The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the free-speed gait characteristics of healthy young men with those of healthy elderly men. Data collection consisted of high-speed cinematography resulting in synchronized front and side views of 24 healthy male volunteers, 12 between 20 and 32 years of age and 12 between 60 and 74 years of age. Young men were recruited to match the elderly men on the basis of right-leg length. Each subject participated in three filmed trials of free-speed ambulation down a 14-m walkway. The processed film was analyzed for eight gait characteristics. Differences in characteristics between the two groups were examined using a correlated t test (p < .01). No significant differences were observed between the groups for step and stride length, velocity, ankle range of motion, vertical and horizontal excursions of the center of gravity, and pelvic obliquity; however, the younger men demonstrated a significantly larger stride width than the elderly men (p < .01). The results suggest that the two populations of healthy adult men have similar gait characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation