Increased muscular challenge in older adults during obstructed gait

Michael E. Hahn, Heng Ju Lee, Li Shan Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Skeletal muscle strength is known to decline with age. Although lower extremity (LE) muscle strength is critical to maintaining dynamic stability, few studies have investigated lower extremity muscle challenge during activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of age and obstructed gait on relative lower extremity muscular challenge, with respect to available joint strength. Fifteen healthy young and fifteen healthy older adults were asked to walk over level ground and step over obstacles. Pre-amplified surface electrodes were used to measure bilateral muscular activation of the gluteus medius (GM), vastus lateralis (VL), and gastrocnemius (GA). Muscle activation signals were normalized to peak magnitudes collected during maximal manual muscle testing (MMT). Normalized magnitudes were analyzed during the double-support phase for gluteus medius and vastus lateralis and during the single-support phase for gastrocnemius. A two-factor ANOVA was used to test for age group effect, with repeated measure of obstacle height. In general, older adults demonstrated greater relative activation levels compared to young adults. Gluteus medius activity was significantly greater in the elderly as compared to young during periods of double-support (weight transfer). Increased obstacle height resulted in greater relative activation in all muscles, confirming the increased challenge to the musculo-skeletal system. While healthy elderly adults were able to successfully negotiate obstacles of different heights during walking, their muscular strength capacity was significantly lower than young adults, resulting in relatively higher muscular demands. The resulting potential for muscular fatigue during locomotion may place individuals at higher risk for trips and/or falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-361
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1

Fingerprint

Gait
Lower Extremity
Muscles
Quadriceps Muscle
Muscle Strength
Young Adult
Muscle Fatigue
Locomotion
Activities of Daily Living
Walking
Analysis of Variance
Electrodes
Skeletal Muscle
Age Groups
Joints
Weights and Measures

Keywords

  • Balance control
  • EMG
  • Elderly
  • Joint strength
  • Obstacle crossing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this

Increased muscular challenge in older adults during obstructed gait. / Hahn, Michael E.; Lee, Heng Ju; Chou, Li Shan.

In: Gait and Posture, Vol. 22, No. 4, 01.12.2005, p. 356-361.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hahn, Michael E. ; Lee, Heng Ju ; Chou, Li Shan. / Increased muscular challenge in older adults during obstructed gait. In: Gait and Posture. 2005 ; Vol. 22, No. 4. pp. 356-361.
@article{0c889c1a3ec24c579a4c326792cff282,
title = "Increased muscular challenge in older adults during obstructed gait",
abstract = "Skeletal muscle strength is known to decline with age. Although lower extremity (LE) muscle strength is critical to maintaining dynamic stability, few studies have investigated lower extremity muscle challenge during activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of age and obstructed gait on relative lower extremity muscular challenge, with respect to available joint strength. Fifteen healthy young and fifteen healthy older adults were asked to walk over level ground and step over obstacles. Pre-amplified surface electrodes were used to measure bilateral muscular activation of the gluteus medius (GM), vastus lateralis (VL), and gastrocnemius (GA). Muscle activation signals were normalized to peak magnitudes collected during maximal manual muscle testing (MMT). Normalized magnitudes were analyzed during the double-support phase for gluteus medius and vastus lateralis and during the single-support phase for gastrocnemius. A two-factor ANOVA was used to test for age group effect, with repeated measure of obstacle height. In general, older adults demonstrated greater relative activation levels compared to young adults. Gluteus medius activity was significantly greater in the elderly as compared to young during periods of double-support (weight transfer). Increased obstacle height resulted in greater relative activation in all muscles, confirming the increased challenge to the musculo-skeletal system. While healthy elderly adults were able to successfully negotiate obstacles of different heights during walking, their muscular strength capacity was significantly lower than young adults, resulting in relatively higher muscular demands. The resulting potential for muscular fatigue during locomotion may place individuals at higher risk for trips and/or falls.",
keywords = "Balance control, EMG, Elderly, Joint strength, Obstacle crossing",
author = "Hahn, {Michael E.} and Lee, {Heng Ju} and Chou, {Li Shan}",
year = "2005",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.11.012",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "356--361",
journal = "Gait and Posture",
issn = "0966-6362",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Increased muscular challenge in older adults during obstructed gait

AU - Hahn, Michael E.

AU - Lee, Heng Ju

AU - Chou, Li Shan

PY - 2005/12/1

Y1 - 2005/12/1

N2 - Skeletal muscle strength is known to decline with age. Although lower extremity (LE) muscle strength is critical to maintaining dynamic stability, few studies have investigated lower extremity muscle challenge during activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of age and obstructed gait on relative lower extremity muscular challenge, with respect to available joint strength. Fifteen healthy young and fifteen healthy older adults were asked to walk over level ground and step over obstacles. Pre-amplified surface electrodes were used to measure bilateral muscular activation of the gluteus medius (GM), vastus lateralis (VL), and gastrocnemius (GA). Muscle activation signals were normalized to peak magnitudes collected during maximal manual muscle testing (MMT). Normalized magnitudes were analyzed during the double-support phase for gluteus medius and vastus lateralis and during the single-support phase for gastrocnemius. A two-factor ANOVA was used to test for age group effect, with repeated measure of obstacle height. In general, older adults demonstrated greater relative activation levels compared to young adults. Gluteus medius activity was significantly greater in the elderly as compared to young during periods of double-support (weight transfer). Increased obstacle height resulted in greater relative activation in all muscles, confirming the increased challenge to the musculo-skeletal system. While healthy elderly adults were able to successfully negotiate obstacles of different heights during walking, their muscular strength capacity was significantly lower than young adults, resulting in relatively higher muscular demands. The resulting potential for muscular fatigue during locomotion may place individuals at higher risk for trips and/or falls.

AB - Skeletal muscle strength is known to decline with age. Although lower extremity (LE) muscle strength is critical to maintaining dynamic stability, few studies have investigated lower extremity muscle challenge during activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of age and obstructed gait on relative lower extremity muscular challenge, with respect to available joint strength. Fifteen healthy young and fifteen healthy older adults were asked to walk over level ground and step over obstacles. Pre-amplified surface electrodes were used to measure bilateral muscular activation of the gluteus medius (GM), vastus lateralis (VL), and gastrocnemius (GA). Muscle activation signals were normalized to peak magnitudes collected during maximal manual muscle testing (MMT). Normalized magnitudes were analyzed during the double-support phase for gluteus medius and vastus lateralis and during the single-support phase for gastrocnemius. A two-factor ANOVA was used to test for age group effect, with repeated measure of obstacle height. In general, older adults demonstrated greater relative activation levels compared to young adults. Gluteus medius activity was significantly greater in the elderly as compared to young during periods of double-support (weight transfer). Increased obstacle height resulted in greater relative activation in all muscles, confirming the increased challenge to the musculo-skeletal system. While healthy elderly adults were able to successfully negotiate obstacles of different heights during walking, their muscular strength capacity was significantly lower than young adults, resulting in relatively higher muscular demands. The resulting potential for muscular fatigue during locomotion may place individuals at higher risk for trips and/or falls.

KW - Balance control

KW - EMG

KW - Elderly

KW - Joint strength

KW - Obstacle crossing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=27744487498&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=27744487498&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.11.012

DO - 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.11.012

M3 - Article

C2 - 16274919

AN - SCOPUS:27744487498

VL - 22

SP - 356

EP - 361

JO - Gait and Posture

JF - Gait and Posture

SN - 0966-6362

IS - 4

ER -