medial to lateral older folks...

  • "older adults prioritized medial to lateral control over forward progression during adaptive walking challenges."

Did you know this? It makes sense, if you have been reading along with us and think about decomposition of movement when we get injured or as we age. 

Bottom line?

Older folks would rather move side to side and seem more concerned with lateral movement (i.e. coronal plane stability, possibly to avoid falling?) and will shorten their step length to adjust for moving forward, if needed.

"Simultaneous control of lower limb stepping movements and trunk motion is important for skilled walking; adapting gait to environmental constraints requires frequent alternations in stepping and trunk motion. These alterations provide a window into the locomotor strategies adopted by the walker. The authors examined gait strategies in young and healthy older adults when manipulating step width. Anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) smoothness (quantified by harmonic ratios) and stepping consistency (quantified by gait variability) were analyzed during narrow and wide walking while controlling cadence to preferred pace. Results indicated older adults preserved ML smoothness at the expense of AP smoothness, shortened their steps, and exhibited reduced stepping consistency. The authors conclude that older adults prioritized ML control over forward progression during adaptive walking challenges."

J Mot Behav. 2016 Nov 21:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]
Age-Related Differences in Locomotor Strategies During Adaptive Walking.
Lowry KA, Sebastian K, Perera S, Van Swearingen J, Smiley-Oyen AL.