Gait flexibility among older persons significantly more impaired in fallers than non-fallers-a longitudinal study

Eva Ekvall Hansson, Elina Valkonen, Ulrika Olsson Möller, Yi Chen Lin, Måns Magnusson, Per-Anders Fransson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Gait disorders are a relevant factor for falls and possible to measure with wearable devices. If a wearable sensor can detect differences in gait parameters between fallers and non-fallers has not yet been studied. The aim of this study was to measure and compare gait parameters, vestibular function, and balance performance between fallers and non-fallers among a group of older persons. Participants were senior members (n = 101) of a Swedish non-profit gymnastic association. Gait parameters were obtained using an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that the participants wore on the leg while walking an obstacle course and on an even surface. Vestibular function was assessed by the Head-shake test, the Head impulse test, and the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. Balance was assessed by the Timed Up and Go, the Timed Up and Go manual, and the Timed Up and Go cognitive tests. Falls during the 12-month follow-up period were monitored using fall diaries. Forty-two persons (41%) had fallen during the 12-month follow-up. Fallers had more limited ability to vary their gait (gait flexibility) than non-fallers (p < 0.001). No other differences between fallers and non-fallers were found. The use of gait flexibility, captured by an IMU, seems better for identifying future fallers among healthy older persons than Timed Up and Go or Timed Up and Go combined with a cognitive or manual task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7074
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Physiotherapy (30307)


  • balance
  • falls
  • gait
  • older people
  • postural balance
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Walking
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aged
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Accidental Falls
  • Postural Balance


Dive into the research topics of 'Gait flexibility among older persons significantly more impaired in fallers than non-fallers-a longitudinal study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this