Trunk Velocity Changes in Response to Physical Perturbations Are Potential Indicators of Gait Stability

Farahnaz Fallahtafti, Sjoerd Bruijn, Arash Mohammadzadeh Gonabadi, Mohammad Sangtarashan, Julie Blaskewicz Boron, Carolin Curtze, Ka Chun Siu, Sara A. Myers, Jennifer Yentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Response to challenging situations is important to avoid falls, especially after medial perturbations, which require active control. There is a lack of evidence on the relationship between the trunk’s motion in response to perturbations and gait stability. Eighteen healthy adults walked on a treadmill at three speeds while receiving perturbations of three magnitudes. Medial perturbations were applied by translating the walking platform to the right at left heel contact. Trunk velocity changes in response to the perturbation were calculated and divided into the initial and the recovery phases. Gait stability after a perturbation was assessed using the margin of stability (MOS) at the first heel contact, MOS mean, and standard deviation for the first five strides after the perturbation onset. Faster speed and smaller perturbations led to a lower deviation of trunk velocity from the steady state, which can be interpreted as an improvement in response to the perturbation. Recovery was quicker after small perturbations. The MOS mean was associated with the trunk’s motion in response to perturbations during the initial phase. Increasing walking speed may increase resistance to perturbations, while increasing the magnitude of perturbation leads to greater trunk motions. MOS is a useful marker of resistance to perturbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2833
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • gait
  • recovery
  • resistance
  • stability
  • trunk velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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