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This study investigated intralimb coordination during walking in Young and Elderly women using the theoretical model of dynamical systems. Twenty females, ten Young (M age = 24.6 yrs, SD = 3.2 yrs), and ten Elderly (M age = 73.7 yrs, SD = 4.9 yrs), were videotaped during free speed gait and gait perturbed by an ankle weight. Two parameters, one describing the phasing relationship between segments (mean absolute relative phase) and the other the variability of this relationship (deviation in phase), were calculated from the kinematics. Two-way ANOVA (age and weight) with repeated measures on weight indicated that during the braking period the weight increased the mean absolute relative phase between the shank and the thigh and decreased it between the foot and the shank. The Elderly women had significantly smaller values for the mean absolute relative phase between the shank and the thigh during the braking period. For the same period, deviation in phase increased for the segmental relationship between the shank and the thigh. The findings suggest that changes in intralimb coordination take place due to asymmetrical weighting and the aging process. These changes are mostly present during the braking period.


The official published version of this article can be found at This is a final authors’ draft of the paper:

Byrne J.E., Stergiou N., Blanke, D.,Houser J.J., Kurz M.J.,Hageman P.A.(2002). Comparison of gait patterns between young and elderly women: an examination of coordination. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 94:265-280.

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Perceptual and Motor Skills





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Figure 1.pdf (33 kB)
Figure 1

Figure 2, Braking.pdf (38 kB)
Figure 2, Braking

Figure 3, Propulsion.pdf (39 kB)
Figure 3, Propulsion

Figure 4, Braking.pdf (40 kB)
Figure 4, Braking

Figure 5, Propulsion.pdf (41 kB)
Figure 5, Propulsion

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