values of the root mean square and the mediolateral axis. An exhaustive analysis of the vertical and mediolateral axes and the vector module allows for the detection of early alterations in the automatic gait pattern.
Methods: The sample was composed of 145 adult healthy women from the city of Ourense (Spain), with an average age of 63.8 ± 8.4 years and an age range between 38 and 86 years. All of them were recruited from four municipal sports centers during the months of May and June 2018. At the time of recruitment, 523 women regularly attended these municipal sports centers. Of these, 281 women (53.7%) were eligible to participate in the study and agreed to be evaluated. The city of Ourense had a population of 160,867 women in 2018. To reach a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 6.9%, a minimum participation of 96 women was established. The following inclusion criteria were used: (a) engaged in physical activity between one and two days/week, and (b) walking between 30 and 90 min four days per week.
Results: The aim of this research was to determine whether the accelerometric assessment of gait is able to detect alterations related to natural aging in a population of adult women and older adults. The results suggest that an accelerometer is capable of detecting the differences in gait in women between 51 and 80 years old.
Conclusion: In the study of healthy people where variability in the duration of the tests is small, the analysis of each of the axes can be a source of early diagnosis for the deterioration of balance. An exhaustive analysis of the minimum values of the vertical axis and the maximum values of the mediolateral axis and the vector module allows for the detection of early alterations in the automatic gait pattern
- Raquel Leirós-Rodríguez 1
- Vicente Romo-Pérez 2
- Jose L. García-Soidán 2
- Anxela Soto-Rodríguez 3
Faculty of Sports Sciences and Education, Universidade de Vigo, Campus A Xunqueira s/n, 36005 Pontevedra, Spain
Health Service from Galicia (SERGAS), Galician Health Services—Ourense Hospital, 32005 Ourense, Spain