Title
Low vision affects dynamic stability of gait Low vision affects dynamic stability of gait
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Gait and posture. - Oxford
Volume/pages
32(2010) :4 , p. 547-551
ISSN
0966-6362
ISI
000285235300020
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The objective of this study was to demonstrate specific differences in gait patterns between those with and without a visual impairment. We performed a biomechanical analysis of the gait pattern of young adults (27 ± 13 years old) with a visual impairment (n = 10) in an uncluttered environment and compared it to the gait pattern of age matched controls (n = 20). Normally sighted adults were tested in a full vision and no vision condition. Differences are found in gait between both groups and both situations. Adults with a visual impairment walked with a shorter stride length (1.14 ± 0.21 m), less trunk flexion (4.55 ± 5.14°) and an earlier plantar foot contact at heel strike (1.83 ± 3.49°) than sighted individuals (1.39 ± 0.08 m; 11.07 ± 4.01°; 5.10 ± 3.53°). When sighted individuals were blindfolded (no vision condition) they showed similar gait adaptations as well as a slower walking speed (0.84 ± 0.28 m s−1), a lower cadence (96.88 ± 13.71 steps min−1) and limited movements of the hip (38.24 ± 6.27°) and the ankle in the saggital plane (−5.60 ± 5.07°) compared to a full vision condition (1.27 ± 0.13 m s−1; 110.55 ± 7.09 steps min−1; 45.32 ± 4.57°; −16.51 ± 6.59°). Results showed that even in an uncluttered environment vision is important for locomotion control. The differences between those with and without a visual impairment, and between the full vision and no vision conditions, may reflect a more cautious walking strategy and adaptive changes employed to use the foot to probe the ground for haptic exploration.
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