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Open Access Research

Lower limb control and mobility following exercise training

Sukwon Kim1* and Thurmon Lockhart2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physical Education, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju-City, South Korea

2 Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060

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Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2012, 9:15  doi:10.1186/1743-0003-9-15

Published: 15 February 2012

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of 8-week balance or weight training on ankle joint stiffness and limb stability for older adults, furthermore, on outcomes of slips while walking. Eighteen older adults volunteered for the study and randomly were assigned to the three groups, such as, weight, balance, or control group. While walking on a walking track, three-dimensional posture data were sampled and ankle joint stiffness and limb stability were computed to evaluate the effects of training. 2 (pre and post) × 3 (weight, balance, and control) × 2 (dominant and non-dominant legs) mixed factor repeated ANOVA was performed. The results indicated that only balance training group showed an improvement in joint stiffness and both the training groups showed improvements in limb stability. Also, fall frequency results suggested that joint stiffness and limb stability had an effect on the likelihood of slip-induced falls. In conclusion, training can facilitate improvements in joint and limb control mechanism for older adults contributing to an improvement in the likelihood of slip-induced falls.

Keywords:
Joint Stiffness; Limb Mobility; Exercise; Stability; Falls