Reduction and technical simplification of testing protocol for walking based on repeatability analyses: An Interreg IVa pilot study

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Nejc Sarabon *
Stefan Loefler
Hannah Fruhmann
Samantha Burggraf
Helmut Kern
(*) Corresponding Author:
Nejc Sarabon | Nejc.sarabon@zrs.upr.si

Abstract

The aim of this study was to define the most appropriate gait measurement protocols to be used in our future studies in the Mobility in Ageing project. A group of young healthy volunteers took part in the study. Each subject carried out a 10-metre walking test at five different speeds (preferred, very slow, very fast, slow, and fast). Each walking speed was repeated three times, making a total of 15 trials which were carried out in a random order. Each trial was simultaneously analysed by three observers using three different technical approaches: a stop watch, photo cells and electronic kinematic dress. In analysing the repeatability of the trials, the results showed that of the five self-selected walking speeds, three of them (preferred, very fast, and very slow) had a significantly higher repeatability of the average walking velocity, step length and cadence than the other two speeds. Additionally, the data showed that one of the three technical methods for gait assessment has better metric characteristics than the other two. In conclusion, based on repeatability, technical and organizational simplification, this study helped us to successfully define a simple and reliable walking test to be used in the main study of the project.

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