Quantifying fear of falling by utilizing objective body sway measures: A 360° virtual video study

Chenfan Gui, Dawn M. Venema, Jung Hung Chien, Teresa M. Cochran, Ka Chun Siu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Fear of falling (FOF) is a psychological condition that can lead to increased morbidity and mortality in the elderly population. However, the subjective and multidimensional nature of FOF results in limitations of existing FOF measurement tools, which could influence the generalization of the findings from various studies. An objective measure of FOF could address those limitations. The present study aimed to identify the feasibility of using center of pressure (COP) parameters to quantify FOF. Research question: (1) Are 360º roller coaster videos effective to induce FOF? And (2) Which COP parameter(s) is/are feasible to quantify FOF? Methods: Nineteen young, healthy adults (24 ± 2.47 years) were recruited in the present study. Subjects were required to watch three 360º videos: one control video and two roller coaster videos, through virtual reality goggles during standing and sitting. Six trials (3 during standing and 3 during sitting) with video were performed. Subjects were required to rate their FOF on a visual analogue scale after watching each video. COP mean power frequency, COP root mean square, and COP range were measured. The Friedman test was used to assess differences in COP parameters under different video conditions, and Spearman's correlation analysis was used to assess the relationship between FOF and COP parameters. Results: Similar COP changes were observed in sitting and standing conditions. With increased FOF, participants demonstrated decreased COP mean power frequency and increased COP root mean square in the medial-lateral direction during both sitting and standing. Significance: Our study provided evidence that 360º roller coaster videos are effective tools to induce FOF and change in COP parameters. The relationship between FOF and COP parameters suggests that the measurement of body sway may be an objective way to quantify FOF. More research are needed to solidify the evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Body sway
  • Center of pressure
  • Fear of falling
  • Objective measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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