This investigation quantitatively characterized the certainty of the aging neuromuscular system in selecting a joint range of motion during gait based on the statistical concept of entropy. Elderly and young control groups walked on a treadmill at a self-selected pace. Joint angles were calculated for the ankle, knee and hip. We hypothesized that the aging group would exhibit less certainty in selecting a joint range of motion during gait. Our results supported this hypothesis, and indicated that aged individuals demonstrated statistically less certainty for the knee (16.8%) and hip (24.6%). We suggest that neurophysiological changes associated with aging may result in less certainty of the neuromuscular system in selecting a stable gait.
- Nonlinear dynamics
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