Perturbation exercises during treadmill walking improve pelvic and trunk motion in older adults-A randomized control trial Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Most falls among older adults occur while walking. Pelvic and trunk motions are required to maintain stability during walking. We aimed to explore whether training that incorporates unexpected loss of balance during walking that evokes balance recovery reactions will improve pelvic, thorax, and trunk kinematics at different walking speeds. Methods: Fifty-three community-dwelling older adults (age 80.1 ± 5.6 years) were randomly allocated to an intervention group (n = 27) or a control group (n = 26). Both groups received 24 training sessions over 3 months. The intervention group received unexpected perturbation of balance exercises during treadmill walking, while the control group performed treadmill walking only. The primary outcome measures were the pelvic, thorax, and trunk motion. The secondary outcome measures were stride times, length, and width. Results: Compared to control, participation in the intervention program led to improvement in pelvic and trunk transverse rotations especially at participants' preferred walking speed. No improvement where found in pelvic list while thorax transverse rotation improved in both groups. Conclusions: Pelvic and trunk transverse motion, parameters previously reported to deteriorate during aging, associated with gait stability and a risk factor for falls, can be improved by gait training that includes unexpected loss of balance.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018