Presentation Title

Optimizing Foot Stiffness Via Carbon Fiber Interventions To Augment Walking Speed In Elderly

Advisor Information

Kota Z. Takahashi

Location

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #304 - G

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2022 9:00 AM

End Date

4-3-2022 10:15 AM

Abstract

The biomechanics of the feet are literally and figuratively the foundation of our interface with the world. Understanding how the feet interact with the ground provides insight for multitudes of scientific disciplines including biomedical engineering, biology, physiology, and podiatry. Many clinical populations struggle with performing basic activities such as walking more than a few blocks without both muscular and metabolic fatigue. This is a common characteristic of elderly individuals, and this deficiency has been commonly attributed to lack of function in the feet. Current biomechanical research surrounding the feet, however, has been more focused on functional improvements in mass populations, rather than personalizing solutions. It has been shown that simple interventions, such as carbon fiber insoles, can augment plantar flexor force production without greater muscle activation. Unfortunately, this does not always prove to be the most metabolically efficient. This relationship between footwear stiffness and metabolic cost indicates there must be an optimal operating region. The objective of this study will be to observe the effects of variable footwear stiffness on native foot stiffness in terms of walking speed and metabolic cost. In this study, we hypothesize that individuals with weaker native foot stiffness will receive greater benefits from increased footwear stiffness.

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Mar 4th, 9:00 AM Mar 4th, 10:15 AM

Optimizing Foot Stiffness Via Carbon Fiber Interventions To Augment Walking Speed In Elderly

MBSC Ballroom - Poster #304 - G

The biomechanics of the feet are literally and figuratively the foundation of our interface with the world. Understanding how the feet interact with the ground provides insight for multitudes of scientific disciplines including biomedical engineering, biology, physiology, and podiatry. Many clinical populations struggle with performing basic activities such as walking more than a few blocks without both muscular and metabolic fatigue. This is a common characteristic of elderly individuals, and this deficiency has been commonly attributed to lack of function in the feet. Current biomechanical research surrounding the feet, however, has been more focused on functional improvements in mass populations, rather than personalizing solutions. It has been shown that simple interventions, such as carbon fiber insoles, can augment plantar flexor force production without greater muscle activation. Unfortunately, this does not always prove to be the most metabolically efficient. This relationship between footwear stiffness and metabolic cost indicates there must be an optimal operating region. The objective of this study will be to observe the effects of variable footwear stiffness on native foot stiffness in terms of walking speed and metabolic cost. In this study, we hypothesize that individuals with weaker native foot stiffness will receive greater benefits from increased footwear stiffness.