Effects of Light Conditions and Falls Concerns on Older Adults’ Gait Characteristics: A Preliminary Study
Event Type
Technical Groups
Children's Issues
TimeTuesday, October 26th11:00am - 11:16am EDT
LocationVirtual 2
DescriptionFalls are one of the main safety concerns for the aging population, possibly caused by the difficulty in maintaining the gait and balance during walking. Vision and psychological effects are reported to be major factors affecting human gait and balance. However, only a few studies have collectively investigated the effects of vision and psychological status on gait characteristics. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the gait characteristics of older adults with different falls concerns under usual ambient and visual-guided light conditions. Twelve community-dwelling adults (five males and seven females, seven with eye diseases, all over 75 years old, 164.5   9.1 cm in stature) were recruited. Participants were instructed to walk from their bed to the bathroom with their normal walking speed four times (two light conditions * two repetitions). Participants’ gait characteristics, including the walking performance, posture, and stability measures, were compared using mixed analyses of variance with light conditions as the within-subject factor, and falls concerns as the between-subject factor. The study found: (1) When compared to the usual ambient night light
condition, the lighting with a visual-based guiding prompted participants to have a lower maximum value of right hip flexion and a higher maximum value of trunk accelerometry. Higher confidence in walking and increased numbers of walking direction corrections might contribute to the changes under the visual-guided light conditions. (2) When compared to older adults with low fall concerns, those with high fall concerns demonstrated a slower walking speed as well as a reduction in motion smoothness.