The Relationship between Walking Speed and Step Length in Older Aged Patients

Author: Morio, Yuji; Izawa, Kazuhiro P.; Omori, Yoshitsugu; Katata, Hironobu; Ishiyama, Daisuke; Koyama, Shingo; Yamano, Yoshihisa
Language: English
Published: 2019
Source: PubMed Central (PMC)
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Compared with elderly people who have not experienced falls, those who have were reported to have a shortened step length, large fluctuations in their pace, and a slow walking speed. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the step length required to maintain a walking speed of 1.0 m/s in patients aged 75 years or older. We measured the 10 m maximum walking speed in patients aged 75 years or older and divided them into the following two groups: Those who could walk 1.0 m/s or faster (fast group) and those who could not (slow group). Step length was determined from the number of steps taken during the 10 m-maximum walking speed test, and the step length-to-height ratio was calculated. Isometric knee extension muscle force (kgf), modified functional reach (cm), and one-leg standing time (s) were also measured. We included 261 patients (average age: 82.1 years, 50.6% men) in this study. The fast group included 119 participants, and the slow group included 142 participants. In a regression logistic analysis, knee extension muscle force (p = 0.03) and step length-to-height ratio (p < 0.01) were determined as factors significantly related to the fast group. As a result of ROC curve analysis, a step length-to-height ratio of 31.0% could discriminate between the two walking speed groups. The results suggest that the step length-to-height ratio required to maintain a walking speed of 1.0 m/s is 31.0% in patients aged 75 years or older.