Assessment of slip severity among different age groups

Thurmon E. Lockhart, Jeffrey C. Woldstad, James L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

A laboratory study utilizing new techniques for assessing slip severity was conducted to investigate the process of inadvertent slips and falls among different age groups. Forty-two subjects from three age groups (young adults, middle-aged, and the elderly) walked on a rectangular track at a self-determined pace. Without the subjects' awareness, a slippery floor surface was placed on the track over a force-measuring platform. The results indicated that elderly adults' friction demand (RCOF) was not significantly different from the young and middle-aged adults. The older adults however fell more often than the other age groups. Fall recovery threshold (FRT) measures indicated that younger adults were able to recover from a slip (thus preventing a fall) with higher sliding speeds and longer slip distances than older adults. Additionally, older adults' adjusted friction utilization (AFU) on the slippery floor surface was not adjusted within the dynamic friction requirements, resulting in more falls. Based on the age-related differences observed, it appears that fall-related accidents among older adults are due more to factors influencing compensation of a slip rather than gait characteristics influencing slip initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalASTM Special Technical Publication
Issue number1424
StatePublished - 2002
EventMetrology of Pedestrian Locomotion and Slip Resistance - West Conshohcken, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2001Jun 5 2001

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Coefficient of friction
  • Fall recovery
  • Friction demand
  • Gait biomechanics
  • Heel velocity
  • Slip distances
  • Slip severity
  • Slips and falls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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