Research Papers

Trunk Angular Kinematics During Slip-Induced Backward Falls and Activities of Daily Living

[+] Author and Article Information
Jian Liu

Division of Applied Science and Technology,
Marshall University,
One John Marshall Drive, CB 212,
Huntington, WV 25755
e-mail: liuji@marshall.edu

Thurmon E. Lockhart

Grado Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0002

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 27, 2013; final manuscript received June 29, 2014; accepted manuscript posted July 18, 2014; published online August 6, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Kenneth Fischer.

J Biomech Eng 136(10), 101005 (Aug 06, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: BIO-13-1593; doi: 10.1115/1.4028033 History: Received December 27, 2013; Revised June 29, 2014; Accepted July 18, 2014

Prior to developing any specific fall detection algorithm, it is critical to distinguish the unique motion features associated with fall accidents. The current study aimed to investigate the upper trunk angular kinematics during slip-induced backward falls and activities of daily living (ADLs). Ten healthy older adults (age = 75 ± 6 yr (mean ± SD)) were involved in a laboratory study. Sagittal trunk angular kinematics were measured using optical motion analysis system during normal walking, slip-induced backward falls, lying down, bending over, and various types of sitting down (SN). Trunk angular phase-plane plots were generated to reveal the motion features of falls. It was found that backward falls were characterized by a simultaneous occurrence of a slight trunk extension and an extremely high trunk extension velocity (peak average = 139.7 deg/s), as compared to ADLs (peak average = 84.1 deg/s). It was concluded that the trunk extension angular kinematics of falls were clearly distinguishable from those of ADLs from the perspective of angular phase-plane plot. Such motion features can be utilized in future studies to develop a new prior-to-impact fall detection algorithm.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Illustration of slip-induced backward falls (F) and normal walking (N)

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Fig. 2

Illustration of SN, SR, and SB

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Illustration of LD and BO

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Trunk angular kinematics during ADL and falls; (a) and (b) show ensemble average profiles; normalized time scale: 0% indicates activity start (ADLs), heel contact (normal walking), or fall initiation (fall trials), 100% indicates activity end (ADLs), toe-off (normal walking), or fall end (fall trials). (c) Shows ensemble average angular phase-plane plots; (BO: bending over and rising up; LD: lying down; SB: sitting into a bucket seat; SN: sitting down; SR: sitting into a rocking chair; N: normal walking; F: slip-induced backward falls).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Comparison of peak trunk angular kinematics ((a)—angle; (b)—angular velocity) during ADL and slip-induced backward falls (error bar indicates 1SD); (BO: bending over and rising up; LD: lying down; SB: sitting into a bucket seat; SN: sitting down; SR: sitting into a rocking chair; N: normal walking; F: slip-induced backward falls)



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