Effects of a Swing Time based Vibro Tactile Biofeedback Protocol on Gait with Focus on Gait Variability among Healthy Older Adults
Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Innovations and Applications, BIA 2021
Older adults walk with shorter stride length; this change has been linked with reductions in gait performance. Wearable systems that provide customized biofeedback has been found to have effectively increased the stride length and the range of motion. Previous studies have suggested that changes in gait patterns usually require a motor learning process, which can be reflected in the increase in variability in some gait parameters. This study paid attention to the changes in variability in gait upon using a swing time based vibrotactile biofeedback system. Four healthy older adults participated in this study, in which a biofeedback system was used to give them vibrating signals and encourage them to increase their swing time. The results of this study show that participants that showed gait improvements (e.g., increasing the stride length) presented lower gait variability than those who did not adapt. A greater variability was observed in temporal than spatial gait parameters. Following motor learning theories, the automaticity of the movement reduces while modifying the gait pattern. It may be possible that participants underwent increments of gait variability as an adaptive process to achieve the required task.
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University of Wollongong