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Does external walking environment affect gait patterns?

Authors: 

Matthew Patterson, Darragh Whelan, Brenda Reginatto, Niamh Caprani, Lorcan Walsh, Alan Smeaton, Akihiro Inomata, Brian Caulfield

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
Abstract: 
Abstract—The objective of this work is to develop an understanding of the relationship between mobility metrics obtained outside of the clinic or laboratory and the context of the external environment. Ten subjects walked with an inertial sensor on each shank and a wearable camera around their neck. They were taken on a thirty minute walk in which they mobilized over the following conditions; normal path, busy hallway, rough ground, blind folded and on a hill. Stride time, stride time variability, stance time and peak shank rotation rate during swing were calculated using previously published algorithms. Stride time was significantly different between several of the conditions. Technological advances mean that gait variables can now be captured as patients go about their daily lives. The results of this study show that the external environment has a significant impact on the quality of gait metrics. Thus, context of external walking environment is an important consideration when analyzing ambulatory gait metrics from the unsupervised home and community setting.
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944249
Publication Status: 
Published
Date Accepted for Publication: 
Wednesday, 1 January, 2014
Publication Date: 
04/03/2014
Journal: 
Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014;2014:
Research Group: 
Institution: 
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
Open access repository: 
No